Habits, both good and bad, are part of our lives and are mostly what makes up our daily routines.
However, bad habits can disrupt your life and can affect your physical and emotional health. In the case of business, bad habits could even harm your profits. You know how you won’t delegate tasks or how you receive an invoice and put it straight under the pile of paperwork that just keeps growing? These could all be affecting your business without you realising it.
The good news is that you can break these habits! However, don’t expect the results to be immediate. Research shows that it takes a minimum of 21 days to break a habit, so be patient with yourself! To help you start we have put together a few points that can start you down the right path.
- Be aware of when your habit happens
Make a little note or mark on a piece of paper each time you notice the habit happening. Then at the end of the day look at how often it happened during the day. Think about what situation you are in when the behaviour surfaces and who you are with. Being aware of how often it happens and any triggers that may be involved is often the first step to being able to break the habit.
- Choose something to replace the habit with
The best way to break a habit is to replace it with a substitute. Because habits provide some sort of benefit to you, it won’t work to simply try and eliminate it. Rather, replace it with something that provides a similar benefit. So rather than placing that invoice to the side where it can get lost before you pay it, immediately scan it into a folder on your computer.
- Plan for any small failures
We are all human and none of us will be able to immediately substitute a bad habit with a good one. Allow for any relapses or slip ups, what really counts is how quickly you get back on track.
- Team up with someone
Tell people what you want to achieve and where you see yourself. Then have them hold you accountable! Having others work along with you and knowing that they expect you to do better can be a strong motivator.
- Track your progress
Keep a record of where you were and how far you’ve come. Take a picture of that pile of invoices and then keep taking pictures as the pile gets smaller. Or as already mentioned, often it is a company’s profits which suffer when bad habits run your day. So keep a track of how your profits improve over the months. Seeing your hard work paying off can really help you keep going!
- Visualize your success
Picture yourself as you want to be. See your clear desk and the neatly filed invoices, or having employees carrying out admin tasks leaving you with more time to focus on running your business. Having a clear idea as to where you want to be will help you crush your bad habits!
There is no magic cure to remove any bad habits, however with a little patience and forward planning it is possible to replace them with good ones!
If you would like more help identifying both good and bad habits in your business, and being held accountable to reaching your goals, then check out our CFO packages.