HackerNews Readings
40,000 HackerNews book recommendations identified using NLP and deep learning

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The Soul of A New Machine

Tracy Kidder

4.6 on Amazon

177 HN comments

A Pattern Language: Towns, Buildings, Construction (Center for Environmental Structure Series)

Christopher Alexander , Sara Ishikawa , et al.

4.7 on Amazon

176 HN comments

Meditations: A New Translation

Marcus Aurelius and Gregory Hays

4.8 on Amazon

172 HN comments

The Innovator's Dilemma: When New Technologies Cause Great Firms to Fail

Clayton M. Christensen, L.J. Ganser, et al.

4.5 on Amazon

168 HN comments

The Millionaire Next Door: The Surprising Secrets of America's Wealthy

Thomas J. Stanley and William D. Danko

4.6 on Amazon

166 HN comments

Infinite Jest: Part I With a Foreword by Dave Eggers

Sean Pratt, David Foster Wallace, et al.

4.3 on Amazon

166 HN comments

The Elements of Style: Annotated Edition

William Strunk Jr. and James McGill

4.7 on Amazon

155 HN comments

Outliers: The Story of Success

Malcolm Gladwell

4.7 on Amazon

152 HN comments

A Guide to the Good Life: The Ancient Art of Stoic Joy

William B. Irvine

4.6 on Amazon

151 HN comments

Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business

Neil Postman and Andrew Postman

4.6 on Amazon

151 HN comments

Stranger in a Strange Land

Robert A. Heinlein, Christopher Hurt, et al.

4.4 on Amazon

151 HN comments

Antifragile: Things That Gain from Disorder

Nassim Nicholas Taleb, Joe Ochman, et al.

4.5 on Amazon

150 HN comments

The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business

Charles Duhigg, Mike Chamberlain, et al.

4.6 on Amazon

149 HN comments

The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion

Jonathan Haidt and Gildan Media, LLC

4.6 on Amazon

144 HN comments

Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In

Roger Fisher , William L. Ury, et al.

4.6 on Amazon

143 HN comments

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robotnikmanonMay 12, 2020

My favorite go to books:

The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg
How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie
How to Stop Worrying and Start Living by Dale Carnegie
10% happier by Dan Harris
Man's Search for Meaning by Viktor E. Frankl

dawilsteronDec 7, 2017

The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg gives incredible insight into how to build habits. I highly recommend it.

ryanmarshonJan 23, 2015

Training is forgotten with time. Life experiences seared into your lizard brain never go away.

On that note The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg is a great book on the science of how this works.

antonio-ramadasonDec 4, 2018

I highly recommend "The Power of Habit" by Charles Duhigg[0]. It gives great advice on how habits can change your life.

[0] - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Power_of_Habit

muzanionJan 14, 2020

Games do an excellent job at abstracting it out. Here's a nice thesis on game systems [PDF]: https://pure.uva.nl/ws/files/1167817/102082_thesis.pdf

Duhigg's The Power of Habit, and some of his other books also do a good job at applying one principle across many fields.

nicknorenaonJuly 30, 2014

The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg. I can honestly say it's not only impacted the way I think about habits, but it's impacted my actual habits as well, and for the better I might add! Leisure read turned life hack textbook :)

bettermonkeyonDec 3, 2016

There is an excellent book "the power of habit" that delves into this very topic. Its a quick read.

bettermonkeyonDec 3, 2016

There is an excellent book "the power of habit" that delves into this very topic. Its a quick read.

sn9onNov 4, 2017

The Power of Habit is a great book on how to form new habits or modify existing ones.

chrisweeklyonMar 28, 2018

About 6 years ago I read this terrific book, "The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business" [1]...
Highly recommended!

[1] https://smile.amazon.com/dp/B0055PGUYU/

hanumanthanonJune 22, 2018

As per the book - The Power of Habit - The 5am alarm and wake up is the keystone habit which in turn triggers further habits.
I found this to be true where one good habit triggers many others and vice versa is true too

sievaonDec 28, 2013

The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg. Game changing. Humans are creatures of habit, and we need to be able to recognize these habits to successfully control them

ellioteconJuly 10, 2016

Highly recommend reading The Power of Habit (https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0055PGUYU/ref=dp-kindle-redirect?...)

It goes over strategies and psychology of habits and how to change bad ones and form good ones. I literally just finished this book before opening HN to see this, and I loved it.

b3kartonDec 23, 2019

Sure, some of it might be. But so are many other habits that we have. Marketing is a part of our culture know, and is inevitably influencing us, for better or worse. Charles Duhigg talks a bit about this in his "The Power of Habit".

radexonDec 28, 2013

Oh and the thing that impressed me is that it's not just the typical BS-filled self-help book. The Power of Habit appears to be very well-researched and doesn't promise wonders, just shows you how habits work and how you can influence them.

davidn20onDec 6, 2020

Replace them with good habits. It's actually almost impossible to eliminate habits. Especially long-standing ones. The best you can do is avoid the cue or change the routine. I highly suggest reading "The Power Of Habit" or "Atomic Habit."

latishsehgalonMar 5, 2016

My top 4 recommendations (full list and notes at http://www.dotnetsurfers.com/books/)
The Power of Habit,
Search Inside Yourself,
The Willpower Instinct,
Zero to One

blufoxonMar 5, 2013

I am currently reading The Power of Habit. Great book indeed.

JoeAcchinoonSep 5, 2015

I'm reading How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big: Kind of the Story of My Life by Scott Adams and I'm about to start The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg.

I'm also reading again Comme un roman by Danil Pennac, a beautiful essay about the joys of reading.

robotnikmanonMay 7, 2020

It is possible for organizations to change course, but it usually requires a crisis or disaster to occur which pushes the drive for change.

The book "The Power of Habit" has some good examples of large organizations changing course.

AKdeBergonApr 4, 2018

"The Power of Habit" by Charles Duhigg.....I have other good books too but this one is an asset...Every desk should have it

venomsnakeonMar 28, 2014

There were examples in Charles Duhigg's The Power of Habit about people that have managed to turn their life around. Probably it is worth taking a look at.

Also - as a person that has struggled with (thankfully) only weight - there are no silver bullets.

koolhead17onDec 14, 2018

Read "The Power of Habit" so feels like "Atomic Habits" will not be much different.

katpasonDec 3, 2016

I'd also recommend reading the power of habit (I posted my own comment but then deleted when I saw this).

It talks through studies where people have broken bad habits through creating new ones.

YoAdrianonDec 20, 2013

Target knows everything about their customers. I'm not even kidding. There's a whole outline of their data mining in the book "The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business". It's scary.

mindfulgeekonDec 4, 2016

+1 to reading The Power of Habit

Meditate. There are many different ways. Find one that works for you. It is the best way to become more conscious of your habits and less reactive.

codethiefonDec 3, 2016

I second the recommendation for "The Power of Habit". I read it years ago and it has completely changed the way I think about human behavior and interpret the actions of the people in my life. Among the self-help books I've read it's probably the one book that has had the greatest impact on my life.

boboshaonDec 18, 2017

A couple of other book recommendations that examine why we stick to the familiar and known:

1. The Power of Habit
2. Hit makers

padraigfonDec 28, 2019

My criterion is 'influential on me', they may not necessarily be the greatest works of literature.

Mastery - Robert Greene

The Talent Code - Daniel Coyle

Peak - Anders Ericsson

The Power of Now - Eckhart Tolle

A Guide to the Good Life: The Ancient Art of Stoic Joy - William B. Irvine

The Power of Habit - Charles Duhigg

Make It Stick: The Science of Successful Learning - Peter C. Brown

Free Play: Improvisation in Life and Art - Stephen Nachmanovitch

Sapiens - Yuval Noah Harari

bootheadonFeb 25, 2016

It seems to be an excerpt from Charles Duhig's (author of The Power of Habit) new book.

maroonblazeronDec 31, 2019

I've read "Atomic Habits" by James Clear and "The Power of Habit" by Charles Duhigg. Does "Tiny Habits" bring anything new to the table? Or is it a reformulation of these other ideas?

czbondonNov 27, 2017

Check out the book "The Power of Habit" - it goes into findings and science behind lasting change. It is an interesting read, and not just dry science.

Edit: Summary link. http://www.deconstructingexcellence.com/the-power-of-habit-s...

medellonSep 14, 2014

The book The Power of Habit (2012) has been highly recommended to me on this very topic.

VomzoronJan 1, 2014

The power of habit by Charles Duhigg.
It gives you insight in how habits work. More specifically, it explains the habit loop. Once you understand habits, it's much easier to change them.


pmcpintoonDec 28, 2013

For me, there were two books that I consider complementary:
Thinking, Fast and Slow - Daniel Kahneman
The Power of Habit - Charles Duhigg

bootheadonDec 3, 2012

Yes. Both of these are fantastic.

I still procrastinate like crazy sometimes though, so I'd add to this small list a book called the power of habit. This is the missing link on how to make your behaviour automatic.

rasta78onMay 3, 2020

"Often I am so overwhelmed that I just watch stuff on youtube." That's was funny ))
I would recommend reading some books on this topic for ex: Essentialism, The power of habit. In general, this comes from a lack of priority so use the Eisenhower Matrix to establish that priority and make the conscious decision to do the one thing which is most important.

