A few weeks ago I stumbled across a quote that has been embedded in my mind. It read:
"Habits become character."
This really struck a chord within me and has stirred a lot of thought.
Now for reference and according to the Oxford Dictionary a habit is a "settled or regular tendency or practice, one that is hard to give up".
The first thing that got me thinking was, "what habits do I have that define part of my character?" following was "what habits are my character that I want to change in order to be better?".
As my pondering has continued and answers to my questions discovered, entering into the new year I was starting to focus on habits I want to have that will shape my character. Whilst many of these are personal habits that have been part of my internal discussion, a few new habits have crossed my path from a professional sense that I want to take on in 2017. These I want to share with you:
Make More Time
I have always been on the look out to find efficencies to condense loose time, leading to increased productivity, tighter project management and a clearer mindset. Most of which I know many people would be in a similar situation. When making more time, I want to enhance my efficiencies even more to increase my work life balance, to increase opportunities both in a professional and personal sense, to be able to write more, dream and create.
So how does 'Make More Time' become a habit? Simple. During each day, I will write down on a notepad different bottlenecks and time-consuming tasks to then contribute to my evening internal de-brief to myself. This way I will create specific research time to find solutions to these bottlenecks and time consumers. Some will be simple solutions, and other more complex. Using the effort v reward method, I do expect to discover some quick wins that were more than likely obvious, just not to a consumed brain. I am not expecting miracles to surface from this new habit, just a gradual decrease in loose and static time.
This one is a funny one for someone that works in communications. Obviously I read quite a lot of material during my day-to-day business, and I also spend a lot of time reading outside of work hours. However there are many different styles of writing that I have not read in a number of years, there are learning and reading platforms that I have lost touch with, there is a world of educational resources for professional development available at my finger tips.
My new habit is to make a window of time each morning to digest what is new, to be inspired and to learn. This new habit will form part of my morning routine to prepare me for the day.
Keep My Desk Clutter Free
I know I am not a sole perpetrator in this! Whilst my desk is not a mess, it is organised chaos with magazines, newspapers, reports etc worded into piles. Aside from that, I have a collection of pens, other stationery and then random items that I have chosen to hang onto for no apparent reason. I have actually become the beginning of my worst nightmare. (If you are wondering, piles and piles of paper on and around my desk is suffocating to my brain)
Ensuring I have thrown out anything that isn't necessary by the end of each day will ensure a tidy desk and a clear mind for the next morning. To be honest, I don't know when the bad habit started in order for this new habit to appear!
Take Lunch Breaks
Let's be straight to the point with this one - this means, away from the desk, away from work, creating a separation and an opportunity to pause at the same time every day. I am the type of person that will eat and work, like clockwork. Most often than not these days, I will sit and eat whilst I work, not giving myself a small window of downtime to shift focus. I typically eat at the same time each day, obviously meetings, events etc will disrupt this at times, now I need to learn to peel myself away from the desk to lead into an even more productive afternoon.
Habits can be good and they can be bad, I personally have a number of habits that need a little attention to tweak in the opposite direction this year, with these new habits being the beginning of all things positive for 2017.
These four points are just a few in a number of new habits I am willing to attack head on in 2017. I will check back in to provide an update on how these are travelling along the way, to see how/if these new habits impact my character.
Do you have any new habits you are looking to take on this year? Share them with me!