Here's why that productivity hack you read about may not be working for you, and what to do about it.

Machine-learning for humans

On a fundamental level, your body is a machine. This is something we’re often cognizant of but easily forget, particularly where emotions are involved.

The important thing to keep in mind is that when trying to change systems and habits, cold turkey changes rarely work well. Your mind is resistant to change - it likes systems, and particularly systems that lead to pleasure or comfort.

All your brain remembers is what has worked well for it in the past. This usually means staying safe, being unadventurous, eating things that make you feel good, and consuming content your brain knows will be stimulating.

This is why you check your phone every five seconds just in case you missed an important notification, only to be disappointed when you realise the vibration was just Duolingo reminding you that you’re a slacker.

Going cold turkey on psychological addictions is a sure way to initiate a circle of frustration, failure and self-hatred.

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