November 24, 2022Healthy Habits

#32: The Role of Friction in Breaking Bad Habits

What's a bad habit that you've always wanted to break?

Lately, scrolling my Instagram feed and feeling bad about where I'm at in life has been my past time.

Then I'd mindlessly dive into the rabbit hole of Instagram Reels, wasting minutes of my life to either escape a daunting task or numb uncomfortable emotions.

The good thing is I'm aware of what I'm doing—and the fact that I should do something about my bad habit.

So this morning, I downloaded an app called one sec. It adds friction to the process of opening social media apps like Instagram by increasing the load time by 10 seconds or more. It also comes with a visual guide for you to practice mindful breathing as you wait for the app to open. To add, there's an option to automatically increase the load time by one second after every attempt of opening the restricted app.

After some waiting and breath work, you'll have two options: to continue opening the app or to click "I don't want to open Instagram."

And it works. Since I've installed one sec, I've only opened Instagram once—and just to reply to a DM. The app says I've saved 15 minutes of my life today, and I feel pretty good about that! I can imagine how much more time I'll be saving for the rest of the week, and how I can reallocate that to more fulfilling activities.

How about you? How can you add friction to avoid falling for your bad habits again?

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Hi, and thanks for reading! I'm Kishly, a cheerleader of creatives and copywriter turned marketing strategist. Bookmark this blog to read my daily atomic essays on marketing, compassionate productivity, creative living, and lifelong learning. Or subscribe to Process, my weekly-ish newsletter for young adults (and the young at heart) in pursuit of wisdom and wonder. ✨

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