Productivity Hack for Habit Creation – Completion Caterpillar

I had tried a lot of things to create habits. But for whatever reason I was always stuck in a funk.

Today I share with you all, my three step habit forming process. It’s a simple and easy way to get you started on a new habit. 

What will I need for this?

Three things. A timer, a To Do List(preferably erasable), and a reward(chocolate chips for me)

  • I bought a timer as I found the hassle of going on my phone to reset things a bit annoying. But, any timer you have will do. 
  • For a To Do list you should have a whiteboard. We will be erasing quite frequently and placing dots in our completion caterpillar when we meet our goals. 
  • A reward. I found chocolate chips to be perfect. They’re small and tasty. But, you could use a soundclip you find very pleasant or another type of small sweet. The plan here is something tiny that doesn’t take a lot of time to enjoy, but that you will appreciate!

You can check out my video below on my productivity system. 

Steps for Creating your Habit

1. Get your whiteboard, write down the one goal you have, and the habit you wish to form with it. 

In my example, I used Spanish. 

After this, draw your “Completion Caterpillar”. It needs to have 9 holes in the length of it’s body. 

2. Set your timer to a ridiculously small amount of time. 

Whatever you think you can do. It could be ten seconds if you’re really having trouble concentrating. Then for your first day, complete the amount of studying for your habit and once your timer goes off fill in a dot. 

3. For every three dots you fill in, give yourself your reward.

I would sit there after three dots, eat my chocolate chip, and savor it. Then, I would restart my timer again. 

After the first day

When you’ve successfully filled in your completion caterpillar, you’re going to want to ramp it up. My advice to you is, keep it easy. 

If you want each dot to equal five minutes, that means you’ll have 45 minutes completed in a day on your habit. That is awesome! That’s where I ended up with Spanish.

What if I fail to fill in my goal for a day?

If you sat down and tried to get your completion caterpillar filled out and you couldn’t, there is a simple solution. Just turn down the time. 

If you know you’re going to have a crazy day, make your goal reachable. But, it’s important not to get into a new habit of going too easy on yourself. Even if you only complete 15 minutes in an especially hectic day, that’s still progress. 

writer working on laptop

The mindset you need for this

Two things, calm and forgiving. 

Start small, don’t overwhelm yourself. I know that studying math for three minutes may seem too easy, but you want to set the routine. Set the routine, make it solidified and eventually form a habit. 

This ridiculous simplicity will work. We’re not that complex after all 😛

Does this actually work?


I know it sounds wild, but this has personally been the best way in my life to create new habits. I was always a big video game player, and what got me really addicted was the constant rewards.

So, applying rewards to a positive habit seemed to just click for me. I hope this works for you, and if it does, let me know! 

I’d love to hear if it changed your life a little bit. 

Author Picture - Conor


Hey everyone 🙂 My name is Conor. I'm passionate about technology, zen, and improving the quality of life so many of us share at a desk!

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