The thirteenth chapter of Atomic Habits by James Clear talks about how to get started on new habits. The trick is to make it as undaunting (is ‘undaunting’ a word? Let’s assume it is) as possible. Starting a new habit with gigantic promises might be fine when you’re flush with enthusiasm in the opening days. But that enthusiasm will fade once the reality of the work sets in and soon the habit will drop off.
The alternative suggested by the book is to start with a 2-minute version of any habits you’re looking to build. Make it as easy as possible to check it off each day while you make it part of your routine. Create the habit (even if it’s just a truncated version) before expanding. Once you’ve built it into your routine, you can work longer and harder at it. Standardise before you optimise.
Recurrer helps with this entire process. One of the first things you do when you add a new recurring task in Recurrer is to set the time spent on the task. That allows the task to be scheduled appropriately alongside all the other recurring tasks in your day. If you set the initial version of the task as two minutes it’ll be more likely to pop up at the earliest possible opportunity. This helps you build the habit.
Even better, once you’ve established it as part of your routine, it will automatically adjust to the time you spend on it. If you start increasing your time spent to five, ten, twenty, thirty minutes, the task will start to build that in as the default time frame.
So go ahead and add all those small recurring tasks into your list, chip away at them all a little at a time until they become habits, then start to build on them.