ThrowadevonMay 1, 2013

There aren't that many different ways to do it. Either cold turkey, or taper. Try cutting it down to half what you drink now. It'll be shitty, but stick with it. At least you're getting half.

Look into the research about breaking habits, so maybe read "The Power of Habit".

fazkanonJuly 28, 2016

thats a great persepctive, can you elaborate a bit, I have read "the power of habit", but the summary of thinking fast and slow. Are you pointing to the clue, action and reward steps. I know you were just commenting, but I am a nerd for this type of stuff and would be interested in your original thought....

nameless_wickedonFeb 6, 2019

Charles Duhigg "The Power of Habit" and Kelly McGonigal "The Willpower Instinct" both greatly impacted my perception of people's actions and ways of life. Currently reading "Thinking Fast And Slow" and it has the same effect on me.

Jordan B. Peterson "12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos" made me more proactive and helped to summarize some past experience.

Richard Feynman "Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman!" awesome book, about awesome life of awesome person.

antisocialonJuly 31, 2019

I haven't read Atomic Habits yet, but I read 'The power of habit' by Charles Duhgig. I think motivational quotes, inspirational stories are overrated and habits are underrated.
Inspirational stories are great to make you realize that you too can achieve something, but they stop there, they don't take you any further.

Recently, I stumbled on a website called Focusmate and I think this is going to help me in the long run.

sn9onMar 9, 2017

> 3) the existence of exceptional willpower is a mark of exceptional self-discipline, a level not practical to achieve for most; and that

I don't agree that this is what's going on.

People don't avoid obesity by exceptional willpower. They just have healthy eating habits, usually ones formed during childhood.

Likewise, overcoming obesity and returning oneself to a healthier weight that one can maintain requires changing habits and one's relationship with food.

Habit formation and modification can be difficult, but it's sufficiently well understood that it can be implemented.

The difficulty is getting information into people's hands about how to modify habits successfully (I like the book The Power of Habit), cutting through the misinformation surrounding what constitutes healthy eating habits and how to lose weight, and often just education about how to cook food cheaply and in a way that doesn't seem intimidating to people who are pressed for time and resort to fast food out of convenience.

When people know the concrete steps one must take to achieve something, they become that much more willing to believe they can do it.

superasnonDec 8, 2014

Programming related: Perl cookbook (helped me to setup my first online business and do what i do today)

Life related: The Power of Habit (didn't skip a single day at gym for 3 months non stop because of what i learned from this book)

mechanical_fishonAug 27, 2013


You've got food and shelter and clothing and a job, which is more than a lot of people can say. Now focus on being happy. Go out and be around people. Tune up that guitar. Get one of those pets that you don't have.

Level up in programming (or accounting or mathematics or surface-mount soldering or art history, for that matter) if that's fun, but don't think of it as some kind of necessary step in making more money. Frankly, taking steps to make yourself happier and meet more people may be just as likely to help you make money in the long run.

Get a project and work on it every day. Practice practicing. Read The Power of Habit.

wyclifonNov 13, 2017

If there's something missing from the discipline and willpower equation, it's habit formation. Discipline is good, but it means a constant struggle. You have to make good habits the new normal with a cue>routine>reward loop. There's a lot of good stuff about this in the book "The Power of Habit" by Duhigg

ryanmarshonDec 3, 2016

Yes and it's explained in awesome book The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg

You need a cue/craving -> response -> reward cycle

The reward should be slightly unpredictable to make the habit really addicting.

So best way to build (or deprogram) a habit: keep a log of how you feel before you do (or don't do) something you want to change. Become aware of your "cue" or craving. Begin to introduce a different response that comes with a reward.

For instance, if you don't feel great after leaving the gym you'll never make it an unconscious habit.

sn9onSep 21, 2016

'Habit' is definitely a better word. The Power of Habit is actually a great book that pretty much articulates its title.

Willpower/discipline is better used to build individual habits. "Good habits" will build on each other and give you huge returns in productivity, time management, and psychological well-being.

chrisweeklyonJune 12, 2018

Slight tangent: anyone interested in human habits really should read ["The Power of Habit"](http://charlesduhigg.com/the-power-of-habit/)

DelmaniaonNov 15, 2018

> subsidising Starbucks baristas not so much

I'd recommend you read the Power of Habit. The author talks about the training program Starbucks puts its employees through to build willpower.

TheGRSonDec 25, 2015

I had heard about this a few years ago and I find it fascinating. Entertainment being used for good! Its interesting how effective this particular show has been, so I have to wonder how effective those heavy-handed episodes of Family Matters or Home Improvement were.

I'm sure there are many examples of a TV show heavily impacting stuff that we encounter in our everyday lives, but I also would recommend reading The Power of Habit, as it has a whole chapter about how TV was used to effectively get people to start brushing their teeth before bedtime.

treehau5onAug 19, 2016

reading "The Power of Habit", "Mindset" and "How we Learn", it is ringing more true to me each day that we all have a fixed budget of willpower, creative thought, and focused learning -- and all three are extremely taxed working as a software engineer.

I also am a firm believer in the power of falling asleep while thinking about a problem, and waking up with a fresh approach on how to solve the problem. Thomas Edison was famous for taking naps with a steel bearing on a plate. Salvador Dali had a similar technique he called "slumber with a key"

123pie123onAug 8, 2021

I would probably class myself as someone with an addictive personality. not with drugs (except alcohol), but with anything - if I like something, I find it very hard to not have more, wether it's good or bad. eg going to the gym 6x week or getting takeaways every day

I've analsysed this for sometime and the best (for me) way of dealing with it is to keep track of every thing I do or I like.

"The power of habit" book helped a lot with my ability to control my addictions

chris_jonJuly 26, 2021

The Charisma Myth by Olivia Fox Cabane. The premise of this book is that you can change your psychology to become more of a people person, by cultivating confidence, warmth and the ability to focus. It was recommended by someone on Hacker News six or seven years ago and I wish I remembered who it was so I could thank them. This book changed my life more than any other.

Apprenticeship Patterns by Adewale Oshineye and Dave Hoover: A set of "design patterns" for your career as a software engineer. I read this relatively late on, when my career was in a bit of a rut, and I credit it for giving me the motivation and the tools to get out of that rut. I wish I'd found it earlier.

Other brilliant non-technical books: The Manager's Path by Camille Fournier, Radical Candor by Kim Scott, Mastering Communication At Work by Jon Wortmann and Ethan Becker, Mindset by Carol Dweck, Drive by Daniel Pink, The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg.

Some brilliant books focussing a bit more on tech and code craft: Growing Object Oriented Software, Guided by Tests ("The GOOS Book") by Nat Pryce and Steve Freeman, Refactoring by Martin Fowler, Clean Code and Clean Architecture by Bob Martin.

smonteonApr 10, 2014

"This "don't break the chain" approach has worked extremely well for me".

I believe you are certainly not the only one. Changing "tasks" into habits greatly helps to achieve your goals. I recently read an excellent book about habits called "The Power of Habit" from Charles Duhigg. I sincerely recommend reading it.

And for the OP, thanks for posting and sharing your ideas. I can relate to many of the things mentioned in the post. Especially for the anxiety part. It does not matter what you are coding, as long as you code something. I've solved some problem's from Project Euler and after each exercise I've felt a sense of accomplishment and restful.

tmalyonDec 23, 2015

The Sun Also Rises - Hemingway ( great book )

Hooked How to Build Habit-Forming Products - Nir Eyal ( great book very insightful )

The Power of Habit - Charles Duhigg ( interesting topic, long book )

Bandit Algorithms - John White ( great book, very short and easy to get through )

Ask - Ryan Levesque ( interesting ideas on sales funnels for websites )

Predictable Revenue - Aaron Ross ( so so, I liked some of the sales ideas but I see them used too often now )

Sherlock Holmes Adventures - Mike Ashley ( good book if you like the original and want some fresh material )

jkchuonDec 22, 2016

The Power of Habit - Charles Duhigg (highly recommended)

Steve Jobs - Walter Isaacson (recommended)

Modern Romance - Aziz Ansari (audiobook recommended)

Boomerang - Michael Lewis (great if you have a light interest in macroeconomics)

Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future (recommended)

Outliers - Malcolm Gladwell (recommended)

Joyland - Stephen King (great, short read)

Creativity, Inc. - Ed Catmull (Parts on the history of Pixar were interesting)

alexwildeonDec 19, 2017

1. Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind

2. Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman! (Adventures of a Curious Character)

3. The Loyal: The Story of Atwood and the Second Civil War (disclosure - my father wrote this book)

4. The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business

5. Grit

I thoroughly enjoyed all of these. It was interesting to see how Grit and The Power of Habit played off each other.

halfcatonDec 28, 2014

A lot of this says, to me, that the human brain doesn't do well with concepts like statistics and probabilities. I think the far more interesting questions are why we do irrational things in the face of clear and overwhelming evidence. For instance, the knowledge of how to become physically fit and wealthy is public knowledge and freely available to anyone with internet access. I know I shouldn't eat that giant piece of cake right before I go to bed, but I do anyway, every night. I think the answer is, we are ruled by our chemical makeup, much more than any of us care to admit. The research discussed in "The Power of Habit" is the most interesting as far as ways to overcome our dependence on chemical/hormonal states ruling our lives.

a7b3faonFeb 24, 2020

This seems like a cool take on a personal organizer.

