We all have habits. These are the things we do very regularly without even thinking about them, such as getting up and putting the kettle on before you do anything else. You just do them without even knowing that they’re habits.
Work habits are just the same, you get to your desk and without even thinking you check your email, after making that all-important cup of coffee.
Does any of that sound familiar? Can you quickly identify some simple habits in your work and life?
Most of our habits will be neutral in terms of whether they are beneficial or not. But I’ve been going through some self-analysis and began to think about whether the way I work is particularly efficient and/or effective.
And I’ve concluded that I need to make some work adjustments if I really want to move my business further and faster.
So, I did some research on getting started with new work habits and have embarked on some small but significant changes in how I work.
One of the first things I’m doing (starting with what you’re reading right now) is to write a minimum of 150 words a day. This may not sound like a lot but I do enjoy writing and know that content development and blogging are important for success in online marketing. Thus helping my business.
I’ve also realised that I need to be much more diligent in doing my business marketing each day. I aim to do at least 45 minutes each day but have let that slip in recent weeks.
Last week I made a commitment to exercise a minimum 3 times over a seven day period since that’s something else that I’ve let slide in recent months. Not quite a new work habit but it’s important to stay fit and healthy if you want to be focused and productive (“Sharpen the saw” as Dr Covey used to say).
A key tip is to realise that checking and acting upon email at the beginning of the working day is a completely reactive work habit. You’re letting someone else set the tone for the day. So, my emails won’t get answered until mid morning from now on (well, most of the time anyway).
Now these may seem like really small and simple things but the cumulative effect over time should be quite significant. If I write 150 words a day that amounts to 2 or 3 blog posts a week. Thus accumulating a decent volume. Doing some marketing each day helps to ensure that I’m constantly winning and keeping customers instead of waiting until things get needy.
I’ve learned over the years that if you want to make changes then start with small and regular things and go from there. You’ll be far more successful making regular small changes than aiming at big stuff in one go. Getting started is easy, keeping going is hard. So start small and develop as you go.
But the best thing about aiming at habits is that I habits happen without having to think too much about it. I want my new habits to become integral parts of my life and work so that they will get done because it’s a normal part of what I do anyway.
I’ll be writing more over time as these new work habits develop but feel free to share your thoughts on getting started with new work habits in the comments below. If you’ve started a new work habit recently let us know how it’s going.