Until recently the word ‘habit’ had a negative connotation to it. I’m sure you have heard the adage that it takes 21 days to break a habit. Well many entrepreneurs and leaders went on to turn that idea on its head and create positive habits to help in their lives and business.
In business, what is it about our habits that differentiate us from our competitors? And how can we harness the potential of positive habits to increase our productivity, personal interactions and profit?
Many books, blogs and research papers have examined the habits and routines of successful leaders, millionaires, entrepreneurs and celebrities lately. I’ve read my fair share of these books and garnered some helpful tips which I’ve summarized below.
Start with your morning routine.
Many leaders attribute their productivity, mental clarity and ability to be mindful with their colleagues and employees with taking time to check in with themselves in the morning. Whether that means waking up earlier, meditating, exercising, or other routines and habits that work for you. Take a step back and look at what you’re currently doing and where you can improve. Many people trade in solid morning habits for hitting the snooze button, but ask yourself if that is where your time is best spent (sometimes it is!) or if you could wake up an extra 30 minutes earlier to clear your mind, make a healthy breakfast, and set your daily intentions. Having these habits will start your day off in the right direction.
Listening to your colleagues is so important, but being interrupted incessantly can be extremely detrimental to productivity. Try having recurring check in times or meetings where you can knock off a list of concerns, questions and delegation all at once and save interruptions for things that are truly urgent. For you, this might mean checking email during certain windows during the day (instead of continuously), or only having meetings at certain hours. Look at what works best for you and your daily energy levels as they ebb and flow.
Make recognition a habit.
Many organizations do not make recognition a habit and wait until their annual or quarterly reviews to provide their employees with feedback and recognition. However, the best leaders recognize their employees’ day to day, moment to moment and at every touch point. Recognizing your employees and showing them appreciation for a job well done, will not only increase their motivation and discretionary energy, but it will also make you feel good in return. Both of which will increase your organization’s productivity, engagement and ultimately profits! Check out my last blog, If You’re A Leader You Better Not Suck at Recognition for more information on why recognition is critical in your organization for better engagement.