Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones by James Clear.
Who is the author?
James Clear is an author, speaker, and blogger. He writes on a wide variety of topics related to self-improvement, from procrastination to intermittent fasting.
In November 2012, he began publishing two articles every week on his new productivity blog. Over time and with consistent effort, James attracted a devoted audience. Today he has over 1 million email subscribers. (Most authors would kill to launch their first book with such a large fan base!)
In 2018, Atomic Habits was published. It quickly became a bestseller, selling over 3 million copies worldwide. Also, it is probably the most well-reviewed book on habits ever, with over 22,000 reviews on Amazon and an average rating of 4.8 stars.
Human is a creature of habits. Ask a coffee drinker why you drink coffee in the morning; he may answer: "it Is just a habit." Think about it. We all repeat the same routines every day, every week, and every month.
Imagine John or, better, Martha, who recently graduated from college. She is working at her first real job. She brushes her teeth, eats oatmeal for breakfast, checks her phone, drives to work, comes home, watches TV, reads few pages of a book, and finally goes to bed at 11 PM. Then tomorrow, she repeats it all over again. We all do something similar.
So if we have good habits, then our lives will tend to move in a positive direction. But if we have bad habits, we will feel stuck, out of control, or falling behind. We can blame ourselves, but our habits need unveiling.
Through simple repetition, people have accomplished incredible things like saving money consistently. You want to become the best version of yourself.
As project managers, we want the team to be the best version of themselves and deliver the best project as a result. The process we do follow is a routine aiming at developing good habits along the way. There is a goal, and you are managing the building blocks in between leading to that end.
The waterfall loop, the agile loop, or cycles represent these basic principles of Planning, Doing, Studying, and Acting. In the waterfall, you have plans to know how to respond quasi automatically to most predictive situations such as risks, communication, and quality control.
We grow to become better project managers by putting in place the right system supporting the habits leading to the level of success needed.
Whatever changes you want to make in your life, habits are the best place to start. And good news! This book is full of practical steps and is based on proven psychology and science. These are steps you may have known, but it takes a system to start applying them.
A few lessons from the book:
1. The Compound Effect. Don't judge your progress too soon or too often
2. Goals vs. Systems. Focus on processes of continuous improvement
3 Identity Create lasting change from the inside out
4. The Habit Loop. All our habits have a cue, craving, response, and reward
5. Cues. Trigger good habits more often and discourage bad ones
6. Cravings. Connect good habits with enjoyment
7. Responses. Make positive habits easier to do and bad ones harder
8. Rewards. Immediately reinforce good habits and punish bad ones
Develop good habits takes time and is rewarding when done right. Like saving money and profiting from compound interest, good habits can be compound and attract other good habits. Then a snowball effect of good habits can roll into your life.
Developing the muscles of good habits gives way to a system that you can structure to avoid friction. Add some reward to it, and you gamify the whole system making it attractive to you. With an alarm or punishment system loud or painful enough, you get accountable.
Keep reinforcing because the path to maintaining the habits is an infinite journey
Atomic Habits is a guide to building good habits and breaking bad ones. James Clear says all our habits follow a 4-Step Habit Loop which includes: cue, craving, response, and reward. You'll learn practical techniques to "hack" each step so you can achieve lasting personal change.
Check out the https://jamesclear.com/atomic-habits for more insights.