episode 2: habits and routine

in this episode, blue talks about the importance of overcoming procrastination, creating good habits, and remind you that jay z is a better rapper than she is.


  • http://today.uconn.edu/2012/11/uconn-researcher-dopamine-not-about-pleasure-anymore/
  • http://www.forbes.com/sites/sujanpatel/2015/01/09/the-science-behind-motivation/

download productive

“Do you remember the last time you put gas?”
“Uhhhh no but the light hasn’t come on yet. Why?”
“Because we’re probably not going to pass a gas station for the next 30 miles, and we’re coming up to one more.”
“Nah I think we’ll be okay.”

“What was that? What’s happening?”
“Uhhhh idk boss I think your engine died.”
“…. are we out of gas?”
“No, I don’t think that’s—-“
“Dude we are fucking out of gas!”

can i get an encore. do you want more?

no? okay no.

i mean, do any of us ever really want an encore? isn’t one time enough?

nah, not if you’re trying to ingrain a new habit into your life.

oh hey i also wanna apologize in advance for my bad dad jokes. hanging out with kids will do that to you sometimes.

but anyways, i’m pretty sure most of you have heard that whole “it’s takes 21 days to form a new habit” saying. i’ve actually read in a study by the european journal of social psychology that it takes a little over two months to engrain a new habit into your life.

and maybe there are some habits you’ve been trying to pick up, like reading, meditating, learning a new skill, and you keep telling yourself “i just don’t have tiiiiiiiime.”

but i bet that sometimes you probably find time to fool around on reddit a few times a day.

i bet i’ll find you scrolling through your snapchat filters to see if the rabbit is still there.

we just gotta face it, guys. procrastination is the killer of dreams.

think of all the time you’ve wasted watching cat videos on youtube, stalking your ex-girlfriend on facebook, and now think of all the times you’ve said, “i’ll start tomorrow.”

this very video, guys! this podcast is around six to seven weeks in the making. why? because procrastination is a got dang time murderer.

procrastination has been the bane of my existence, especially with the way that Reddit has been calling my name for the last few years. It’s incredibly easy to let that next video autoplay, to get caught down the rabbit hole of unproductive nothingness. By the time you realize it, you know more about reptilians than you ever cared to know.

So for someone like me (read: sometimes lazy and unmotivated by non-tangible rewards), creating good habits as a creature of procrastination was difficult (what am I saying, was?).

and until we discover a way to actually buy time (rich people, i hear your ears perking up), we really do need to find time to do things that are exponentially enhancing our quality of life.

so here we go. this is how i, the world’s laziest person, was able to finally stop saying “tomorrow” in order to enrich my life today.

and just so you know, since you know absolutely nothing about me, there are a lot of lifestyle changes i’ve made over the last year outside of the realm of what we’re about to discuss, such as shedding my craptastic eating habits, nurturing my musical creativity, and so forth, but today, i want to focus on some easy to use tools that are meant to make habit forming simple, even for the uninitiated.

now, i am personally super motivated by being told i’m doing well. positive reinforcement works for me.

and being motivated comes from three things: having a vision, setting goals, and then acknowledging those accomplishments, no matter how small.

beginning anything is difficult because you’re usually telling yourself, “i can’t. there’s too much to do.” and you’ve already talked yourself out of it before even getting started.

but dopamine is a powerful thing. you typically associate this neurotransmitter with pleasure, right? Or drugs or really anything you find enjoyable, but there are studies that show there is a link between dopamine and motivation.

the university of conn. conducted a study that showed mice with low levels of dopamine were less likely to climb a fence to get more food than those who were given high levels of it.

so what does that tell you? well, i know what it tells me. it means a little positive validation, even incentive, goes a long way in igniting the spark of initiation.

honestly, that’s the reason i got an apple watch. it seems like a stupid reason, but i use numbers to monitor progress. so i use my apple watch to keep an eye on steps, to graph my heart rate throughout the day, sometimes during sleep if i remember,

but im not telling you to go out and buy yourself a fitness tracker, not unless you want to. i just know that i am personally motivated by watching the numbers go up. i need something tangible, visible to keep me on track.

but i do use a couple of iOS apps to keep me focused. here we go:

number one: go to your app store and download Productive.

productive is an app that lets you track up to five habits for free (there is a paid version that allows for more, but 5 has been good enough for the habits that are most important to me).

it’s pretty simple – you create a habit and let productive know how often you want to complete this habit. it could be once, three times a day, once a week, or once a month.

i started off with water. why water? as someone who drinks three cups of coffee during the week and not much else, i know that i, along with 75 percent of americans, am in a state of chronic dehydration. and even though we all KNOW we don’t get enough water during the day, many of us don’t see the importance because our bodies are probably used to being deprived.

so water. easy, right? three times a day, morning, afternoon, and evening. productive gives me a little nudge that i haven’t had water this morning.

once i started off with something easy, i added pushups three times a week. i’m a little more lenient with that – i will replace pushups with weights, but the key is trying to get a teensy bit of definition to these olive oyl arms.

after that, i added meditation daily, which i take most seriously right behind water. i downloaded an app called headspace, which you should download immediately if you’ve ever even considered meditation because it has been the most helpful app i think i’ve ever used in my entire life.

as someone who is constantly stuck inside her own head, meditation has taught me how to be more present, mindful, and has honestly melded my brain into a softer version of itself.

i don’t hit a perfect streak every day because i’m still me, but i don’t let a couple of bad days completely drop me off of my game.

it’s a little pavlovian – swipe some tasks as completed, hit some streaks, and be told you’re doing an outstanding job.

the crucial piece is creating attainable microtasks. creating to do lists for projects is ideal because instead of saying, “hey, i need to clean the house,” you can create a to do list of smaller tasks that says, “i gotta sweep, dust, wash the dishes, take out the trash, throw in a load of laundry.”

this takes away the thought process of “oh man i gotta clean the house? there’s just too much to do. it’s a mess. i’ll just do it later.” now, you have a list of smaller, achievable goals. “all right, let’s start by getting all of the dishes to the kitchen.” once you check off that first task, your brain will reward you with that dopamine you need to keep going.

there we go. both you and i know that procrastination is actually damaging to your growth. we also know that we deserve better than to be sidetracked by menial things like sharing memes just to get those likes and upvotes.

with that being said, you can just go ahead and like and upvote me! subscribe subscribe! and so and so forth.

but seriously, commitments are hard work, but we are a constant work in progress, a perpetual demo. it’s taken me almost 30 years to pick up what should be basic habits. don’t sell yourself short. create habits that reinforce your growth, your creativity, and your happiness.

also, if you can recommend any easy to read books on this topic, please hit me up. i say easy to read because i have the attention span of a goldfish… but wait! humans actually have shorter attention spans than goldfish now, thanks to your gd phone.

so go chew on that and move on to the next episode, where i talk about the importance of good sleep on your mental well-being.

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