I discovered that the easiest way to start drinking more water is to always keep a water bottle with me. Before going to bed, I keep a bottle of water next to the bed. The idea is, when I wake up, the first thing I see is the water bottle. I drink that bottle before getting out of bed. This system helps me get a significant headstart in meeting my daily water drinking quota.
A few years back I was consulting for a client in Minneapolis. I traveled every other week to Minneapolis to work from their office. I worked with them for almost a year. It was fun and enjoyable work. During that time I developed a good camaraderie with my colleagues there. When I started working with them I noticed that they had a similar - effortless - system to drink more water during office hours.
Our office in Minneapolis was a repurposed shopping complex. It was a huge single-story building with a large parking place all around it. Our sitting arrangement was based on the ‘open office’ concept. In this arrangement, each team would get a or working area - but not individual cubicles for each team member. This improves the collaboration and communication within the team. Our working area was in one corner of the building. It was diagonally opposite to the cafeteria, which was located in another corner of the building. There was a water fountain nearby our working area. My colleagues followed a system to only get water from the cafeteria, or the water-fountain near the cafeteria. Like clockwork, we used to get up every couple of hours, walk to the cafeteria, refill our bottles, and get back to the desk. Without consciously putting any effort, or setting specific goals, this simple system ensured that we drink enough water throughout the day. The other advantage was getting some sunlight and fresh air when the weather was nice. Or simply getting out of the chair and get our bodies moving. Drinking more water also ensured more restroom visits, so that was an additional ‘get out of the chair’ bonus. When I was not in the office, and working from home, I didn’t drink enough water. I did not have an effortless system in place to develop this habit.
My brain is lazy. It wants to conserve energy. And so instead of looking at each problem and providing an appropriate solution, it falls into usual patterns. To develop a good habit, I need to have an effortless system. It should be simple. e.g. Keeping a water bottle with me.