Fostering Productivity in Turbulent Times with James Clear’s Atomic Habits

The coronavirus responsible for the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent global shutdown has caused a significant shift in the day to day lives of people around the world. With many previous commuters and in-person employees now confined to our homes, we are seeing an increased blurring of lines between work and personal life, with our “regular” schedules, and dress and social codes flying out the window. It feels like time no longer exists, we can’t remember when we last ventured outside, and our professional uniforms have been replaced by pajama pants and novelty socks. Disorders big and small are reigning, but fortunately, there are ways to maintain your sanity and foster productivity even in these turbulent times.

Zeroing in on small, positive habits can help you maintain semblance of normalcy in your post-shelter-in-place life. Habit building has a positive effect on overall wellbeing, and James Clear, top personal development keynote speaker and author of the bestselling Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones, is an expert in the art. Ingrained behaviors and habits account for almost half of our behaviors each day, and can be responsible for our physical, mental, and emotional health and happiness, for better or for worse.

Clear shares a variety of tips and tricks for habit building, including strategies to lose weight, stop procrastinating, and improve concentration, while also detailing how to get rid of bad habits through setting clear boundaries and penalties that leave the habit-builder little wiggle room for deviation. His personal site is a treasure trove of actionable takeaways and easily digestible ideas for self-regulation and improvement, all of which support one of his key messages: small wins build up in the long term and lead to lasting successes.

Given these circumstances and the already continuous interest in James Clear’s philosophy, it’s no surprise that his book has made it to #1 on the NYT Bestseller List this month, pulling ahead of offerings by Brené Brown and Malcolm Gladwell; it is also enjoying its 22nd week at the top of the NYT’s Advice/How To List. You might not have the energy and mental bandwidth to make any big changes in your life; chances are good you’ve been through enough drastic upheavals in the past months to last you a lifetime. Focus on the small and build from there.

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