Habits and Behaviors are the biggest obstacles to success in business. In my career in the corporate world as well as in my own business I have seen great time and effort on skills and knowledge training. Unfortunately most employee terminations and business failures occur because of habits and behaviors. I think it was Einstein who said that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing and expecting a different result.
If any of you have ever done an assessment with a coach or you have had a developmental assessment for your job you probably saw a section on the worksheet that is titled “I will stop doing…” If you are doing things that are harmful to your business why do you keep doing them? In most cases we are in a comfort zone and we don’t want to change because making any change will be uncomfortable. However, when we set up a goal achievement plan we will need to stop doing some things and begin doing others.
First, start by looking at your activities that have produced little or nothing and may have kept you from doing more productive things. How do you spend your day? You could start by doing a time matrix outlining how you spent every hour in a given day. Now look at how much time was wasted and how many important things did not get done?
When you set goals but you will need to eliminate some harmful behaviors in order to achieve your goals. You may enjoy those behaviors but, of course, you remember that someone once told you there is no gain without pain. But who can be in pain all the time? You need to create a new comfort zone or new normal. Here is how:
- Recognize that your attitudes and habits you currently hold give you some level of satisfaction.
- Ask yourself why you have the bad habit and what comfort or pleasure you receive from having that habit.
- Substitute a new pleasure or comfort for changing that habit.
Let’s say you have a habit of coming into the office, getting coffee, chatting with others, reading emails and then you discover half the day is gone. You are used to that and it is a comfortable part of your day. But now it is almost afternoon and you are fretting about your scheduled the work that has not been done or the appointments that have not been made. Now substitute the pleasure of spending time at the end of the day doing what you want with the pleasure of knowing that you finished all those projects and knowing that you have a full appointment calendar. What will less stress about unfinished work do for you? What will additional sales which will come from full appointments do for your lifestyle? Before long you have a new productive habit and you and that will be your new normal.
You will have eliminated bad habits and increased your success.