Habits are simply acquired behaviour patterns that have become almost involuntary. Some support our productivity, others not so much. It is said that it takes, on average, 66 days to create a new habit or break an old one. Take an inventory of your habits. Decide to discard unhelpful habits. Decide to adopt new ones.
Here are six productivity tips that, if you make them a habit this year, will give you more productivity that you have ever known.
H is for Help
We all need help sometimes. Ask yourself what you need. Be big enough, brave enough and humble enough to ask for it. Some obstacles to be aware of that may stop you from asking for help
Feeling weak or selfish. Not trusting others. Not feeling deserving of help from others. Concern about burdening others by asking for their help.
And when help is offered (if it’s truly useful) take it. Don’t let your ego get in the road and let it push away the help that’s offered.
A is for Accountability
Make yourself accountable to someone.
If you are a single operator, don’t rely on you to keep yourself on course. Find an accountability ‘buddy’. Tell someone of the habit you are wanting to make or break. Get support from someone you trust – someone who will give you honest feedback.
B is for Begin
Planning is important, but sooner or later you have to begin. Finishing is impossible without it. To make or break a habit, you need to begin somewhere. Start small and build. If you must, break the task down to the smallest single next step you can think to take and do that. Then repeat. An example: if you want to get into exercise. Don’t commit to 30 minutes…commit to five minutes and add an extra minute every day. I just a month you will be over 30 minutes and it was easy.
I is for Internal Focus
Keep your focus positive and accurate. Henry Ford once said, “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t – you’re right”. Your thoughts have great influence over your actions. Harness the power of the dominant thought in your mind. Think “I can” rather than “I can’t”, “I will” over “I won’t”, “I am” rather than “I am not”.
T is for Time Frames
The saying goes, “Don’t give me time; give me a deadline.” Time-framed goals create urgency. Your unconscious responds by picking up the pace of creativity, inventiveness and energy. Try it. What’s a deadline that you can put in place, yourself, that will spur you on.
S is for Stop
We all have ‘to-do’ lists. Another important list is the ‘to NOT do’ list. What behaviours and habits do you want to stop? Stop smoking, stop snacking, stop wasting time on endless TV/screens, stop whingeing. Make a decision. Ask for support. Start stopping!