What does a typical day at the office look like for you? How efficient are you really when you are working?
Do you find that you check your emails while you are in meetings, or do you aimlessly jump from one task to the next? The way you work, the way you make your decisions and perform your tasks is very different for each individual. Are you aware of your ‘automatic behaviors’ which may be undermining your productivity and therefore your profit?
You have developed habits over the years which largely influence your personal life, your work life, all areas of your life and these will ultimately give you your results in your business. You must become aware and learn how to deal with your bad habits if you want to see success sooner. Of course you may have habits that are helpful, like arriving to meetings on time, but I am sure, there are some that are harmful to your business as well.
You formed your habits while you were growing up and many of your habits were passed down from your family to you. You also pick up habits by observing and then modeling others behavior; those who you were influenced by at a very young age, mainly your family and friends. You may also have picked up habits when you did something that was enjoyable.
This is because your brain releases dopamine, which is a chemical that makes you feel good. The dopamine actually travels to an area of your brain where your memories are formed and it creates a memory – which connects whatever you were doing with a reward, which encourages you to do it again, and then it becomes a habit.
Your habits are developed through frequent reinforcement and repetition over the years. You have a specific habit about the way that you wake up and what you do before you leave for work, how you like to work, how you manage your time, how you drive, exercise, etc – the list is obviously endless and everything you do comprises of habit. In fact, 40% of your actions throughout the day are automatic, not a conscious decision that you are making.
Ideally you want to develop habits that will support you in success in your business and obviously not the contrary. Bad habits limit your success; it really is worth putting in some time and effort to overcome your bad habits. There isn’t one way to overcome bad habits; you might need to try a few strategies. We are all different and what may take somebody 21 days to successfully change a habit may take another person 67 days.
8 Tips on changing limiting habits
- First become aware of the limiting habits you want to change. Don’t try to change them all at once either, this is not recommended.
- Start by creating a plan of how you are going to overcome your bad habits and write this down. Get clear on what new behavior you are going to employ to override the old habit.
- Brainstorm different ways to help you move forward in the moment of hesitation. Be prepared for your limbic system to kick in and keep you procrastinating with change.
- Develop skills like self-awareness, to identify your bad habits and also, when you are not following through with changing them once identified.
- Motivate yourself by using structures to constantly remind you of the benefits of changing this habit and what is at stake if you don’t.
- If you find it too difficult to just cut out a habit, start to limit it. For example: If you check your email every 5 minutes, aim to check it every 20minutes, instead of setting a goal like checking it every 3 hours.
- Give yourself rewards when you don’t reinforce your ‘bad habit’, this will help you to start associating the new behavior with the reward and you make it more motivating for you.
- Get your partner, colleagues or family involved to point out your blind spots or act as an accountability partner for your bad habits.
If you have a burning desire to succeed in your business, if you are committed to doing whatever it takes, then I would seriously encourage you to become aware of your limiting habits, take the time and make the effort to develop habits that will transform your business and take it to the next level.