Creating Useful Business Habits

Popcorn and Movie TicketsI am aware that it is all too easy to create bad habits in my life. Let me give you an example or two. They both involve eating and drinking, I’m afraid!

For the longest time when my best friend and I used to go to the cinema, it was our habit to eat and/or drink at the same time. As a couple of weight watchers with a small WW, we had to deliberately unhook that. Cinema and popcorn go hand in hand. They used to for us, they don’t any longer. It was much easier to create the initial habit. After only one or two visits it was our norm. The new non-popcorn habit is now our norm but it involved a bit of pain in the unhooking, one from the other.

It was the same with line dancing and beer and crisps. The first time we went dancing, someone got in a bottle of beer for everyone and a handful of bags of crisps on the table to share. And straight away that became normal. Sounds nice actually, doesn’t it, even to one such as me who doesn’t even drink beer? Line dancing. Cowboys. Beer. Nachos. Stop me when you’ve heard enough. So when the WWs wanted to stop eating crisps and drinking beer we had to deliberately unhook them, again much harder than marrying the two up in the first place.

So, what would be useful business habits to create via linking things together so easily?

I’ve written before how easy it is to kick start yourself into doing something you don’t really want to do using a strategy taught to me by Michael Neill:

  • I’m not going to mow the lawn, I’m just going to get the mower out of the garden shed
  • I’m not going running today, I’m just going to put on my shorts and trainers and stand outside the front door
  • I’m not going to do my expenses, I’m just going to get the file out
  • I’m not going to swim 60 lengths, I’m just going to get into my car and drive to the pool

Well, you know the rest of the story without my spelling it out for you. The body’s on autopilot and just goes ahead and finishes the job you start, just as it’s done so many times before.

So, today our game is to pick two things and marry them up deliberately.

One of my earliest clients today is going to experiment with going to the coffee shop a couple of times a week and connecting that with a particular creative project and taking two bites out of that project on each visit so that becomes just what happens. It’ll be nice. It could also work with making a special cup of coffee at home. Coffee = creative work. It’s about the ritual as much as anything.

We ALWAYS do this when we do that and we are slightly out of sorts (initially) if this happens and that doesn’t follow. So let’s deliberately harness that strategy and make it work for us each time.

What two things would make a great marriage in your daily business habits? What goes together like cinema and popcorn, line dancing and beer?

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