How Habits Affect Everyday Life

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At any given moment, customers of all backgrounds rush into Starbucks, only to take their time once engaged by employees. Those same customers head home to receive a flier from Target with coupons directed at their family. Then maybe they will do some light cleaning, such as spraying their homes with Febreze, and eventually they will brush their teeth before heading to bed; only to repeat a similar pattern the following day. After spending the morning in the Starbucks on the corner of Park Avenue and East 34th Street in Manhattan, it became nearly impossible to reject Charles Duhigg’s findings in The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do In Life and Business. When I first walked into the store, employees who were eager to take my order and learn my name greeted me. While waiting for my coffee, I observed a cohesive staff behind the bar, preparing food and drinks, laughing, and having fun. Duhigg would note this excellent customer service as the result of habit.
In The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do In Life and Business, Duhigg leads readers through a careful analysis of academic studies, interviews, research, and even some anecdotes. Habits are a part of our everyday lives, and while we may believe that we are making conscious decisions, most of what we do is truly a result of habit. Habits are also our brain’s way of being more efficient, rather than consciously thinking all the time, the brain attempts to save effort through these habitual behaviors. Duhigg refers to this phenomenon as “chunking,” a process where “the brain converts a sequence of actions into an automatic routine.”1 If the brain did not have routines to depend on, it would become too overwhelmed to continue processing information. Therefore changing someon...

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...e workplace and consumerism. Although this book is an enjoyable read, and some readers may be able to relate to it in the “self help manner.”2 Duhigg brings up important tasks in his book, making it exceptionally innovative and imperative for anyone in the business of labor to read. As the labor force and business as a whole continue to evolve, it is important that employers and marketers work to shape that evolution in a positive way.

Works Cited

1Duhigg, Charles. The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business. New York: Random House, 2012. Print.
2Wilson, Timothy D. "Can’t Help Myself." The New York Times. The New York Times, 10 Mar. 2012. Web. 16 Apr. 2014.
3Yang, Jia Lynn, and Amrita Jayakumar. "Target Says up to 70 Million More Customers Were Hit by December Data Breach." Washington Post. The Washington Post, 11 Jan. 2014. Web. 14 Apr. 2014.

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