I believe that splitting your concentration and even – gasp – multitasking means you end up with lots of things not finished. Probably not as good as they could be, either, but chiefly unfinished. Writer James Clear argues that there’s more to this one-thing-only approach, though, and he starts with trying to prove its value:
If you want to master multiple habits and stick to them for good, then you need to figure out how to be consistent. How can you do that?
Well, here is one of the most robust findings from psychology research on how to actually follow through on your goals:
Research has shown that you are 2x to 3x more likely to stick with your habits if you make a specific plan for when, where, and how you will perform the behavior. For example, in one study scientists asked people to fill out this sentence: “During the next week, I will partake in at least 20 minutes of vigorous exercise on [DAY] at [TIME OF DAY] at/in [PLACE].”
Researchers found that people who filled out this sentence were 2x to 3x more likely to actually exercise compared to a control group who did not make plans for their future behavior. Psychologists call these specific plans “implementation intentions” because they state when, where, and how you intend to implement a particular behavior.
Seriously, this is not the point of a 99U article I read today and that I want to recommend to you. The article is really about being good all the time: specifically, don’t reward yourself with bad treats just because you’ve been good and productive this week.
But there is more to life than being steadily productive and good. And if bad is a dark chocolate Mars bar, you need to live a little more. What’s the point of being a writer if you don’t stray from the Boy Scout code?
Within limits, said William thinking of the legal ramifications of anything illegal you might now be considering.
Saving the planet is good, obviously. But mmm… chocolate…
Okay, the logic in this piece from America’s National Public Radio is just that people prefer chocolate to sex and that if there are enough Mars bars in the world, we will therefore have fewer babies and the population won’t continue to destroy the planet with its demands for resources. Fine. Back to the chocolate – and how it works, how it actually works on us.
Plus statistics about that sex thing.
When you unwrap it, break off a piece and stick it in your mouth, it doesn’t remind you of the pyramids, a suspension bridge or a skyscraper; but chocolate, says materials scientist Mark Miodownik, “is one of our greatest engineering creations.”