UN-Learning Bad Business Habits

Ellen Rohr
Contributing Writer
Bare Bones Biz

Every day, you walk into the office, and have a little routine.  Maybe you put your jacket there and your coffee cup there. Perhaps you click on email or check voice messages. Perhaps you spend the next 45 minutes on Facebook?

That may be a bad business habit for you. Working with clients, most of them will comment at some point, “I don’t have time to add that procedure to my day!  I’m already working until 8 pm every evening.”

I get that.  However, if something new is going to happen, something old is going to go.  What is it for you?  We all won the “Lottery of Time.”  We have 24 hours in a day. We have this moment. What are you going to do…or not do?

Habits serve us well. They allow us to get a lot done without a lot of mental energy.  Some habits we may have outgrown, or they no longer serve us. Here are some tips for UN-learning a bad business habit, so you can make the changes that can lead to new and better results.

1.  Confront your daily routine by keeping a detailed time sheet.  Or use your calendar to write down how you spend your time.  Look for patterns that don’t work.  A meeting could replace hours of casual chat about why the inventory system isn’t working.

2. Don’t beat yourself up.  The self-loathing leads to more self-defeating behavior.  Instead, start defining yourself in a new way.  “I focus on the few things that make all the difference in my life and business.”  It may sound a bit inauthentic at first.  Habits take time to establish. Thought begets reality.  In time, it becomes true for you.  You can put your bad habit in the rear view mirror, and you can look out the windshield.  It could be that simple, even if you have spent years fussing about it.  One moment at a time is all you need to change any behavior.

3.Consider replacing a habit, instead of defeating a habit.  What would you rather do instead?  “I walk for 45 minutes every morning.”  Use the Facebook icon as a reminder that it’s time to walk.

4.Clean your office.  Remove every removable item.  Scrub the surfaces and paint and carpet if it needs it.  You could do this all in one day.  Then, as you bring items back in, be conscious of what you really need.  File, recycle or trash stuff that doesn’t belong in the prime real estate of your office.  Put the furniture in a new arrangement.  If the trash can was there, move it here.  This may shake up your routine and allow you to substitute new habits.

5.Give your new habit – exercise, meetings, project time – space on your calendar.  Map out the week and include the behavior you want to build as a new habit.  Let the appointment alarm remind you.  Without groaning or complaining or announcing…just do it.  For at least 21 days.

6.If it’s a good habit, you will reap the benefits by 21 days in.  Give it a minute.  Note how the little kids in your life will try and try and try something until they get the results they want.  They don’t stop if they really want to do it.  UN-leash the child in you and do what you want, not what your bad habits may dictate.

You are the boss of you. And only you. If you want change in your life, you are the one who will have to change. You can’t change anyone else…so that’s off your schedule. And no one else can change you. That’s cool, isn’t it? Remember that you are fine, perfect, just as you are.  You may want a new habit or two, because it can serve you so well.

Dream.  Act.  Test. 21 days, one moment at a time. Business UN-Complicated.  Life UN-Leashed.

Ellen’s UN-conventional approach to business makes it easy to be more successful and profitable. Download free biz tips at www.ellenrohr.com, find her blog at HuffPost Small Business and connect @ellenrohr on twitter



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