I especially like the habit tracking. Not a lot of similar products have a
feature like that, and the fact that it breaks down the process of creating a
habit for you is really neat. I actually read The Power of Habit a while ago,
but never really succeeded at putting it into practice.

If I want to put my important data into an app like this, I want to be confident
that I'm not going to lose it. One feature that I missed from the demo is
the ability to undo actions. For example, I accidentally marked a habit as done
when I meant to click the "+1" button; then I had a "fake" habit in the
Achievements tab and had to manually remake the habit. It would be nice if I
could just press Ctrl-Z instead.

However, I love how easy it is to get started. The fact that you can just start
using the app right in the browser and then sign up when you're ready is exceptional

I signed up for the newsletter, and would definitely check this out again when
it's a little bit more robust. I hope you get to keep working on it!

ralduonOct 15, 2013

Story about the sports coach along with other similar ones are mentioned in the best-selling book, "The Power of Habit[1]", which is an excellent read describing exactly an example of what you have called the framework-oriented approach. Recommended.

1: http://www.amazon.com/The-Power-Habit-What-Business/dp/14000...

abhayhegdeonAug 9, 2020

This is an amazing piece of advice. At the risk of sounding cliche, I would still like to recommend The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg. The basic premise of the book is this: The Habit loop is a neurological pattern that governs any habit. It consists of three elements: a cue, a routine, and a reward. Understanding these components can help in understanding how to change bad habits or form good ones.

itcheezeonJan 17, 2019

I think there is evidence that in some cases targeted advertising works fairly well. In the book, "The Power of Habit," for instance, it goes into the Target story about their marketing to expecting mothers. This for instance is an opportunity for marketers and businesses to acquire new customers at a point in their life when they're likely to shop somewhere else and become regular customers.

They were able to do this by analyzing purchasing patterns and according to the book were fairly successful.

I'd imagine that online tracking when combined with other sources of data provide a lot of insight into what customers are looking for and in some cases can provide a big payoff.

ebertxonJan 11, 2013

I recently read The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg which from my perspective goes in line with some of the things you stated. It's changed how I view setting goals. I still will decide on some specific result I want, but I focus most of my energy on deciding on and trying to inculcate habits that will move me toward the desired result.

Anyway, the book is good. I think it covers an important aspect of goal-setting that can easily be overlooked.

dansoonAug 8, 2012

I hate to plug a book that I'm only 20% of the way in, but everyone here who is designing/selling a product would get a real kick out of Charles Duhigg's "The Power of Habit"


(Duhigg is a NYT writer and that piece about how Target knew that a girl was pregnant before her father did was an excerpt from this book)

When I saw the HN headline I thought it might be referring to Febreze, a product that Duhigg devotes a chapter to. The sales strategy wasn't about convincing people that they stunk, but pitching Febreze as a product that you used after you cleaned a room, to associate it with the "reward" of a clean room.

Duhigg's book also touches on how Pepsodent became a breakthrough product partly because an ad-man convinced Americans they needed to battle the film that naturally covers their teeth.

jt2190onSep 4, 2018

We should be careful with our terminology here, as I think what we're really interested in is experience, not age.

Also, think we should take care when using terms like "intelligence", i.e. "fluid intelligence" versus "crystalized intelligence". I'm reading The Power of Habit by Charles Duhig, and it outlines a model wherein the notion of "crystalized intelligence" is attributed to a person already having a model for solving a problem, whereas "fluid intelligence" is associated with someone facing a novel (to them) problem.

The key takeaway is not that "intelligence" becomes "crystalized" with age, it was that the brain is quick to identify solutions that might work in a particular situation when that situation is similar to one experienced before. Thus it's easier for someone experienced to become "stuck" because they don't realize that the situation they're facing is, in fact, novel, and requires learning a new routine.

aerowongonFeb 14, 2013

Read The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg.

You'll find the answer.

You'll know willpower is really overrated.

You can't motivate yourself to accomplish a thing, but building a solid system around [your achievement] will do the course.

sn9onAug 5, 2017

Have you read The Power of Habit?

The focus on willpower is almost inherently demoralizing and absolutely not the best strategy. You should focus on building habits, even one at a time, so that you can let the habits take over without expending much in the way of willpower.

The building of habits is what takes energy, but once they've been built, they almost run on autopilot.

And on a different note, there's a difference between exercise and training. Training for a goal can be a much more productive use of your time and will probably get you better results in terms of fitness and body composition depending on the goal chosen.

LeonBonOct 29, 2020

A crowded public bus has far more intense interruptions than those in the workplace. I've never been thrown from my seat at work. (Ok -- once.) At work I've never been surrounded by a group of strangers having a shouting argument. And much more.

And there were many bus trips where I would not get a seat until the very end of the ride, and still manage to get work done. A single burst of work was frustrating, but you'd make the most of it. Honestly - it was a transformative experience. I completely agree with you here:

> it helps substantially to know that even if I only do 2 minutes of the thing, I'm making progress.

...and that was the trick for me. Transforming it from "in 2 minutes I won't even get the IDE loaded" to a situation where "in 2 minutes I'll make small but genuine progress, progress that I can bank. A tiny but solid win." And seeing that happen over and over is what got my brain into a place where I would be kind of "proud" instead of "frustrated".

With this topic in general, when you say:

> I don't like the "wear running shoes" example either

...I think maybe you'd need to go back to the real source of this stuff, which is not the linked article, and not James Clear, but Fogg. Also the book 'the power of habit' by Duhigg is quite in depth.

Because if you only read the 1-minute pop-psychology versions it's very easy to pick holes in it and it looks quite superficial, I get that. They present it as just little "hacks" and how can you get a deep trust in it, if it's just gimmicky little hacks?

Anyway, best wishes.

james_s_tayleronDec 12, 2018

Why Nations Fail (amazing!)

Chimpanzee Politics (interesting)

Corporate Confidential (paranoid, but worth a read)

Developer Hegemony (red pill for developers!!!)

Bargaining For Advantage (reasonable)

Tempo: Timing, Tactics and Strategy in Narrative-Driven Decision Making (abstract as hell but rewarding)

Thinking Fast and Slow (loved it)

The Elephant In The Brain (seriously underrated)

The Brain That Changes Itself (inspirationally freaky)

The Power of Habit (good!)

The Secret Barrister (mildly disturbing)

Thinking In Systems (huge fan of this book!)

A Short History of Truth (meh...)

Man's Search For Meaning (brooo... I am so sorry)

Thinking In Bets (meh.. really meh)

The Road To Ruin (alright. Interesting even.)

Lying For Money (lots of fun!)

Great Answers To Tough Interview Questions (what it says on the tin)

Traction (good overview of marketing tactics)

Lean Customer Development (pretty good)

The Mom Test (eye opening)

Lean B2B (solid playbook)

Principles (instant classic)

muzanionOct 15, 2019

Charles Duhigg's The Power of Habit covered how an aluminum company did it.

They made safety absolute highest priority. It was a goal that the unions and managers didn't disagree on. The processes were designed to empower lower ranked people to override when things were getting dangerous, and the CEO had to know within a few hours whether an accident happened. Long story short, this put in the processes to let information flow up the chain rapidly.

Again, the key is the right information. It's possible to have all kinds of junk go up when everyone can talk to the CEO. Managers act as abstraction layers for information for a good reason.

The story also says that once the process was in place, other information like optimizations went up the chain and profited them millions. But you want to set a standard that only really important information should go up this path.

shockonDec 3, 2016

I've read the book The Power of Habit and found it enlightening, but the bits I'm having most trouble with are choosing rewards and getting started. The part about choosing rewards is, by far, the most difficult for me. Everybody keeps saying "make sure to reward yourself after doing the thing you want to make habitual" but nobody provides actual examples of rewards that work and are not harmful (no, I don't want to eat a cookie each time I do the habit).

klenwellonNov 16, 2014

Reminds me of first Bush Treasury Secretary John O'Neill's emphasis on safety when he took over at Alcoa in the 80's. It was part of a broader strategy that he referred to as habitual excellence." I first came across it in Charles Duhigg's book, The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business, where he provides an interesting account of how it helped mend crippling mistrust between labor and management. Here's a newspaper article that quickly summarizes it:


We've done something like this at my workplace by moving to scrum (with regular retrospectives) and, more importantly, by adopting stricter coding standards together with regular code reviews (weekly as a group and by using pull requests with continuous integration.)

I would have liked to see us extend this to something even more like O'Neill's approach with a greater focus on eliminating production bugs (especially with respect to our deployment practices where unexpected snags abound). But I haven't been able to get management support for that. (Our more critical business function is to keep existing infrastructure humming rather than develop new products so I feel it would make more sense for us than for, say, a startup, but I guess no one like admitting to themselves that their main reason-for-being is to maintain the status quo.)

Nevertheless, all together, the changes have made a world of difference.

rasengan0onApr 29, 2019

I am in no means to speak as a serial unfinisher, but I'm more comfortable with myself and found this helpful:

I took this when Dr. Fogg started developing this: https://www.tinyhabits.com/ after finishing The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg

Key takeaways for me:

- Habits replace other habits: sitting at desk --> take a break in fresh nature air
- I can anchor other habits on keystone habits: taichi --> plant based diet
- If I don't follow through, maybe it was not worth it originally (stop doing and start being): erlang, haskell <insert language here> --> enjoy the lang you build stuff with

petyrbaelishonSep 26, 2018

There is some evidence that the higher power business works[1]. Anyway, it will always be difficult to directly judge a particular organization rather than its methods.

