Three ways to help you stick to your habits...

Remembering to do something is hard. Often it is much harder than doing the thing that you tried to remember. Habits-to-be are exactly no habits yet. The positive thing about habits (that they are automatic and effortless) is also what makes that it is so hard to create a new habit. In order to form habits you have to do things over and over again. This requires that you remember those things! One of the things we all know from experience, is the fact that remembering to do new actions can be hard. No matter how much you want to drink more water, it can be really hard to do. This is not because the task itself is hard but because it is just hard to remember. That is why a reminder might come in handy. If you frequently use your mobile phone or email – and who doesn’t! – then you can use these three tools to help you remind: Magic Reminder is an app for IPhone that allows you to create reminders that come along ‘random’ throughout the day. You can set reminders to come several times a day, daily, weekly or monthly. It is also possible to set a start time and an end time to make sure you do not receive your reminder when you are still asleep, or your afternoon tea-reminder in the morning. The Android version for this app is AlarmRoller, which I am unable to test since I use iOS. However, its ratings and reviews suggest that it does the same as Magic Reminder. It can also repeat the same habit-to-be several times a day, with random intervals and between a start time and end time. Hassleme sends you e-mails to remind...

Cues and counter productivity – on recycling...

Reduce, reuse, recycle. A famous combination Jack Johnson sang a song about. I have always been enthusiast about the idea of recycling. And I wanted to write a blog about cues. Just now that I planned that blog, I came across some evidence that suggests that cues pointing at recycling may make us more polluting… Recent research shows us recycling might lead to more usage; shooting its own foot. Recycling already is number three It is for good reasons they put reduce in front of reuse and recycling: energy saving and environment benefit more from the non-usage of products. Recycling comes third. And rightly so: a recycled product is reprocessed and hence is the least efficient one of the three R’s. If recycled products lead to more usage, Jack Johnson might want to change his song… Recycling in companies A lot of companies these days have pro-environmental policies. Two very common focus points are about paper: don’t print what need not be printed and put waste-paper in the paper bin. The biggest problem in the recycling chains is human behavior: it is non-predictable and often inconsistent with intentions. Intentions are often in place: people want to recycle their paper. Research by Holland, Aarts and Langendam shows that a cue on the desktop helps people to recycle both paper and plastic cups more often. A minor cue reminds them of their intentions. Holland, Aarts and Langendam used mini recycle bins on the tables to achieve this gain. The licensing effect Doing something good, like a though workout or eating a really healthy meal, can make us feel like we deserve a treat. Often this ends up with a neutralization of the good we did before: we take desert after our...