Increasing and decreasing my barrier for entry
For the longest time I’ve known that if I just put on my running cloths I’ll go for a run. I’ve always been amazed that the single action removes all friction to me wanting to go for a run or work out.
I’m always searching for ways to decrease the barrier to entry for other parts of my life. Things I want to be doing but don’t because I’m lazy or tired or some other weak excuse. I’ve been doing it for my design and development workflow, for keeping a daily journal and entering in tasks to omnifocus.
For the longest time I never thought to increase the barrier of entry for habits that I don’t want myself to be doing. I’ve been doing this a lot lately and it’s worked out great. The two biggest things in my life the I’ve wanted to stop looking Twitter and email on my phone. I check it too often and neglect everything around me when I do. I think that because they are in such bite size information I can just read them for a min and get back to what I was doing before.
I’ve removed Tweetbot from my phone so I don’t constantly have something to check. If I want to see what’s on Twitter I, load it up in safari and log in. When I’m done I log out. I did the same thing with email. I deleted Mailbox which I really liked for email and turned email off on my accounts. If I want to see my email I got to setting to turn on and then to the default mail app which is buried in a folder.
By increasing the barrier for entry I’ve slowly decreased the amount that I am checking my phone.
I’ve now been trying to bring this thinking into the applications that I’m building. I’m trying to increase the barrier of entry for tasks that I don’t want users to take while still trying to decrease the barriers for things that I want them to do.
“Curiosity is the key to all four steps in doing great work: it will choose the field for you, get you to the frontier, cause you to notice the gaps in it, and drive you to explore them. The whole process is a kind of dance with curiosity.”