Notes and Quotes: Habit Stacking by S.J. Scott

Here are my favorite quotes from S.J. Scott's Habit Stacking: 97 Small Life Changes That Take Five Minutes or Less.  If you enjoy these quotes, consider clicking one of the links and picking up a copy for yourself!
  1. The theory behind cognitive load is that since you can only retain a small amount of information, you have to rely on long-term memory, habits and established processes to do basically everything in life.
  2. Consistency is much more important than what you accomplish with this daily habit.
  3. 8 Elements of a Habit Stacking Routine
    1. Each Habit Takes Less Than Five Minutes to Complete
    2. It’s a Complete Habit
    3. It Improves Your Life
    4. It’s Simple to Complete
    5. It [complete routine] Takes Less Than 30 Minutes 
    6. It Follows a Logical Process
    7. It Follows a Checklist
    8. It Fits Your Life
  4. If you’re new to habit stacking, start by focusing on habits that add up to around 15 minutes of your day.
  5. Habit stacking isn’t meant to be a guessing game, or to be improvised on a day-to-day basis. It should be a set of actions done the same way, in the same order, each day.
  6. To keep your energy up and motivation high, alternate your work tasks with small treats.
  7. Rather than struggling against your brain’s natural inclination to procrastinate, save yourself a lot of time and hassle by simply closing your email tab and banning social media during work time.
  8. Spending five minutes clearing your work area at the start of each day will help to mentally prepare you for being productive.
  9. If you look at the hardest task on your list, you’ll probably find that it is also the task that will give you the most benefit.
  10. Committing to a ridiculously easy goal like writing for only five minutes reduces the difficulty of the task in your mind and allows you to get over the hump of getting started.
  11. The Pomodoro Technique is probably the most well-known version of this technique. It involves working for twenty-five minutes and then taking a five-minute break.
  12. Most people overestimate the amount of time they spend doing actual work and spend a surprisingly large amount of time doing mindless tasks.
  13. If a task will take you two minutes or less to do, deal with it immediately and move on.
  14. Keep a notepad on your desk so you’re always ready to jot down thoughts as they come to you while you’re working.
  15. Make a note of tasks as you complete them, or reflect at the end of the day and write down a list of everything you achieved.
  16. You need to review your goals so that you can create plans to reach those goals, put your day in perspective and know what’s important to accomplish.
  17. Take time to read each goal out loud and think about the specific actions you’re taking to achieve it.
  18. Take a moment to send that special someone a few words of encouragement.
  19. Think of the people in your life and what they enjoy most. Then take the time to research something fun that you can share with them.
  20. It’s hard to be happy in a relationship unless we are first happy with ourselves.
  21. What small thing makes you smile the most? Spend five minutes doing it.
  22. To better understand people and interact with them socially, it is important to spend some time thinking about their lives and what they are going through. You will be able to better relate to people when you think about things from their point of view.
  23. By making an effort to understand someone else’s point of view, you will learn how to communicate effectively with other people.
  24. Leaving a note for a friend, family member or co-worker is a little action that goes a long way.
  25. The money you keep largely depends on the choices you make on a daily basis.
  26. You can never be over-educated, especially about finance.
  27. Check your pockets, purse, kitchen table or any other place you might leave your spare change. Collect it and put it all in a jar. Avoid the impulse to take change out of this jar by keeping a lid on it and storing it inside a cabinet or drawer.
  28. Use a checkbook or notebook to write down each expense from yesterday. Keeping your receipts makes this way easier than trying to write them all down by memory.
  29. Receiving emails and print catalogs with discounts and promotions often leads to unnecessary spending.
  30. Look through your inbox and unsubscribe from one retail email list.
  31. Plan your errands to avoid the places where you tend to overspend and visit the places you need to go in the most logical order. This planning will save you time, gas and money.
  32. Turning off the lights and appliances in your home, office or apartment can save you a significant amount of money when it comes to your monthly electric bill.
  33. Choose an item you want or need to buy. Look for the item on at least three different retail websites.
  34. Never underestimate the benefits of being organized.
  35. Starting off your day by making the bed sets a great tone for the whole day.
  36. Pick one countertop or dresser top in your home. If an item doesn’t belong there, return it to where it does belong. If any item there is trash, throw it in the garbage. If the item can be recycled, add it to your recycling bin.  Repeat these steps until the surface is completely cleared.
