“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then, is not an act but a habit.” – Aristotle
Habits are strange things. There are good ones, bad ones, ones we’d like to have and ones we’d definitely like to get rid of! Some people don’t like them; they find them monotonous and imagine they make life boring! I, on the other hand, am a great fan of creating a habit. Nothing major, just little things that seem to make a remarkable difference to my life.
Take my house for example. Now, given my penchant for structure, organisation and order you may imagine my house to be some minimalist, clean line, ‘everything in its place’ kind of a house. But you’d be mistaken. Alas I was not born with an intrinsic love of housework but over the years I’ve managed to implement some basic routines which in turn have turned into habits and made tidying a much less painful process.
For example, whenever I find something that needs to be upstairs (and with 2 children that’s generally quite a lot!!) I put them on the stairs and take them up the next time I’m venturing in that direction. It saves me from constantly trudging up and down (although this would be good as an exercise routine!!). At first I forgot quite regularly but after time it became almost second nature and now it’s something I do without thinking. It’s a habit and it tidies my home without any conscious effort on my part!
I’ve found that creating small habits helps in my business too. From taking 5 minutes to write a brief overview and action point list after each meeting to always entering appointments (personal as well as business) into my phone diary immediately after I’ve arranged them. It’s amazing how by repeatedly doing the same thing over and over again I can create a habit that ultimately makes me more organised without me even trying!
Creating habits makes running your business more effortless. They take the hard work out of so many things and it’s not that difficult to create them. In fact it takes only 21 days for a repeated action to become a habit. So just find a simple action that will add value to your business/life and repeat it consistently until it becomes second nature. As I said, I love a good habit and once I’ve mastered one there’s always more out there to help push me further and make me better. You never know, one day, maybe my house will have that minimalist clean-line look after all. 😉