[1] The Power of Habit, by Charles Duhigg : while not scientifically spotless, the book directly addresses the methods of AA. To successfully establish a change in habit, one needs a belief that I can change : there is some sound evidence presented in the book.

Smart Change, by Art Marckman : he is literally a scientist and I can't find anything scientifically incorrect in this book. He also mentions and gives evidence for the advantage of belief in one's ability to change : here the context is not directly AA.

wushuporkonDec 23, 2015

Traction by Justin Mares, Gabriel Weinberg - would probably reread

Growth Hacker Marketing by Ryan Holiday

How to Fail at Almost Everything by Scott Adams - great read
Scaling Up By Verne Harnish

Great By Choice by Jim Collins - love the whole series

The Ultimate Sales Machine by Chet Holmes - probably worth a reread

How to Win at the Sport of Business By Mark Cuban - good read

Elon Mush by Ashlee Vance - need I say more

The Hard Thing about Hard Things By Ben Horowitz

The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg - probably need to deeply absorb this - a lot of good stuff

Copy This! By Paul Orfalea - another good "small business" entrepreneur book

The E-Myth Revisited By Michael Gerber - 2nd time read. Got more out of it this time.

The People's Tycoon (Ford) by Steven Watts - I love reading about businessmen from this age

Scrum by JJ Sutherland Jeff Sutherland - good read for development teams

fernandokokochaonSep 16, 2018

1. "The Power of Habit" by Charles Duhigg. Gave me a better perspective on how to tackle my bad habits like endless watching YouTube after work, drinking too much coffee etc.

2. "The Power of Your Subconscious Mind" by Joseph Murphy. Sold me on the idea of positive thinking, but generally I found the book crappy.

3. "To Kill a Mockingbird" by Harper Lee. The only nover on the list. Definitely a good read.

4. "The Pragmatic Programmer". I fell in love with the idea of "the network" of views and controllers.

5. "The Software Craftsman" by Sandro Mancuso. Great one. Made me recosinder a few (quite a few!) things in my workflow and project.

6. "Deep Work" by Cal Newport. Amazing one. Can't wait for Monday to implement some at work. I even ordered 3 more copies for my team.

gmjoeonOct 21, 2018

If you're treating that as their primary function, you're just throwing away money, tons of money.

If you decide you want to work out and eat right, take responsibility for it and truly make the personal choice. Or buy a couple of self-help books to learn some techniques. E.g. The Power of Habit. It'll be orders of magnitude cheaper.

teserodoonMay 3, 2021

Buy a shitty phone. Also, this technique from dealing with cigarette addiction would help: change your brand. If you use iPhone, buy a budget $100 android with the smallest screen possible. If you use Android, buy an old iPhone 5. It'll work for banking apps but should be annoying enough that you won't use it so much.

Next, what is the website/app you most want to quit? Make quitting that your keystone. Fully commit to quitting that one website. For me it was reddit, and I haven't used it once in 4 or 5 months.

Then, uninstall all apps and switch to firefox. Install the leechblock addon, put a delay on all websites you want to stop using.

Bonus: switch to nextdns and block sites at the DNS level.

If any of that sounds like too much work, you need to ask whether you're really serious about tackling your addiction. Are you really serious about this? Yes? Then it's time for serious action. Small actions won't cut it. You need to send your subconscious a clear message that this is important to you.

Also, consider what kind of information you spend time absorbing. You are what you read/watch. Get some books on habit formation, willpower, psychology, read those in your downtime. The Power of Habit and Atomic Habits are great.

arawdeonMay 25, 2020

I can't find the specific study, but it is part of the third part of the book The Power of Habit.

pelleronJan 3, 2017

Not the person you're asking to hear from, but, there was a good Ask HN thread recently on the topic of routines/habits that you might be interested in: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=13095595

Specific books mentioned in the thread I can vouch for:

The Power of Habit (popular science)

Superhuman by Habit (actionable, no-bull, if somewhat introductory)

TreegardenonJuly 10, 2017

thanks, that was a really interesting article. Unfortunately it focused mainly on what "willpower" is dubious and not so much on what it is instead that helps one resist a craving. Only at the end the author wrote that the drinking lawyer had to much stress (underlying problem). But that isnt really a good general answer/explanation. I once read the book "the power of habit" and maybe that is the answer (its habits we need to control) but I am not sure.

m10nonSep 5, 2018

While I wouldn't exactly recommend the book "The Power of Habit" by Charles Duhigg (Gladwellian pop-psych productivity genre), I have several times remembered and successfully applied my one takeaway from reading it:

It's extremely difficult to break a habit, but a lot less difficult to replace a habit.

Meaning if I'm able to examine the habit (usually a compulsion or mindless ritual to pass time or ease some anxiety) and understand the role it plays for me or benefit I think I get by continuing it, even if I could never imagine just stopping it completely, it's surprisingly easy to just do something else [intentionally do a specific different thing] upon the moment of urge to doing the bad thing. Eventually I just forget about the thing I did before, and my life becomes easier and simpler.

Because you mentioned books, if you happen to have one of the classic bad habits of modern life (smoking, drinking, eating), I'm always amazed how often people cite reading Allen Carr's "The Easy Way"series as the absolute only thing that somehow, magically, against all odds, worked for them. https://www.amazon.com/Allen-Carrs-Easy-Stop-Smoking/dp/0615...

andrewfanonJan 24, 2020

Agree, it is quite hard to impose a new habit to people (you can check "The Power of Habit" book).
In some cases, it is better to see how people are doing things and adapt tools.
I'm working on the knowledge base app for slack. When we started building it, we thought that all users would interact with our bot using slack mention `@`; (primary interaction is asking bot a question); however, in reality, it did not work. But instead of spending time trying to produce more/better docs to force people to use `@`, we decided to adapt it to the way people ask questions now; they do it without mentions, so we did this https://onebar.io/learn/setup-a-slack-autoresponder

mzielonDec 12, 2015

And of course the real title is "The big question: are books getting longer?".

Re: article, it's disheartening that good books suffer from this as well. I've recently read "The power of habit" and "Think fast and slow". Both are great, but both would be much better at the half of their size.

For most non-fiction content the magazine article is too short (3-8 pages) and only skims over the issue. It's evident when you read an article on something you're very familiar with. However book is too long (300 pages) and introduces filler and repetitions. I find that Special Reports from The Economist are quite good in size and depth (15-30 pages). My ideal would be around 100 pages, but those reports are still my go-to place if I want to read something.

mmhobbyistonMar 2, 2012

It is not dumb, naive, or wrong to ask this, it is an important question facing all of us for quite sometime to come.

Here's a potential example that might show the limits of privacy-- online or otherwise. It was an anecdote provided by Charles Duhigg from his new book "The Power of Habit" (excerpt here: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/19/magazine/shopping-habits.h...). The story is that a father discovered that his teenage daughter was pregnant because Target sent selected coupons to their home, addressed to the daughter. You can read how Target figured that one out-- very fascinating data and statistical analysis -- but the point is this. A guy such as yourself, who follows the law and has nothing to be embarrassed about, might still feel a little uneasy about how much others know about you and the people in your life, and the purchasing decisions you all make. At the very least, I think most people would say that they would rather hear the truth about something as personal as their daughter's pregnancy from the daughter, rather than from a corporation analyzing your data.

Having said all that, we have benefited greatly from Google, Facebook, etc. So I am also conflicted about this issue.

rchaudonJuly 14, 2021

I don't know about that. I have the book here in front of me (Charles Duhigg, The Power of Habit), and it seems like the whole thing can be summarized as:

Cue - Routine - Reward

With an additional 300 pages of weak, mostly theory-driven anecdotes about how corporations apply this at scale.

I'd be really interested to know how you applied this to your personal life.

rando444onJan 4, 2019

American Kingpin was a really good read. It's the story of Ross Ulbricht, the guy that built the silk road.

It reads like fiction, but is a true story, and hits all the right buttons for me (technology, entrepreneurial spirit, understanding how to (or how not to) learn from your mistakes, etc.).

It's well written and hard to put down.


The power of habit was also a really good read if you hadn't read it already.

gdubsonJuly 4, 2016

Just finished reading "The Power of Habit" [1], which was eye-opening. It makes a strong case that we're really a collection of habits. We can't eliminate habits from our brains, but we can override them with new ones over time. There are also Keystone Habits which tend to positively impact all areas of peoples' lives – exercise tends to be one, for example. In the corporate setting, he uses the example of Alcoa focusing on worker safety, and how that became a keystone habit that completely transformed all aspects of the business.

Also, say you have a habit of opening Facebook (or Hacker News :) when you're at your computer instead of opening up your IDE. By figuring out what reward you get out of those diversions, and being able to identify the trigger, you may be able over time to replace that 'bad' habit with a 'good' one – perhaps stretching, or talking a 5 min walk. The result might be a less fragmented day.

I really buy into this theory, in part because anecdotally it seems to align with examples of successful people; they have good work habits. Great writers, for instance, talk about simply sitting down at the typewriter every day. Same with comedians, painters, etc. Procrastination is a hard thing to crack, because so often we're fighting against deeply ingrained habits – by becoming mindful of them, we can potentially reshape them into habits that make us feel accomplished.

