In behavior theory there are antecedents (A), behaviors (B), and consequences (C, these are the ‘ABCs’ of behavior). When people design changes to stubborn habits the behavior is the target and changes to the surrounding events are the lever by which the old behavior is displaced and the new one is cemented into place. For this subject, I recommend this book, but get it through interlibrary loan or torrent because it is hella expensive. Anyway, the purpose of cementing a habit is to reduce the required expenditure of willpower to engage in a constructive habit, because willpower is finite.
If we extend behavior theory to a chain of behaviors (A, B, C, D, E…) we have a “routine” or a “habit chain”. I’ve already talked about scheduled time “blocks”.
A “transition” is an expenditure of willpower to change activities. Some activities require very different mindsets, and making these transitions is therefore difficult. A “smooth” transition is one that requires less willpower and feels more natural, because the consequential (C) mindset of a behavior (B) is very close to the antecedent (A2) required for the next behavior (B2) in a chain. Ex. Eating a big lunch tends to leave us sluggish, which would make a difficult transition to technically demanding work. However, it puts us in an excellent antecedent state for networking, e-mail, or better yet a nap.