18 Nov Habit Hacks: Make Good Ones, Break Bad Ones And Save Time With These 6 Steps
via Forbes by Sabina Nawaz
“If we don’t see improvement in this tooth pocket at next year’s cleaning appointment, we’ll have to do an expensive procedure to address it. I recommend you floss daily.” The dentist’s dire directive spurred me to start a daily flossing practice I’d been halfheartedly trying to institute for the past 30 years.
We know the healthy habits that will help us; but we don’t follow them. Similar lapses permeate our work lives as well. We read another email, cajoling ourselves with promises to tackle that big presentation tomorrow, or indulge one more morning as a meeting jockey instead of a strategic thinker. We make deals with ourselves that justify our current actions and defer our eventual, virtuous changes.
The sad truth is we’re more likely to seek painkillers than vitamins. Yet adopting healthy habits is preventative and helps build a firm foundation on which to stack successes. Despite our fears that change takes time and effort, establishing more productive practices save time in the long run by avoiding wasted efforts and messes we would otherwise have to clean up.
I created a tool called the Yes List to help dozens of executives ditch bad behaviors and enhance their impact by embracing new routines. We use a Yes List to record whether we did (yes) or didn’t (no) practice the actions we’re working on. Tracking a Yes List takes 20 seconds a day and yields significant returns.
Here are six steps track your change commitments and turn results from leaden to golden.
1. Create a Yes List. Add no more than three new goals. Break them down into small actionable items. For example, for a goal of improved collaboration, your action might be to thank a colleague you worked with that day. Then create a table with the actions and dates against which you will track them…
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