I’m listening to the song ‘Spiritual State’ by the late artist: Nujabes. The last time I wrote, I also listened to it. Each time I started working this week, I listened to an instrumental rendition of Gary Jules’ ‘Mad World’. I’m trying to create triggers.

I enjoy writing, but I often let the Resistance get the better of me. The same goes for work. It’s just hard to start a lot of the time. By creating triggers, I’m hoping I can bypass procrastination through Pavlovian Conditioning. It’s really basic stuff: Play the songs as I write or work

  • develop an association - hear the song - immediately go into writing or work mode. That’s the hope, at least.

Many elite performers in combat sports, for instance, use a walkout song to immediately put themselves into a peak state for their fight. Morning and evening routines can be thought of in the same way. When I brush my teeth in the morning, I’m wide awake aftwerwards no matter how groggy I may have been when I picked up the the toothbrush. It’s not because there’s something in my toothpaste that’s waking me up. It’s just that brushing my teeth is my trigger for saying that sleep is no longer an option.

I’ve held an interest in habits and behavior formation for a long time, but I’ve never really thought about the triggers for those habits themselves. Instead, thinking that it’s best to always link habits to existing behaviors. It never occurred to me to manufacture a trigger for the purpose of illiciting some behavior. I’m intrigued by the idea and eager to see how I might apply triggers other behaviors I find it difficult to elicit naturally (cleaning seems to be a great next candidate).