I hate taking my Vitamin D medicine. It shouldn’t be so hard right? Instead of spending hours in the sun (when the only time I actually am outside is walking to and from my car), mankind has found a way to combine the sun’s vitamin into a tiny little pill that takes 2 seconds to pop in and get your daily dose.
But for some reason, I miss most of my daily D. And the reason is pretty stupid: it’s too many steps. At the risk of sounding lazy, it’s hard to do because of 1) getting the pills and 2) getting water. Originally, I had the bottle by my bed, but then I wouldn’t always have water. I then put them in the kitchen cabinet so I would always have water nearby, but then I would forget about it. All in all, I probably missed 70% of taking my Vitamin D.
I realized that the simple task of not having water was causing the problem (either it wasn’t near or the bottle was hidden in the kitchen), so I removed that point of friction: I got Vitamin D gummies instead. Now I have it every morning and haven’t missed.
Some people would call me lazy, and that’s cool. But if you take a bigger look at what’s going on here, it’s that there was too much friction to overcome. And the simpler the task, the more impactful ANY friction is. The dictionary defines friction as: the resistance that one surface or object encounters. It’s ANYTHING that makes something hard to do.
Friction can be a good and bad thing – it all depends on how you use it. It can either make something hard to do, or prevent you from doing something you don’t want to.
Bad friction: annoying pills that make it hard to take your Vitamin D
Good friction: putting your phone in another room at night so you get some sleep
A lot of personal development focuses on using friction for habits, but I want look at how you can remove micro-frictions that cause annoying moments in your day. These are tiny moments that give you an “ugh” feeling and when stacked together, can quickly put you in a bad mood.
- Trashcan being at a weird angle, so it’s hard to take out/empty
- A leaky showerhead that takes the fun out of a hot shower at night
- Uncomfortable chair at work that you sit in all day
These things, while a small part of your day, and annoying enough to cause a series of “ugh” moments. That’s why they are called micro-frictions.
What if you took a day and labeled all your micro frictions? Try it – see what moments in your day, even small ones, ruin the experience for you even just a little bit. You’ll be surprised at how small they are. But also how quick they can be to fix!
- Switch around your trashcan to a more convenient location (maybe 1 minute)
- Fix your shower heard or install a new one (20-25 minutes)
- Get a seat cover or a small pillow for your chair (10 minutes shopping)
Micro-frictions cause you resistance to enjoying the moment, or even a simple task. Instead of dealing with them on a day to day basis, invest in 15 minutes to fix it and enjoy how much simpler life can be.