1: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/12609433-the-power-of-hab...

j45onJan 12, 2019

I have experienced a handful. Of book sheet together have given me some peace and focus. Hopefully some of these might be interesting.

How to organize things is as important as balancing why the things are important.

The core book to start with is Getting Things Done by David Allen. It gets momentum going and allowed me to look up and around.

These books that have helpful to connect the productivity to trusting we're doing the right things in terms of meaning and purpose.

Set the stage:

Book 1: Mindset by Carol Dweck (are you really open to possibilities and not a fixed mindset?)

Book 2: The Power of Habit (how do you build small new skills, since are only a sum of our habits, and those habits can change)

Getting prioritized:

Book 3: Focal Point by Bryan Tracy (find and set the priorities in all areas of life)

Getting and staying organized and focused:

Book 4: Getting Things Done by David Allen (the how to get it done and stay organized and keep it all out of your head, biggest productivity book of the last 20 years)

Book 5: Deep Work by Cal Newport (regain the power of focus to get twice as kuch done.. With the same effort and no distractions)

Book 6: So good they can't ignore you by Cal Newport (now that you're going, how do you really make an impact in what you're putting your time into)

Book 7: The Miracle Morning. I'm a night owl. This book convinced me that the late night is the same thing as the super early morning, except I'm rates and have way more energy.

The order may vary for others, in hindsight I'd read them in this order, but starting with Getting Things done and working through the rest as you like is realistic too.

Happy to learn about any books you'd like to share.

hoorayimhelpingonJuly 24, 2020

A therapist or coach recommended this book called the Power of Habit. https://www.amazon.com/Power-Habit-What-Life-Business/dp/081....

The central theme of that book is that people attribute dumb behaviors to things like chemical dependence, when in fact it's a behavioral habit. The classic example from the book is people trying to quit smoking. You kick the physical dependency in a few days - the headaches and irritability go away, but smokers still relapse months or years afterwards. Why? It's because the smoking formed a habit to their brain, and their brain associated good feelings with smoking.

Read the book. But if you don't: Your brain has trained you to feel good when you read the news. You break this habit by replacing the good feeling of reading the news with a good feeling from some other, positive, healthy activity. Example: every time you get a desire to pull out your phone, do 10 pushups instead. You get a little physical exercise, and your brain starts associating positive feelings with positive activities.

Also, why the hell do you have notifications turned on if you're worried about the phone or the news being addictive? It's like asking to have cravings amplified. Turn off badges, notifications, etc. Check it on your own time and terms.

yskchuonOct 16, 2012

I recommend the book "The power of habit", written by Charles Duhigg, a NYT bestseller. WIt contains many years of academic research on psychology, and explains not only habit, but willpower.

Also, watch this video.


And here's the book:


dabit3onDec 8, 2014

I looked up "The Power of Habit" and came away with a few books, which one are you referring to?

deepvibrationsonMar 21, 2016

Have you tried a high CBD/low THC strain?
When I found it was limiting me, I moved over to a strain of this type and it still satisfied my urge to smoke something tasty, but also did not hold me back from doing anything, as it these strains do not get you 'stoned' in the normal sense. In hindsight, my addiction was that I related the act smoking to sitting back and being lazy, so once I removed that link I no longer felt the urge to smoke and I rarely smoke anything these days.
I recently read a book called 'The Power of Habit' which offers amazing insight and ways to help you overcome any addictions and in a much more efficient way...I highly recommend it!

farbodsarafonAug 1, 2019

I used to remove apps but I'd end up re-installing them after a while. Unlearning a habit (aka forming a new habits to replace the old one) is about having a proper cue (referring to the habit loop from the "The Power of Habit" book). The fake app acts as a cue/signal to remind you about your goal and boost learning the new habit of not visiting the app randomly based on the habit.

By installing the fake app, you'll be surprised how many times you unconsciously you open them, although you are aware that they are fake apps. It feels like our brain is on auto-pilot, once we're hooked/addicted to instinctively open addictive apps.

strawcombonJuly 12, 2017

Some things I'd recommend, off the top of my head:

- Do not grab phone/computer etc. and mindlessly browse first thing in the morning. (Or before bed. Or at any time really.) But doing it first thing really starts your day on the wrong foot.

- When seeking to relax, do not mindlessly browse the internet/social-media/tv. Read an enjoyable book. This is an order of magnitude more fulfilling and beneficial to you. And genuinely more relaxing: screens are stimulating, and might let you 'relax' in the sense that you can momentarily be completely absorbed in something 'other', and forget your day to day life; but they don't relax you in the sense of being calm and contemplative (in general, in my experience).

- Reduce instant gratification from as many areas as possible. Do things that are rewarding longer term. Like reading, cooking, growing plants, hiking, etc.

- Cut video games.

- Block facebook + reddit + sites you waste a lot of time on, from main computer. Maybe have a secondary device you use to access these sites, for a set period each day (I recommend this mainly because it can be quite difficult to maintain a social life without facebook, (which is a terrible state of affairs)). Have days where you don't go onto these sites at all.

- Spend as little time on screens as is possible
-> if you can work on paper do so

- have a regular exercise regime. eg. swim/run. Doing first thing in the morning really helps set your day on the right track, you have already exerted a good amount of self discipline, and achieved something, and this makes it easier to continue being disciplined.

- I recommend reading 'The Power of Habit'.

codethiefonDec 3, 2016

Following up on katzgrau's recommendation for "The Power of Habit", I think it's important to stress that you should prioritize and choose the most important habit first and focus on that 100%. In the book, Charles Duhigg mentions "key habits" that, if changed, will lead you to change other habits as well.

I've been down the road of changing habits multiple times and I think the most important habit you can adopt is actually to continuously watch your progress, adjust your routines if necessary and, more generally, give you time to think about where you're moving with your life on a grand scheme of things.

Whenever I tried to get into a new habit, I found that the hardest thing was actually to come up with and take counter-measures if the routine wasn't sticking as expected. I would often try a new routine and if it failed to stick, I would automatically fall back into my old (bad) routine.

So my advice is this: Set aside time to reflect upon your routines (and your life in general). Make this your very first habit to get into. Personally, I've found that doing it once a week is by far not enough for me (and it's also a difficult habit to maintain), so I decided to do it once a day and, since I rarely find the time at night, I decided to get up a bit earlier in the morning and go for a 30min walk. This has the added benefit that you get a bit of exercise and lots of fresh air. I also use that time to decide on my most important task for the day that I will work on right after the walk.

khetarpalonNov 15, 2012

The power of habit by Charles Duhigg.

Whether its getting up early in the morning, going to the gym, learning new skills - it all comes down how good a person is in forming new habits and sticking to them.

This book helps get into the mechanics of how habits are formed, and the elements that will help make them stick.
The best part is that the book is loaded with specific case studies for both personal use as well as case studies relevant for product-based organization.

I loved it! Not that I'm going to the gym any more regularly though :)

chris_jonMay 8, 2021

I probably shouldn't be surprised to hear that because my experiences are similar and I understand that this is the case for most people.

My advice would be to work on projects that you are intrinsically motivated to work on. Don't work on a project in expectation of any reward if you complete it. Let yourself know that it's ok if you don't achieve all (or any) of what you might have set out to achieve in the first place. Myself, the side projects where I've achieved the most have been ones that give me a dopamine hit (basically games or things that are graphical, in my case, even though I've rarely been paid to work on those sorts of things in my career as a software engineer).

If you're interested in reading up on motivation then there are few books that I've found really useful:

- Drive by Daniel Pink talks about the different types of motivation (intrinsic vs extrinsic) and talks about the motivating factors of autonomy, mastery and purpose. There's a nice sketchnote video based on a talk by the author that did the rounds a few years ago https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KgGhSOAtAyQ that sums up the key points.

- The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg talks about habits, how they form and how you can understand and hack them.

- The Power Of Full Engagement by Jim Loehr and Tony Schwartz talks about managing different aspects of your life in order to have energy to do the things that are important to you.

Hopefully the above may be of some use to you. They have been very useful for me, particularly in understanding how counterintuitive human psychology is in some cases and in terms of understanding how some strategies that you may be tempted to use can be counterproductive.

nahbrah123onApr 29, 2021

The blog post is basically a word for word "rip off" of the book The Power of Habit.

roadbeatsonDec 12, 2018

My Name Is Red - Orhan Pamuk (I read it 2nd time)

The Organized Mind - Daniel Levitin (Recommended)

The Prophet - Kahlil Gibran (Recommended if you like the style)

The Power of Habit (Not recommend it)

bimmer44onOct 27, 2016

I also found "The Power of Habit" a fascinating read. It's one of the books I recommend most often. Understanding your habits & learning new ones is such a fundamental/essential part of living. I almost wish "Habit Management" had been a discrete subject in my school curriculum.

My understanding of the 3 second exercise from the article is that it's the simple steps of experiencing a pleasant moment (trigger), noticing & reflecting on the simple pleasure (routine) and then the boost in happiness felt after this awareness (reward).

davidn20onDec 9, 2020

The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg for me. I need to check out Atomic Habits

muzanionNov 11, 2017

> 33 Strategies of War
> 48 Laws of Power

I keep going back to it because it applies in almost every conflict in life, from competitors to personal relationships to office politics. It's also very entertainingly written.

