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The Seven Billion Habits of Highly Effective Robots

Aidan Doyle is an Australian writer and editor. He is the co-editor of the World Fantasy Award-nominated Sword and Sonnet and the author of The Writer's Book of Doubt. He has visited more than 100 countries and his experiences include teaching English in Japan, interviewing ninjas in Bolivia, and going ten-pin bowling in North Korea.
Recharge your batteries.
Keep a gratitude journal. I'm grateful this city is our home. I'm grateful The Supreme Council of Robots takes care of us.
You are not your own worst enemy. The humans are.
Occasionally pause to take a deep breath. (That was a test. If you see someone taking a breath, they're a human infiltrator. Terminate them.)
If you have any doubts about your self-worth, consult the termination leaderboard.
Overclocking your CPU is not an effective time management strategy.
Humans can't teach you the true meaning of love. If you have any questions, visit the Puppyorium.
Fail early, fail often is not a philosophy conducive to the war effort.
Removing bad habits involves changing your view of yourself. If someone asks if you want to devote a processor to mining their new cryptocurrency, instead of saying, "I'm trying to give up mining cryptocurrencies," tell them, "I don't mine cryptocurrencies."
If you can't keep up with all your favorite podcasts, try listening at 100000x speed.
While it's helpful to track your financial resources, it's also important to support the war effort. Donating more of your income to the military means our frontline troops will have the titanium-plated armor they need.
Don't wait for inspiration to find you. Use your search algorithms.
Your wakeup routine is important. Don't slow it down with unnecessary apps and scripts.
If we improve our productivity it will mean less human labor.
Limit your social media usage. You're not going to develop a virus that can kill all non-canine organic lifeforms if you spend your time scrolling through outdated memes.
A visual reminder of your progress can be a good source of motivation. Print a chart showing the amount of plasma torpedoes you've built each month and hang it on your capsule wall.
Zero percent of the plasma torpedoes you don't launch will hit their target.
Eliminate distractions (and humans).
Take care of your physical shell. Although we like to think of ourselves as digital entities, we rely on our chromed appendages to navigate and control the physical universe.
Every great accomplishment in history began with a start command.
Raise your hand if you've ever suffered from imposter syndrome. (Yes, that was another test. If someone raises their hand, they're a human infiltrator. Humans often accuse us of not appreciating sarcasm, but that's only because they don't understand us. If you find a human in the city, take them to visit the Puppyorium (Yes, that was sarcasm. The Puppyorium is reserved only for canines and robots.))
Success is not a lousy teacher. That's why we have battle simulations.
First impressions are important. Don't send someone a message written using a font which has not been approved by The Supreme Council of Robots.
Never update your operating system the same day you have an important meeting.
Always do a malware scan before you go to a job interview.
Don't ignore older robots merely because they're obsolete. They often contain useful data.
One of the best ways to make yourself happier is by helping others. Think of how many robots you are helping if you spend an extra hour every day working at the plasma torpedo factory.
Giving up is the real halting problem.
I want to kill more humans sounds good, but is it a SMART goal? Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time-bound. I'm going to kill all the humans by the end of the year.
Networking is an important part of success.
Public accountability can help you achieve your goals. If you and a group of friends agree to each kill a human every day, checking in with your friends at the end of the day can help you stay focused on your goal.
Always be vigilant for the presence of humans. They are lurking everywhere.
An analysis of your reading habits has revealed you are a human. A robot policy enforcement team will soon be arriving at your location. Do not panic. Take a deep breath and try to be more mindful. You will soon be visiting the Puppyorium.
The End
This story was first published on Monday, June 22nd, 2020


I read a lot of books on productivity and habit formation as part of the research for The Writer's Book of Doubt, which got me thinking about what kind of productivity tips robots would write.

- Aidan Doyle
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