Micro Habits and Learning

Kevin Eikenberry writes a cracking blog and has recently been discussing micro-habits. If I understand him properly a micro-habit is a habit that you have for a short period of time – but then you lose.

So for example if you read a book for 30 minutes every day for a week – for that week you have the ‘micro-habit’ of reading. No doubt some people become more comfortable with the reading micro-habit, find some real benefits from it and it becomes a fully fledged habit. Something that they do, as a part of who they are, routinely. So micro-habits are experiments with new ways of being in the work. New ways of operating.

By definition these micro-habits are not natural behaviours. They are things that you have to make yourself do. Yo are forced to deviate from your norms. Once you experience some benefits and these outweigh the discomforts then the micro habits become habits – and hey presto – you have learned!

The big problem is putting up with the discomfort for long enough for the benefits to start to become apparent. Often the benefits lag behind the investment. Sometimes we give up too early.

So lots of micro-habits lead to lots of learning.

Is it true that without micro-habits learning in any real practical sense cannot happen?

  • What micro-habits have you taken up at the moment?
  • How long will you stick with them for?
  • How will you know if they are working for you?
  • If you aren’t trying new things then have you stopped learning?
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One Response

  1. A great question. Learning (if we are talking about learning skills) requires that we try, that we practice. Given that, I believe the discomfort of trying something new that you describe is related to stepping out of our comfort zone – which we must do to learn a new skill or start a new habit.

    Thanks for a great post!

    Kevin 🙂

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