> The Checklist Manifesto

I know it cover to cover but someone impressive always keeps recommending it and I go back for a reread. Alas, it isn't very practical for a software engineer, where you face different situations daily. I really wish it was because I want it to work.

> Never Split the Difference

Negotiation is a very emotional thing. Most of the time it's simply negotiating with kids or the spouse. This book is completely amazing for it, but a lot of techniques feel unnatural. I brush up to find techniques I was using wrong or simply to remind myself to focus on empathy.

> Deep Work
> Mastery
> Peak Performance
> The Art of Learning
> The Power of Habit

My go to motivational books.

halfcatonFeb 15, 2015

Stephen Covey wrote a book along these same lines, First Things First [1], which advises to first define your roles in life, such as developer, parents, home owner, and so on, then identify the priorities in each of those areas, and schedule those things into your week first. He gives the "importance/urgency" matrix which is helpful for identifying which things you should be focusing on. After you have scheduled the important things into your week, you can schedule the unimportant items.

Having said that, you still have to make choices and stick to them. For this, you need to look at the science of habit change, which a good book is The Power of Habit [2]

[1] http://www.amazon.com/First-Things-Understand-Often-Arent/dp...

[2] http://www.amazon.com/The-Power-Habit-What-Business/dp/08129...

gagan2020onNov 4, 2012

You are right, I think he is carried away by his experinces. Actually, Book 'The power of Habit' (which I am also reading) is more about how habit forms and how to change/replace any Habit (from bad to good), whether it is Individual, Organization or Society. It is 'how' that is important here.

For Individual part, I am planning to launch an app for addicts so that they could also get benefit from same principles. I believe in that cue, routine, reward cycle. But, For creating app I need to do my own research for individual cases.

cpursleyonMay 26, 2020

See also:

- The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business

danblickonJuly 28, 2016

Sorry if this is too impractical, but you might look at gamification as an application of general principles of human psychology and decision making. Some interesting books in this area are "The Power of Habit" by Charles Duhigg (which deals with motivation and habit formation), "Nudge" by Richard Thaler, or "Thinking Fast and Slow" by Daniel Kahneman.

vmonApr 23, 2012

This article skims the surface of habit formation. For a great read on the topic, checkout the current bestseller: The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do In Life and Business. http://www.amazon.com/The-Power-Habit-What-Business/dp/14000...

The jist of it is that we all have habit loops that we respond to without realizing it. They flow through the cycle of CUE->ROUTINE->REWARD->CRAVE. Everything starts with a CUE, which triggers the habit. It could be something as simple as the little red indicator on your iphone app. This is followed by ROUTINE - or the series of actions that we normally think of as a habit. Next is the REWARD which can be surprising at times - you might think you get that cookie after lunch to enjoy the sugar rush, but in reality you might just enjoy talking to coworkers in the cafeteria. Lastly, for any habit to stick, you must CRAVE the reward at the end.

The book goes in more depth about how to use this cycle to structure habits in your own life (I have FINALLY started to workout and wake up early since reading the book). It also has great case studies about how advertisers, product managers, people managers, and more are structure these habits to influence consumers, employees, etc

runjakeonSep 13, 2013

I have a bunch of thoughts on this subject, but I'll just say that intelligence is not an indicator of performance, motivation, and thus, success. So an intelligence group model of education makes little sense to me.

This scientifically-studied disparity is briefly discussed in Duhigg's book, The Power of Habit. An excellent read.

franklin_p_dyeronSep 6, 2020

I highly recommend the book “The Power of Habit” by Charles Duhigg. It describes lots of interesting scientific findings.

That book introduced me to a technique for eliminating bad habits that has worked really well so far. Duhigg describes a case in which a lady was trying to stop biting her lip, so she was asked to carry a slip of paper with her, and whenever she felt the urge to bite her lip, instead write a tickmark on the piece of paper. This ended up working for her (and for me) because it is apparently easier to replace one habit with another (i.e. lip-biting with tickmark-writing) than to eliminate a habit completely. And once you’ve fully replaced your bad habit with writing tickmarks, it’s easy to stop doing the latter - just stop carrying pencil and paper in your pocket.

gbacononSep 25, 2017

Reminds me of the concept of the habit loop in The Power of Habit[0] by Charles Duhigg.

[0]: http://charlesduhigg.com/the-power-of-habit/

waivejonOct 22, 2013

I hope this helps. Eating and working too much can be addictive and I don't think you'll be able to force him to change. Maybe try connecting and maybe learning some of his personal dreams. Real change has to come from him, but maybe you could gently establish a keystone habit that others can build from. "The Power of Habit" is a good book/audiobook that talks a bit about this in the first chapters.

On the other hand, it's hard to accept, but maybe just try to connect while you can.

klenwellonJune 26, 2016

I am reminded of campaign by Paul O'Neill to improve worker safety at Alcoa. O'Neill was the first Treasury Secretary under George W. Bush -- to his credit, he got fired early on. I came across this in Charles Duhigg's book, The Power of Habit. It's summarized here:


In my DevOps experience, I've seen a lot of room for the application of his approach. Unfortunately, what often prevails is hurried workarounds and post-facto ass-covering.

Here's how O'Neill sums up his approach in the article above:

> He saw his safety goal as part of a broader emphasis on creating "habitual excellence."

> "I believe an organization has the potential for greatness if every person can say yes to three questions without reservation," Mr. O'Neill said. "The first is, 'Can I say every day I am treated with dignity and respect by everyone I encounter without respect to my pay grade, or my title, or my race, or ethnicity or religious beliefs or gender?' And you know, there are not a lot of places like that.

> "The second question is, 'Am I given the things I need - education, training, tools, encouragement - so I can make a contribution to this organization that gives meaning to my life?'

> And the third question is, 'Am I recognized for what I do by someone I care about?'

> "Every company I know of says somewhere in its annual report, 'People are our most important resource,' but my observation from all these places I had worked was that there was no evidence it was true."

rapfariaonFeb 19, 2018

TL;DR: Cliff Notes of "The Power of Habit" by Charles Duhigg, with a clickbaity title.

gdubsonJan 9, 2017

If you want to get deep on this subject, I highly recommend "The Organized Mind" and "The Power of Habit".

The Organized Mind really breaks down the cost of "task switching" and explores the brain's strengths, quirks, and weaknesses, and how strategies of highly effective people exploit those traits.

The Power of Habit is good for developing a less naive approach to behavior change. It's eye opening.

RegardsyjconApr 26, 2018

Some types of depression are curable. There is temporary depression and chronic depression (less curable). But I believe or hope that all depression is treatable.

Recommending alcohol for depression is dangerous because alcohol is a depressant, it might make you even more depressed. Not only that but it can lead to addiction and the creation of bad habits - to drink when you're depressed. Before you know it you might become a depressed alcoholic and you will have two behavioral issues to fight instead of one, and they will be compounded because if you ever take psychiatric drugs to aid your depression, alcohol will not mix well.

I've had two suicide attempts, several years apart. I thought my life was hopeless- had tons of different diagnoses from major depression to bipolar to borderline and lots of drugs (started ~13 and lasted for 10 years). I am really happy today. I think I was so depressed back then that I wasn't even capable of imagining a better future.

The thing that helped me the most was exercise. Exercise is a keystone habit that begins a gratuitous beneficial cycle. When I had enough energy after taking lots of baby steps, I decided to take ownership to improve my life and started exercising and training for a 5k using the couch to 5k program. The running tied in with my new love for stoicism helped me develop discipline. When you're able to run for 40 mins without stopping, you raise your pain threshold and increase your willpower. Plus you get the positive effects of natural dopamine, runners high. They talk about this in the book The Power of Habit but you can have one habit that kickstarts a chain of events. The exercise gave me energy, discipline, and confidence, that helped me find a partner. I had terrible social skills and major issues so therapy helped me navigate that and my partner gave me support, accountability, hope, and love.

TownleyonMay 25, 2019

Acknowledging the risk of an echo chamber, maybe the ubiquity of these books means that they're tools of the trade. Knowing how to build a great software product/business is a useful skill set that these books teach well.

From there, the path to success comes from being well-rounded and exposed to new ideas/their accompanying opportunities. Read "The Power of Habit" because it's an incredible book, but then also read books specific to the domains to which you're applying those skills. Working for a healthcare company? Read "How Doctors Think". Jane Jacobs for urban planning, Foucalt for history...

It's wonderful that you (and likely half of the people on HN) have read many of these books, and I think having this list is useful for people outside the industry getting a mind for how tech thinks. At the same time, exploring the pantheon of great works in other fields is a virtue that, luckily is toted by many of the books mentioned above.

vonnikonJuly 10, 2016

Read The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg. He has some good suggestions. One of the best ideas in there is that certain small habit changes create behavioral cascades. For people trying to lose weight, just writing down what they eat at each meal has a huge effect. When you make up in the morning, making your bed increases the likelihood that you'll do other things that require discipline. The idea is to get many small wins, because they accumulate and give you momentum to tackle harder and harder tasks. When you draw up your goals, the trick is to state the goal, imagine the obstacle that might prevent you from achieving it, and then figure out what you'll do in that scenario. That's the thinking behind the WOOP app: http://www.woopmylife.org/ which I'm not affiliated with, fwiw. Finally, in your HN profile set "noprocrast" to yes. ;)

rubinellionSep 4, 2018

"Zen in the Art of Writing: Essays on Creativity" is a short book that anyone that has any interest in Ray Bradbury's work or in fiction writing should read.

