Reduce friction.

Reduce Friction

Everyone has inertia, and one way I fight against inertia is by reducing friction.

Reducing friction means simplifying complicated tasks. For example, I place the books I am currently reading on my bedside table so that I can flip through them before going to bed or when I wake up. This method has been very effective. Compared to before, I have finished reading several books that I had previously left unfinished in just one month.

Another example is the automatic insulated cup on my desk. It is well known that a person should drink 8 cups of water a day. Personally, I don't like drinking cold water and prefer water at 45 degrees Celsius. However, once I get caught up in work or entertainment, I become too lazy to refill my cup. This is because after refilling, I have to heat up the water or wait for it to reach the desired temperature, which takes too long.

Since I got the automatic insulated cup, this process has become much quicker. I can simply reach out and drink warm water. Therefore, this cup is definitely one of my favorite items of 2020. It heats up at regular intervals and keeps the water warm all day, allowing me to drink warm water anytime, anywhere.

These two examples have helped me develop the habits of reading before bed and drinking water regularly. Although I deliberately cultivated these habits a long time ago, they were not very effective in the end. They would be interrupted every now and then due to various reasons. On one hand, there were indeed other factors that interfered, and on the other hand, it was due to inertia. Once the process became longer, the motivation to complete it would be weighed against other things happening at the moment. If the other things outweighed the motivation, then the process would be interrupted.

This applies to many situations. For example, when browsing a webpage, if it takes more than 5 seconds to load, I will most likely close it and leave. There is a small chance that I will try again, and this small chance occurs when I have high expectations for the value of the webpage.

Similarly, when designing a product, it is important to consider whether the user's path of action has been simplified as much as possible. Is it the simplest path considering all factors? If the path becomes too long or includes too many irrelevant distractions, the user will inevitably lose interest in the final step. After all, where there is a path, there will be losses.

Going back to the two examples at the beginning, placing books on the bedside table reduces the steps of getting up and finding the book compared to going to the desk; the automatic insulated cup on the desk reduces the steps of getting up and refilling the cup, as well as the process of heating or waiting for the water to reach the desired temperature. These are all ways to simplify the path from action to goal, which reduces friction in the process and naturally reduces "loss".

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