About a year ago I decided to make order in my daily work and routine. It was nearly six months since I had started my studies and research and there was a ton of delayed tasks which I had no idea how to keep up with. But the most annoying and harmful thing was the stress and the realization I might never find time to clear my to-do list.
So I started looking for solutions and a programmer friend of mine suggested several to-do list and project managing apps and told me I could use Toggl to track project times showing me how he used Toggl to work remotely with his team.
I installed every application but most of them turned out useless for me. The most appealing thing about Toggl for me was the ability to track my sleeping time and after a couple of weeks I realized I estimated my sleeping time completely wrong.
“I thought my average sleeping time was about five hours a day but it was way more, actually it was more than eight hours a day!”
I have the impression that most Toggl users, use it for tracking time in joint work projects and not for tracking personal life habits. During my studies I read Charles Duhigg’s “The power of Habit” and according to this book I’ve had to find my most important habit and made a proper habit loop (Cue, Routine, Reward) for it so that this habit could affect my other habits.
I knew that my most important drive was getting up from sleep before seven o’clock but I always ended up confused in between tasks. I decided to start making order to my sleep. I assigned Toggl’s red button in the mobile app to the cue and I forced myself to start the timer every night at 22:45 and go to bed and get up at 4:40 in the morning (Routine). The reward was a hot cup of coffee that I wouldn’t drink if I hadn’t done my routine.
“Soon using Toggl became a game for me and starting that timer on time was my number 1 priority.”
During last year I never let go of this habit and even when I was sick I was worried about the weekly report from Toggl which I think became my reward instead of the delightful cup of coffee!
Last week I realized that it has been a year since I started using Toggl and since then I have tracked about eight hundred hours of study and several finished or ongoing projects.
There is a quote from Haruki Murakami that says: “I keep to this routine every day without variation. The repetition itself becomes the important thing; it’s a form of mesmerism. I mesmerize myself to reach a deeper state of mind.”
I have an average of sixteen habit loops now and all of them are combined with Toggl. Starting a timer in my mobile app is the only thing that I do, I have scheduled tasks in variant times of day and I only force myself to start the timer. I can’t control external happenings but as Murakami says, I can mesmerize myself.
What daily habits do you track with Toggl? Has it helped you get rid of bad habits or form new routines? Let us know in the comments!