"The Power of Habit" by Charles Duhigg and "Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion" by Robert Cialdini are both books that showed how and why you often act against your best interest.

muzanionFeb 24, 2018

I personally see it as a skill, and one that should be self trained.

Trick 1: Improve your cardio health.

Generally a balanced meal gives you a lot of willpower. Cardio exercise specifically seems to improve recover rate a lot, not just physical but mental.

Trick 2: Develop a trigger.

Find a routine, a kind of trigger that puts you in the mood to work. There's a trigger already built into all of us, a moment of serenity that we see as taking a break.

This is the kind of productive thing that makes you work late at night, or weekends, or continue nonstop for 20 hours straight. It might not even be work - it could be a game, book, or some tedious hobby like woodworking.

I use Linkin Park songs because my productive moments were making games in school. I also saw Chester Bennington as a role model, because of his emotional drive and his success as a VC. Some of his songs also resonate with me on a spiritual level. His suicide got to me, and I find his songs as a sudden reminder of why I do what I do.

It doesn't have to be a song. It can be something like flipping a coin between your fingers, taking a deep breath, pumping your fist, a 5 minute meditation. The more portable the better - you don't want it to be something like eating a can of spinach.

You also need to associate the trigger with positive things. One of my mistakes was poisoning an old trigger with death marches.

Whenever you hit a moment of pure joy, try to associate that with your trigger. It could be the completion of a tough patch of work, playing with kids, breathing fresh morning air.

There's a lot of principles that go into this, but I would recommend the books The Power of Habit and The Art of Learning if you want more details.

mistersquidonAug 8, 2015

_The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business_ (2014) by Charles Duhigg

techiferousonMay 13, 2012

I love this skeptical and evidence-demanding attitude.

You may find evidence to support this (and other information about habits) in The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg. http://www.amazon.com/The-Power-Habit-What-Business/dp/14000...

From personal experience, I've found the Seinfeld Calendar to be powerful, which is similar to the idea the author wrote about. http://lifehacker.com/281626/jerry-seinfelds-productivity-se...

b_emeryonSep 2, 2016

The most important books I've read in the last 10 yrs (with respect to professional growth) are:

Talent is Overrated: What Really Separates World-Class Performers from Everybody Else, by G. Colvin

The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business, by C. Duhigg

These books have reshaped how I work and how I think about work. With the knowledge contained in these books it's not hard to outline the daily routines needed to be great at just about anything.

SanderSantemaonDec 28, 2017

I feel like I'm struggling with this problem to. Somewhat luckily my attention span was never that big so I haven't lost a lot.

I think most of the things we do in day to day live consist of habits combined with choices we make. I think our attention span is mostly a habit.

The things I do in day to day live ingrain some habits. I like to read a lot on the internet, learn about things. However a lot of the content on the internet currently focuses on short attention spans, things like reddit (clicking on a few pictures, opening an impressive title) and social media. They focus on short attentions spans because it's easier to keep someones attention that way. For me this formed some habits which fit short attention spans like opening up a lot of pages and reading small parts of them. For me this lead to fast short term rewards.

Reversing this habit of a short attention span is like an exercise. Staying away from sites which cater to short attention spans and only opening one page at a time which I read completely. In that way I try to learn a new habit. I don't use reddit a lot anymore and I try to use hackernews instead because there are a lot more longer articles here of greater quality, requiring longer attention spans. Maybe that could help you. But all of this is obviously completely personal and anecdotal.

Some things which I found helpful:
Charles Duhigg: The Power of Habit (Book about habits)
The Coursera course: Learning How to Learn (Since learning requires a long attention span)

Ask HN More Like Hackernews: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=3734303 Contains a lot of sources like longforms.org, https://aeon.co and https://aldaily.com websites which have content which requires long attention spans.

Possibly there are some things in this post which are a bit unclear I've got a bit of trouble writing English since it's not my native tongue. If you have any questions I'd be happy to answer them.

tombrmonMar 12, 2018

The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg

danblickonJuly 28, 2016

Thinking Fast and Slow is generally about research in the "heuristics and biases" school. When we make decisions, we don't always think completely rationally, but rely on approximations and rules of thumb that simplify the task we have to perform. Our decisions can be influenced by context that tells us which approximations we should use. (I guess I'm thinking of priming & anchoring effects. If you ask, "is the average redwood taller than 8000 feet? How tall is the average redwood?" You will get larger estimates than if you first ask "is the average redwood taller than 50 feet?")

I think gamification is sort of a way to change your users frame of mind while they engage with your product. Kahneman doesn't really talk about games, but he does talk about ways of influencing behavior by affecting a person's state of mind.

I listed "The Power of Habit" first because I have a feeling that games have more to do with rewards and cravings than they do with judgement and decision making (more the topic of Thinking Fast and Slow). But both books relate to how we can steer decision making.

* Aside: I googled "priming anchoring" and got a result about UI design also mentioning loss aversion, another topic from Kahneman's book. http://www.uxmatters.com/mt/archives/2011/03/how-anchoring-o...

Fun fact: your users will hate losing badges even more than they like earning them. :)

lawnonSep 29, 2017

I agree about the "no zero days" rule. The thing is to establish a habit and it will become natural. It's almost like you'll close off to outside input when you follow your habits.

Even if it's not directly related to depression I highly recommend "The Power of Habit".

Establishing habits I in advance know is good for me helped my when I go through my unproductive and depressed periods. Focus on establishing one habit and doing it every day. When you've gone 21 days straight start with a new habit.

williamkennedyonSep 16, 2016

I have actually written about this a lot as it is one of those topics that I am fascinated with. The trick is not to try and motivate yourself but to build systems and processes to get things done regardless.

For me, it boils down to 3 things. Pre-planning, habits and elimination. I have written about each separately on my blog http://www.new2code.com/2016/06/deep-work/

I plan a lot of stuff on my Google Calendar. My whole days are planned in advance including free time. When I am learning a new language, I set aside time for study. If a friend asks me to hang out, I can just check to see if I have prior commitments. I also have the regular gym slot and after 2+ years, I am simply routine when it comes to exercising.

Next, learn how to build habits and routines. This saves a ton brain power. There is a great video on habit building


Also, check out a book by Charles Duhigg called The Power of Habit.

Finally, cut out the news and as much information as possible. Not watching the news added a ton of happiness to my life. This also cuts out distractions. Check out something called the Low Information Diet which goes into more detail as well as a book called Deep Work by Cal Newport

I also wrote a guest post on the blog Simple Programmer that goes into more detail on the willpower.motivation side of things https://simpleprogrammer.com/2016/09/07/limited-willpower/

I hope that helps. Largely I don't believe in long-term motivation, it is more to do with becoming routine.

hpoeonMay 8, 2020

I heard about that story, albeit through "The Power of Habit" by Duhigg, which is probably what your referencing. My reservation about just saying "safety is the top priority" is that it can quickly turn into management cargo culting if someone doesn't actually understand what changes it made at ALCOA and why it worked.

Its the same as a manager who hears that being interested in the well being of his employees can get them to work harder so he starts pretending to be interested in his employees, not because he cares but because he wants performance improvements. It ends up being insincere, creepy and off putting instead.

If the brass of a company try and emphasize safety to try and get the benefits ALCOA got, they won't pull it off, not because safety isn't important but because they didn't really care about safety in the first place.

danialonDec 22, 2016

Books I read that I would recommend:

Deep Work - Cal Newport

The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business - Charles Duhigg

Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance - Angela Duckworth

Peak: Secrets from the New Science of Expertise - Anders Ericsson, Robert Pool

The War of Art - Steven Pressfield

Do the Work - Steven Pressfield

Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future - Ashlee Vance

Shoe Dog: A Memoir by the Creator of Nike - Phil Knight

The one that surprised me the most was the last one on that list. I don't usually read memoirs but this one was recommended by a few people so I picked it up and found the honesty with which he describes his mistakes refreshing and useful.

Killah911onDec 4, 2012

What was the point of this article? I don't think it had much to do with how people actually change. It was pretty much aggregating a "viral" email and summarizing (maybe super-summarizing) some views from cognitive behavioral therapy and maybe some chapters from "The Power of Habit"

The explanation of "How people change" is superficial at best in this article.

msutherlonAug 2, 2013

I try not to recommend pop-psych books, but The Power of Habit taught me some useful tricks: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1400069289/ref=as_li_ss_tl?....

The upshot is that you can't stop this part of yourself. You can only redirect it. You have a rich set of impulse-reward cycles triggered by the thought of beginning something difficult. You can't help responding to the triggers, but you can change the routines and the rewards.

In other words, you can't win by fighting. Don't swim against the current. Use your existing bad habits as a frame for new better ones.

Somebody else mentioned that you might be bored. Perhaps you are unchallenged. You could be lacking perspective and proper role models. I would encourage you to take yourself out of the startup scene (which is largely vapid nonsense) and try something more viscerally challenging, intellectually engaging, or just out of the ordinary. Find a research job, work in the theater, go to sea, volunteer in the third world, backpack around the world, teach classes to your friends or kids, pick up a craft like glassblowing or carpentry, build a house, WWOOF, etc.

Did you go to college? If so, what was your degree?

