I’m finishing a period of very long hours of work – by my own admittance I was overcommitted – which lead to me working quite long hours over an extended period of time. During this time, I noticed a habit & a bad habit that I fall back into when I have a lot on is the habit of “put your head down & just get the work done”. I know I can work hard, I know I can get the work done – that’s quite easy for me & it’s also an easy habit for me to fall back into. Why I consider this a bad habit to fall back into is that I might not be working in the most effective way. When I’m so focused on working hard to get the work done, I might not be using all the support that is around me to get the work done in the right way. I might not be looking at how I could do things differently & more effectively when I go back into the habit of “Get the work done”.
I had a conversation with a client recently who was aiming to change his work habits. He’s always busy & doesn’t feel he gets through all the work he needs to get through. We discussed having a conscious awareness of what we’re doing things which allows us to change things.
For me personally, I have a conscious awareness of falling back into my own bad habit of “just get the work done” for about the past 8 years & yet recently I noticed I can easily fall back into that bad habit.
If you have some habits that you have been aiming to change & you find yourself slipping back into your old bad habits, keep going, have a conscious awareness of what habit you want to change; give yourself reflection time where you check:
- What worked well for me today / this week
- What could I have done differently today / this week?
- What do I want to change in the future so that I don’t do this again.
This is how we can continuously change our habits to give us the results.
Phillippa Lally conducted research showing that on average it can take 66 days to change a habit. That’s 66 continuous days of doing the same thing again & again. The range of days to form a new habit in the overall study was between 18 – 254 days. Since we may not be doing some of our habits every day continuously, we may be closer to the 254 days it took some people in the study to form a new habit. Remember it’s ok to recognise in yourself the amount of time it is taking to form a habit. Once you recognise what’s happening when you’re aiming to change that habit & you’re giving yourself the reflection time to implement what could be done differently as well as what’s working that you can continue to do.
Are there work habits that you are struggling to change? Maybe you’re consistently bringing home work when you don’t want to be? Maybe you’re saying yes when you feel you could say no? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to get details of our coaching programmes that can help you to change those habits.