The Power of Habits

This month I have continued to present How to Thrive trainings to new associates. I focus on teaching them to establish good work habits early in their careers.

Habits are very powerful, and they can serve us or hurt us. Our brain creates habits because they are efficient. Let’s call them neural shortcuts. Think about driving a car. Doesn’t it feel automatic?

We often also develop habits that are not helpful for accomplishing what we really want, like the habit of scrolling through media feeds. Do you do this at certain times of the day automatically?

Time is a limited resource and how we spend it at work is key to delivering excellent client work.

I teach new associates how to establish good time management habits.

For example:

  • Using the first hour(s) of the day to do substantive work. Why? Because you are less likely to get interrupted and will feel good when you can check a major accomplishment off of your to-do list early in the day!
  • Doing the worst things by 11am. Why? Because when we avoid making that call or addressing a challenge, it takes up energy and we can’t fully immerse and do our best work.

Developing good work habits is critical for our success and for our confidence. When we create and maintain good habits, personally and professionally, we are keeping the promise we make to ourselves.

Even if you’ve been working for many years, can you please take a moment to reflect on whether your habits are serving you or hurting you?

When I did this recently, I had to acknowledge that my habit of ending the workday with a glass of wine (or sometimes two) was not serving me. I am now working hard to replace that habit with an end of the day walk instead.

Habits are powerful. We all need to establish ones that support our goals and prune out the ones that don’t.

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