(Shoot me an email if you want to chat – I'm a few years older, but was in a similar position not too long ago – skiptracer at gmail.)

ggambettaonOct 2, 2014

Currently read and recently read, in no particular order:

Modern C++ Design (Andrei Alexandrescu)

The Screenwriter's Bible (David Trottier)

Clean Code (Robert Cecil Martin)

Il Codice da Vinci (Dan Brown)

The Anatomy of Story (John Truby)

A Random Walk Down Wall Street (Burton Malkiel)

The Power of Habit (Charles Duhigg)

Hnrobert42onFeb 23, 2017

6. Studies on how to most effectively treat people with non-invasive treatments. "Take this pill once a day" has a far higher compliance rate than "exercise more."

I am thinking of the example mentioned in "The Power of Habit" where one group of knee surgery patients was given a brochure about post-surgery treatment, like PT, exercise, etc. The other was give the same brochure with blank pages to write out a specific plan for following the recommendations. Of course, the second group fared much better.

portmanonDec 26, 2012

Funny, I just posted this: http://willsllc.github.com/blog/books-2012/

Most Thought-Provoking Books of 2012

The Idea Factory: Bell Labs and the Great Age of American Innovation
by Jon Gertner published March 15, 2012
Over the span of a few decades, a single research lab invented the transistor, the microprocessor, radar, the communication satellite, the CD, and more.

The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business
by Charles Duhigg published February 28, 2012
Why toothpaste tingles, how Febreeze was a flop, and hundreds of other tidbits that are perfect for cocktail parties and future Jeopardy episodes.

The Signal and the Noise: Why So Many Predictions Fail-but Some Don't
by Nate Silver published September 27, 2012
Weaves together baseball, earthquakes, the weather, poker, and terrorism. Chapter 7 is the best description of Bayes theoreom I've ever read.

The Honest Truth About Dishonesty: How We Lie to Everyone---Especially Ourselves
by Dan Ariely published June 5, 2012
The third Ariely book, and just as fun. Would be ranked #1 except it's essential the same formula as his prior two gems.

Automate This: How Algorithms Came to Rule Our World
by Christopher Steiner published August 30, 2012
Surprisingly good read from a first-time author (and YC alum). Expands on Andreessen's quip to cover trading, couter-terrorism, the Arab Spring and more.

bootheadonNov 8, 2012

I'm halfway through the book "The power of habit" at the moment and here's two little titbits I've picked up so far:

1. Habits have a trigger and a reward and you'll get nowhere unless you work within this fact.

Yesterday I had some success, I was trying to fix a dumb programming mistake and getting frustrated. Normally that would trigger my usual behaviour of running off to /r/funny or HN to get my little reward of amusement/knowledge. This time however I was mindful of the loop and said to myself that my reward would be the feeling of fixing it and having the tests pass. It worked. I got my head down, fixed the bug, and felt good about myself.

2. People who successfully adhere to a habit change routine, visualize and practice how to deal with "inflection points" upfront. Inflection points here are those tough spots where you are more vulnerable to regressing to your previous behaviour.

I've been having a bit of trouble lately sticking to my habit of getting up at 5am to work on my own stuff (open source and writing a book). Last night I thought about my alarm going off, feeling the cold outside the duvet and having an overwhelming desire to roll over and go back to sleep and visualized myself just getting straight out of bed. Sure enough, this morning my alarm went off and I was out of bed before I was even fully awake.

I think it's going well, however here I am procrastinating by writing a big post on HN, so YMMV :-)

rahoulbonFeb 19, 2019

Addiction is a lack of discipline?


I suppose you believe advertising doesn't work and the billions spent on it are unjustified?

Look at how brains work. Stimulus response. Reward pathways. Millions of years of biology and chemistry.

Or just read a book on positive dog training. I recommend "Total Recall" by Pippa Mattison as it explains how tiny little reward lead to behaviour that is utterly fixed no matter what distractions come along. ('The power of habit' by Charles Duhigg is the equivalent book for humans)

scott_meadeonSep 7, 2012

Very closely related to Fogg's behavior model of "trigger", "execution", "motivation", Charles Duhigg in "The Power of Habit" writes of the steps of the habit loop as "cue", "routine", "reward".

Habit is coming up to be a big topic in app design and development.

"The Power of Habit" is a good read which systematically lays out some science behind what habits are, how they work, and how to leverage them.

liquidcoolonFeb 6, 2019

"Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion" by Robert Cialdini

This explains so much of human behavior, but I hesitate to recommend it to people because it is so easily weaponized. To borrow from Harry Potter, it's the closest thing I've seen to a book of charm spells, but was written as a defense against the dark arts. Better everyone read it rather than just the marketers.

What I really love about this book is how much of politics it has explained for me, including the downfall of the USSR and the American civil rights movements, but also newer events like Schwarzenegger's poltiical career.

If you like this, I'd also recommend:

"Thinking, Fast and Slow" by Daniel Kahneman
"Predictably Irrational" by Dan Ariely
"The Power of Habit" by Charles Duhigg

All are in a similar vein. For more focused book on human behavior, I recommend first time team leads/managers read:

"Switch" by Dan and Chip Heath

A solid guide to changing organizational behavior.

jmdukeonJune 4, 2012

The list that the OP read:

- Checklist Manifesto
- Made to Stick
- Confessions of a Public Speaker
- Why Everyone Else Is a Hypocrite
- The Power of Habit

I think the fact that he's questioning the value of reading such books is fair (and I find it ironic that he's applying such rigor to try and extract value from such books), but these are hardly the books of great literature. Self-improvement and self-motivation books are, perhaps too often, profit-guided and banal.

You don't read, say, Steinbeck or Vonnegut, to 'remember what's in them.' (Furthermore, things like 'active recall' aren't going to help you out.) Authors you have made it to the upper echelons of literature are the ones who develop distinct voices and talents to attract and evoke you in ways lesser literature cannot (I can barely remember East of Eden , but I can point to the emotions it made me feel and the questions it raised about my life) -- these are the books worth reading, worth bruising yourself on.

codethiefonJuly 19, 2015

Motivation (and discipline) comes and goes, even for successful people that are truly passionate about the things they do. (There are studies that self-discipline is actually quite similar to a muscle that gets increasingly tired over the course of the day. Thus, it's easier to get something done in the morning than in the evening when you have probably already forced yourself to do multiple things.) That's why you need to make the things you want to do continuously – in your case: learning – a habit, i.e. a daily or weekly routine. If you make it a habit, you won't need motivation anymore and you won't even question whether you should learn right now or rather do something else. You will simply do it. If not, the habit will actually make you feel bad by depriving you from various hormones that make you feel happy. So, in this sense, a habit is quite similar to an addiction – but in a good way.

For further reading you might want to look into Charles Duhigg's "The Power of Habit". If you're a procrastinator, "The Now Habit" by Neil Fiore might also be of value to you.

Update: Several other suggestions made here (such as getting rid of the internet or using a buddy system) can be interpreted in terms of getting rid of a bad habit or as to how to implement (i.e. learn) this learning habit exactly (a buddy system is one way).

prostoalexonDec 3, 2016

I second "The Power of Habit", Duhigg is the kind of writer you're looking for - aggregating scientific sources and multiple studies, but presenting them in very easy-to-consume popular-science format.

Worth noting that the 21 day recommendation is "average", the actual "stick time" has a huge variation between a few days spent on "brush my teeth as soon as I wake up" habit to (likely) months that it would take to pick up the "run 5 miles before breakfast" habit.

MikhoonMar 28, 2018

That's really just basic habit loop -- trigger-action-reward -- that one needs to break by replacing action part with something different more useful. Pretty quickly one gets used to a new habit loop structure and the same old trigger now ignites some healthy action to receive the same old reward.

E.g. teeth-brushing habit: trigger - wake up, action - brush teeth, reward - freshness mint (or other) taste in your mouth. That's basically why a taste was added at all to a toothpaste -- to create a habit loop. Before that teeth-brushing powder/paste was tasteless and resulted in bad sales.

The same habit loop structure is used a lot to change bad habits or to integrate new habits in sports, military, etc. There is a very good book about it by Charles Duhigg:

"The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business"


ncfaustionDec 5, 2020

Good point. Often by truly commiting to some goal or task that we'd like to develop into a habit for just ~21 days in a row, we can build that new habit.

Again, easier said than done however.

Might be time for me to revist the book The Power of Habit, but from what I remember, the main idea is to:

1. Identify what actions/events/stimuli cause us to fall back into old habits that we'd like to change.

2. Notice when those events are happening, and

3. Take some simple action to change our default mode response to the habit we'd like to develop

Edit: Cue -> Routine -> Reward is the main pathway for habit formation in the brain.

FourSigmaonJuly 7, 2017

My June/July/Aug booklist:

   - How to Read Literature Like a Professor by Thomas Foster
- The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg
- The Story of the Human Body by Daniel Lieberman
- The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides
- Founders at Work by Jessica Livingston
- Coders at Work by Peter Seibel
- Drive by Daniel Pink
- American Gods by Neil Gaiman

mviponSep 20, 2019

I'd recommend reading The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg. For me, creating habits and using a paper todo list have made a big impact on me. That said, i think everyone occasionally feels that they are slacking performing less than they could do. I also wrote a bit about what works for me in my blog post A Decade of Remote Work [1].

[1] http://blog.viktorpetersson.com/remote-work/2019/05/18/a-dec...

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