We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence is not an act, but a habit.
Staying home for the past few weeks has proven challenging for me for a few different reasons, but mainly because I’ve found it hard to keep some habits that are ingrained more easily on my regular day-to-day—the main one: exercising.
Through the past few years, I’ve built a strong habit of working out often, especially first thing in the morning but squeezing in time for it late in the evening if I couldn’t do it in the morning for a few days in a row. For me, having a place to go to, and some cues for it (waking up early, having my gym clothes ready and everything packed), made for an easy trigger to kick off this habit.
But of course, now I don’t have a place to go to. And it’s easier for me to keep on working on whatever I’m focusing on at the moment, so I stay working on until later in the evening than usual (since my coworking space closes at the end of the day, it’s a nice reminder to stop working before it gets too late) - which causes me going later to sleep, and not waking up as early as usual.
It’s funny; what are the foundations of good habits (cues and triggers) can also be the weakest elements that make the whole thing crumble down.
To fight this I’m inspired by Matt D’Avella’s Two-Day Rule, which would be summarized as: never skip what you’re trying to accomplish more than two days in a row. It is a framework that can help you define your baselines:
I aim to be an active person, so I’m going to be working out at least once every two days.
I want to cook more meals at home, so I’m only allowed to skip cooking as long as I did it already yesterday.
This is where the secret ingredient kicks in: in the rule, there is margin built-in. You can fuck up, and if you don’t feel like it, you are allowed to give yourself some grace. But you still need to show some consistency. Doing something at least once every two days gives you a success rate of 4 days out of 7 in a week. And if you build the consistency to do something more than half of your days, you’ll be doing it every day in no time.
So I am going to apply the two days rule for a few things in my life right now, and I’d love to invite you to do the same.
And if you do, let me know how that goes. 😉
Some links for you
Things like these were what attracted me to the Buffer team in the first place and made it perfectly clear to me that it was a team I wanted to work with. The level of transparency is always mind-blowing, and it is appreciated even more in moments of uncertainty like this.
Here you have Buffer’s shareholder update regarding COVID-19’s impact on the company 👆. Definitely worth a read!
This is an amazing exploration by Ahmad Shadeed about some CSS tricks the Facebook team has used on the new Facebook design, like using SVGs for the avatars, empty divs for spacing purposes, and… using an image for the main header drop shadow! Are we back in the 2000s?!
Turns out the image background for the drop shadow is for performance purposes, and if you check the full article, it’s full of some counter-intuitive approaches that have a very good why behind each of them. 🤓