  37. One of the best ways to stay organized is to make sure every item in your home or office has a designated place and that it is returned to that place each time you are finished with it.
  38. Find three things that are out of place and return them to where they belong.
  39. The less cluttered your house is, the more likely you are to want to keep it that way and avoid buying anything that would cause more clutter.
  40. Designate a box or bin for items you wish to sell, trade or give away. Each day, find one thing that fits into one of these three categories and put it in the box.
  41. A good rule of thumb is that if you haven’t used the item in the last six months, then you probably won’t use it in the next six months.
  42. Clutter doesn't only exist in your home or office—it also exists on your computer. Digital clutter can be just as distracting and frustrating as traditional clutter.
  43. When your home or workspace is clean, you are less likely to add clutter to it. Cleaning one item at a time is an efficient and easy way to slowly but surely clean your entire home or office.
  44. Check all of your home’s necessities: toilet paper, paper towels, diapers, garbage bags and light bulbs, just to name a few. Make sure there is enough to get you through until your next scheduled shopping day. If there is not, write it on your list of things to buy while you are out of the house that day.
  45. Compile a list of companies that send you bills or statements on a monthly basis. Call or visit each company’s website to request paperless communication.
  46. Think of everything you take with you to work, the gym and other activities. Then designate a specific spot where you put every object that’s taken out of the house. This includes items such as your car keys, wallet, purse, laptop, briefcase, shoes, books, coins, cell phone and gym clothes. Simply take a few minutes to put these items in their designated spot.
  47. Start the day by speaking words of affirmation in the mirror each morning to boost your confidence and leave you feeling empowered.
  48. Keep a gratitude journal next to your bed. Every day, write down three things you are grateful for or three things that make you happy.
  49. Download or purchase a few of your favorite songs that always put you in a good mood. If you have a good Internet connection, you could also stream these songs from online radio stations or iTunes radio. As soon as you wake up, start playing these songs while performing some of your other daily habits or chores.
  50. After a long night’s sleep your body will benefit greatly from performing stretches each morning.
  51. All sounds have an effect on the human body and psyche.
  52. Create a morning routine of play with your kids, friends or pets.
  53. Taking time out of your morning routine to do a bit of grooming can really add to your general well-being.
  54. Daily vitamins are a must for anyone, and you’ll feel better about your day if you take them on a consistent basis.
  55. At the end of the day, wet your sponge and then put it in the microwave for a total of 30 seconds. Remove it (use gloves because it might be hot) and you’ll have eradicated most of the germ-carrying bacteria.
  56. There is increasing evidence to show that spending more time in nature can reduce stress, combat depression, improve sleep and generally have a positive effect on wellbeing.
  57. Take a few minutes at the start or end of every day to list three things you’re thankful for.
  58. Remember that even the most well-respected news institutions are often biased in some way, making it important to form your own opinions instead of adopting those of others.
  59. By reading one Wikipedia article per day, you can expand your general knowledge, spark new ideas and hobbies, and become a more interesting person.
  60. Do something that scares you.
  61. Get yourself a sketch book and a selection of pens and pencils. Take a few minutes each day to draw whatever you like.
  62. 8 Steps for Building a Habit Stacking Routine
    1. Pick a Time and Location
    2. Build One Routine at a Time
    3. Start with “Small Wins”
    4. Create a Logical Checklist
    5. Have a “Reason Why”
    6. Be Accountable
    7. Create Small, Enjoyable Rewards
    8. Focus on Repetition
  63. The key to habit stacking is to stick to the routine instead of the individual habits. You want to automatically flow from one action right into the next action without thinking about each individual component.
  64. The end of the workday is actually a great time for a habit stacking routine because it is a good way to finish out your day on a positive note.
  65. Ego depletion is a person’s diminished capacity to regulate thoughts, feelings and actions.
  66. It’s always easier to do nothing than it is to take action.
  67. Repetition of the routine builds muscle memory to the point where you follow the routine, each day, without fail.
  68. It’s not the end of the world if you miss the occasional day. This happens to everyone. But you must never, ever miss two days.
  69. A good routine is compact, connected and beneficial in your life.
  70. There’s a fine line between the pressure you need to complete your routine and putting too much pressure on yourself. Too much pressure can actually cause a negative reaction, which is exactly what you don’t want.
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