Breaking up is hard to do, in the famously catchy words of Neil Sedaka. With that haircut, I’m sure he would know.

But here’s the good news: when it comes to habits, the opposite is true! Breaking up your good habits into smaller chunks will make your life so much easier.

In this habit hack, we’re sharing the best time management strategies to make new habits stick.

Try working toward the goals you set for yourself in smaller chunks throughout the day instead of one large one. For example, if your new goal is to play 45 minutes each day, try three 15-minute chunks. I’ll bet you find yourself more engaged, efficient, and effective.

Anyone incorporating new habits is doing some major neural trailblazing by developing insulation (myelin) around their new neural pathways. The more they use a certain pathway, the more insulated it becomes and the easier the new habit is to maintain. (For more on this, check out the book The Talent Code.)

But even though we need to practice many repetitions to cement new habits, research shows that practicing longer is not the best way to go. Instead, short bursts of practice usually work better for the brain. They allow you to stay engaged and focused much better. So take a break or three! 

Practice while you’re sharp so you can make real progress. When you start to fade, put your fiddle down and come back to it when you have the brainpower to make real improvements.