Overcome resistance by removing micro-frictions

When you’re trying to make a new habit or trying to encourage a new behavior in yourself or others, take special notice of the tiny things that can slow down adoption. I’ll call these impediments “micro-frictions.”

For example, it’s common advice for anyone who runs a website to focus on page speed. Why is that? Well, in 2017 Akamai found that a 100 millisecond delay, an almost imperceptible amount of time, results in 7% fewer conversions (sales, clicks, etc.). A 2 second delay increased bounce rates by over 100%!

If it only takes 100ms to cause someone to make a different choice when checking out on a website, imagine how much of a difference it could make for you to have to:

  • make an extra trip up or down stairs to begin exercising
  • enter your username and password before recording a transaction for your budget
  • look for cleaning supplies before tidying up

Those examples are pretty contrived, but hopefully you see what I mean. If you want to get something done, focus in on every tiny point of friction, inefficiency, or delay and try to remove it. Make it super easy and you’ll change faster and be less likely to resist.

Dan Silvestre has also written about this from the opposite side–how to remove vices by increasing friction. Check out his blog post for more.