7 Second Rule

Sometimes I’ll be working on an essay or an assignment problem and if I get frustrated for just half a second, my reflex is to check my phone or go on social media. Next thing I know, I spent 20 minutes on Twitter and made zero progress on my work.

This behavior is automatic. Boredom or frustration is the trigger, checking my phone or social media is the routine, and dopamine is the reward.

One way I interrupt this routine is with the seven second rule.

If the source of the distraction is more than seven seconds away from me, for example my phone is in a different room or I block websites on my laptop, then I can break the habit loop.

April 29, 2021

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