What Is Behavior Stacking & Why Does Your Mind Like It So A lot?

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If you happen to battle to maintain your dishwasher empty, counters scrubbed, or stovetop stain-free, behavior stacking may resolve your kitchen cleansing woes. A science-backed productiveness hack, behavior stacking could make spring cleansing (and life typically) rather more manageable.

What’s behavior stacking?

Developed by self-help creator S. J. Scott, behavior stacking is a method that helps you create new habits by making the most of current ones. For example, should you’d like to start out scrubbing your counter nightly and also you already load the dishwasher every night time, you’d inform your self that earlier than you load any dishes, you need to scrub your counters. So, because the identify suggests, you’re stacking a brand new behavior onto an current one.

Why Does It Work?

The method of attaching a brand new, desired behavior to an current each day motion works due to a cognitive phenomenon referred to as synaptic pruning. James Clear, creator of The New York Occasions Finest Vendor, Atomic Habits, explains it greatest: “Synapses are connections between the neurons in your mind. The essential thought is that your mind prunes away connections between neurons that don’t get used and builds up connections that get used extra incessantly.” That means should you’re somebody that has washed their face each morning since highschool, then your mind will strengthen the connections between these face-cleaning neurons. On the similar time, should you’ve by no means flossed, your mind has pruned away the connections between these teeth-cleaning neurons and assigned that power in the direction of different habits. To place it plainly, your mind makes it simpler to do belongings you’re already doing. So, as a substitute of attempting to rewire your mind completely, behavior stacking leverages the ability of your current synapses to make adopting new habits more easy.

How To Get Began

If you happen to’d wish to implement behavior stacking in your life, there are just a few steps to take earlier than you get began. First, begin small. Establish a brand new, particular behavior you’d wish to kind—the brand new behavior shouldn’t take greater than 5 minutes to finish. Some examples embrace scrubbing your counter, writing a to-do listing, consuming a glass of water, and texting a member of the family. Subsequent, write down what you do on a regular basis—this could embrace issues like showering, brushing your tooth, your telephone, and stepping into mattress. When you’ve compiled your listing, choose the exercise that might be most handy to stack your new behavior on, after which get began.

Finest Practices

Behavior stacking works when each the brand new and current habits are very particular. Keep away from stacking a brand new behavior throughout basic actions like “whereas consuming dinner” and as a substitute select an identifiable second equivalent to “earlier than sitting all the way down to eat” or “when dinner is over.” Additionally, make certain your new behavior is clearly outlined and able to becoming right into a 5 minute window. As an alternative of asking your self to “clear the kitchen” select a extra particular motion like “scrub the counter.”

Tell us how you’ll be utilizing behavior stacking within the feedback under!

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