Mastering Data and Analytics: The Power of Habit Stacking

Ryan Jamieson
February 27, 2023

I have been reading "Atomic Habits" by James Clear. One of the concepts he discusses is Habit Stacking.

I believe that applying it to learning a new skill is a highly effective and practical. So let's take a look at the concept.

Habit stacking is a powerful technique that can help you learn new skills more efficiently. By combining small, manageable habits into a routine, you can establish a daily practice that will make it easier to learn a new skill or technique. Here are some of the benefits of habit stacking for learning a new skill:

Makes Learning More Automatic

When you habit stack, you make learning more automatic. By tying the learning process to existing habits, you don't have to think about it as much. You simply do it as part of your routine. This makes it easier to establish a daily practice and to stick with it over time.

Reduces Cognitive Load

When you're learning something new, it can be overwhelming to try to take everything in at once. Habit stacking helps to reduce cognitive load by breaking the learning process down into smaller, more manageable steps. This makes it easier to learn and to retain what you've learned over time.

Increases Productivity

Habit stacking can also help to increase productivity. By establishing a routine that includes learning the skill, you can make the most of your time and get more done in less time. This can be especially helpful if you have a busy schedule and limited time to devote to learning.

Builds Confidence

As you learn the skill through habit stacking, you'll begin to build confidence in your abilities. By establishing a daily practice, you'll see progress over time and develop a sense of mastery over the skills you're learning. This can be incredibly empowering and can motivate you to continue learning and growing.

How can you apply Habit Stacking for Learning Power BI

Here's an example of how you might use habit stacking to learn Power BI or for that matter, any new tool or technology:

  1. Start by stacking a learning habit onto an existing daily habit. For example, if you have a habit of checking your email first thing in the morning, you might stack your Power BI learning habit onto that by spending 10-15 minutes each morning going through a Power BI tutorial or watching a video on a specific topic.
  2. As you start to build your Power BI skills, add another habit to your stack. For example, you might decide to spend 20-30 minutes each day practicing what you've learned by creating a new report or dashboard in Power BI. 
  3. Once you're comfortable with the basics, add more advanced habits to your stack. For example, you might decide to spend 30 minutes each day exploring Power BI's more advanced features, such as DAX formulas or custom visuals. 
  4. Over time, you'll build a habit stack that includes daily learning, practice, and exploration. By making Power BI a regular part of your routine, you'll be able to build your skills more quickly and efficiently.  

The same approach could be applied to learning any other tool or technology. The key is to start small and build your habits gradually, focusing on regular practice and exploration to build your skills over time.

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