Image by: Public Domain Archive
By Josie Alexander
We all have good and bad habits at work. Sometimes, those bad habits hinder our productivity more than we realize? So how can we surpass these and begin to create new and better business habits? Check out these 6 scientifically proven ways that will help you be the best businesswoman you can be.
#1) Find an Easy Change
Good business practices and habits aren’t that extravagant of a change – at least, not all of them are. There are a lot of simple changes that you can make: use your calendar app more, spend less time on social networking sites when you’re at work, take advantage of your Evernote application, etc. All it takes is one simple change.
So pick something small (start using your Evernote app more). It should be so easy that you can’t possibly say no to it. Want to start reflecting on your work day? Write down three things that happened (good and/or bad) each day.
#2) Take the Time to Understand Why
You should be able to understand why you want to do these new habits. Is it because you’re trying to achieve a goal at work? Do you want to nab that promotion? Once you can understand it, it becomes easier to achieve.
#3) How Long Will It Take?
There is a common misconception that it takes 21 days to build a habit (good or bad) or to crack a bad habit. That’s just not true; there’s no scientific backing behind it. In fact, academic research has shown that the amount of time that it takes to build or break a habit depends on the habit, the person, and various environmental factors (like “is the person under work-related stress?”).
Various studies on the factors of motivation have shown that the best way to create a habit is to create macro and micro goals. Create a big goal for yourself (macro) and break that down into micro quotas.
I want this promotion (macro) and I will attain that by showing my boss examples of my dedication, hard work, and passion. I will do this by completing projects on time, creating a schedule in order to be more organized, and making task lists that take into account the things that I am passionate about. (micro quotas).
#4) Learn New Things
This is one of the best business practices that we don’t know we need. Learning something new (whether it directly affects your work or not) will inadvertently help you with your business goals.
Not only does new experiences help your memory (recall and retain information) but it also helps you be more innovative, creative, and keeps away diseases like Alzheimer’s and Dementia.
Like I said before, this isn’t restricted to new topics that have to do with work. Personal improvement counts as well. You take rock climbing classes, learn a new language, learn how to crochet stuffed animals, or even explore your hometown. So go ahead, break away from your routine every once in a while. It will help your brain and mind.
#5) Staying Organized
Being organized is something that all successful businesswomen have in common. The ways that they stay organized differ. Some have a team helping them schedule meetings and keep paperwork systematized. Others feel as though they are only organized if they do it themselves: no surprises, only one cook in the kitchen.
If you have issues trying to stay organized, perhaps you haven’t found your perfect system yet. Everyone has a system that works for them. Some people prefer post-it notes and a hardcopy calendar or planner. Others prefer to put everything on their phone with computer back-ups. Others yet, prefer that their secretaries tell them what is on the docket that day and would rather not hear about the rest of the week unless necessary: one day at a time.
#6) Back-Up Plans
We all inevitably fail at things; no one is perfect. However, what most people realize is that failure isn’t something to be judgmental about. You shouldn’t feel guilty if you don’t succeed at something. The only thing that you should be disappointed in, is if you make that same mistake more than once.
Take those failures (those “non-successes”) and learn from them. Why didn’t you get that promotion? Why did you miss that meeting? Why was your team member being disrespectful toward you at your meeting?
You can do the same with the business habits and practices that you are trying to build. If you don’t succeed the first time, don’t fret. Instead learn from it. What could you have done better? Why did you choose that path?
This is a great segue into back-up plans. After you’ve made a mistake once, it is easy to have hindsight and see what you could have done differently. In these occasions, also consider what a good back-up plan could have been and set those up for the future (in case these events come up again).
When you were late for the meeting, what could you have done differently? Is there a back-up plan that you could have had instead? Could you have Skyped-in from home? Do you have back-up files to give to an assistant, who would be able to make that meeting? Did your phone not alert you of the meeting? Is there a back-up alarm you could have set up?
Now it’s your turn. What do you do to stay organized? Do you have a secretary or a personal assistant? Have you considered virtual assistants before? Do you prefer a calendar on your phone or an actual desk calendar/planner?