Habit - something that you do often and regularly, sometimes without knowing that you are doing it
In a recent meeting, the person I was talking to had this annoying habit of underestimating the facts. You see they were in a very dire situation but kept downplaying the magnitude. At first, I thought it was a lack of comprehension, but then I realised the behaviour was a defence mechanism. Even though the person had requested me to help them, a habit was getting in the way from making progress.
Our routines influence success. For instance, billionaire investor Warren Buffett reportedly spends around 80% of his day reading. He doesn’t read to get other people’s opinions, instead he reads to gather facts so he can make informed decisions.
In reality, we’ll have a mixture of positive and negative habits. I find the more successful workers have developed good habits while minimising what were bad habits.
Could changing just 1 habit make a huge difference to you? Three to consider are:
Get 7+ hours sleep – “In one study, researchers found that subjects who slept just 6 hours a night for 14 days had the cognitive wherewithal of someone with a .1% blood alcohol level. That’s legally drunk.” Are you getting sufficient sleep to comprehend and retain information easily?
Reduce interruptions – Researchers from the University of California found it takes almost 25 minutes to get back on task after an interruption. Interruptions destroy productivity. Do you tend to invite or minimise interruptions?
Be present at meetings – A study found that 73% of attendees admit they do other work during meetings. No wonder people complain that meetings are a waste a time. Is the way you approach meetings contributing to the problem?
Routines have a major impact on how we work. Workers achieve greater results when they have refined their productivity habits (organisation, workflow, planning, prioritisation, scheduling, collaboration and execution) to be part of their daily rhythm.
We often don’t realise the behaviours that are obvious to others. Consider mentoring or coaching as a “circuit breaker” to help refine and build effective habits.