Shaking off bad habits is hard, especially when it takes so much energy to change. You'd much rather be sleeping in or catching up on your favorite television shows. So, when it comes to being more productive, you feel like a lost cause. But, there is hope for you yet! Embrace your laziness and design productivity plans that reduce the friction associated with your task.
For example, productivity blogger Gregory Ciotti wanted to get himself to the gym more often, so he made his morning routine a little easier by making small preparations the night before.
"I pack my gym clothes in a bag the night before and place them right next to my door," he says. "On cold days, I even place my jacket on the counter-top by the door. By again designing for laziness, I eliminate all possible excuses by getting things ready when my willpower is high (aka: the night before, when I don’t have to go to the gym)."
The point here is to save your mental energy for the more important things. We all suffer from decision fatigue, which leads us to make bad decisions when we are tired. By reducing friction, we are rationing our mental energy for the things that really matter. This will help keep you focused on the important things, which will result in higher levels of productivity.
This also works for the flip side -- if you are wanting to break a bad habit, increase the friction associated with it. Keep your cigarettes in a hard-to-reach cabinet, or keep your junk food in the garage. The more effort it takes for you to continue the bad habits, the more you'll want to break them.