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Friday Refill: Give Tomorrow-You Advice from Today

Published 8/6/2021

Happy Friday everyone! Today we talk about fighting the inertia of the daily slide into habits. How many days have seemed to slip through your fingers? One way to combat this is to develop a "meta-behavior" that short-circuits your other habits. Write advice to yourself from today, for tomorrow. This is best done at the end of the day, or in preparation for the week ahead.

Transcript (Generated by OpenAI Whisper)
Happy Friday everybody, welcome to another Friday Reveal episode of Developer Tea. My name is Jonathan Cutrell. Have you ever found yourself? Well, I can almost say you have. All of us have found ourselves halfway through the day before we even realize it. The ease with which our average day moves past us is amazing. We can look at the clock and realize all of a sudden that it's one o'clock in the afternoon. And if we were to try to list out the things that we've accomplished, it might be a short list or there may be no list at all. Why exactly does this happen? That part is a little less clear. But one thing is for sure, our normal everyday routines are a much stronger predictor of our behaviors than whatever is on our to-do list. Maybe about that for a second. Your list of things that you have to do is much less powerful, much less powerful over you than your habits. And your habits are automatic. So one kind of way around this or a way to combat this at least is to make a new habit. And this is the habit I'm going to share with you today. I want you tonight or on Sunday nights, Sunday nights are really good for me because I look at the week ahead and I kind of do this at the weekly interval. You can do this at the daily interval, certainly nothing longer than a week. But I want you to take out some kind of journal. Maybe it's notes on your phone. I personally like writing things. It seems to stick better when I attach that kind of behavior of writing to it. And write down advice to your tomorrow self. And this advice shouldn't be, you know, cerebral lofty advice, ideals, at least the majority of it shouldn't be. Instead, focus on very practical advice. That you've been working on and what the next step is. What should you do next? Who should you talk to? What should your perspective on a particular problem be or what is the seed for the next thing that you need to take on? This advice is part of the habit. The second part of the habit is to actually open that when you go into your kind of work mode, especially if you're going into some kind of deep work mode. If you can find one specific thing to focus on when you're going into that deep work mode, this is the habit that you need to develop. And really all this is is a shortcut to reducing the cognitive load of trying to remember, trying to replay all of the events of the previous day or to reload into your mind the state that you had the previous day. So by having this kind of journaled notes or a touchstone that you can remind yourself where you were and specifically in the form of advice rather than viewing it as just notes, right? You're giving yourself something actionable. That's the critical kind of missing factor that a lot of people who just take notes, they miss that part, give yourself an actionable piece of advice for the following day for the following week. Thanks so much for listening to this. That is a brief episode of Developer Tea. We have three episodes a week and we have a Discord community to miss out on none of that. You can join that Discord community by hanging over to developertea.com slash discord. And of course, if you don't want to miss out on future episodes of this show, make sure you subscribe and whatever podcasting you're currently using. Thanks for listening and until next time, enjoy your tea.