Good habits: how to build better routines and get your business moving

Good habitsLet’s face it, each and every one of us has bad habits; bad habits in our personal life (we won’t mention those here) and bad habits at work.  The thing is, when you are building a successful business you have to give it 110% to make it work. Good habits will give you that edge. The trick is to knowing how to get that extra 10% out in a productive way.

One thing that seems to be true for many of us is that we create routines out of certain daily actions. These routines can become habits and habits can go bad. So bad in fact that they interfere with our productivity, preventing us from doing everything we need to do, to make a day successful. What ends up happening is that our actions can result in inaction. They engulf our mind and our energy and before we know it, it’s the end of the day and we’ve not got ’round to doing the tasks that we truly meant to get done. To move forward you have to learn to let go of certain routines, but build good habits to replace them.

For those balancing parenthood, family life and building businesses, it may be challenging to get rid of the bad habits that stop you from moving successfully through your day. Below are a few tips to help you get started.

Thinking time

Being busy, doesn’t mean you’re being productive. Having time to think is something that is underrated. People believe that if you’re sitting ‘doing nothing’ you must be wasting time. Give yourself time to think about what you want to achieve in the day. Plan out in your head your basic day, when you will fit each task in. It doesn’t take long; the time it takes for a coffee. Of course, it doesn’t always work out like that and days can often end up entirely different to your plans. You obviously need to allow yourself to be flexible, things happen that need immediate attention. However, if that happens, just adjust your thinking and move things around.

Capture your ideas and thoughts

Seems like an obvious thing to do, capturing ideas may be a simple act, but it gives you a reference and a method of coalescing ideas and plans. Some people use old-fashioned pen and paper, some prefer higher tech like mobile apps, whilst others use specialist productivity software like Dragon Professional, which uses dictation and transcription to generate documents.  Workplace technology, when chosen wisely and used efficiently, does improve productivity. According to a study by O2 Business and the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR) in the past 40 years we have seen a 84% leap in productivity due to innovation in workplace technology.

Allow yourself to waste time.

Allowing yourself 15 minutes to look on Facebook, or use Twitter, may actually make you more focused. What is important is to have the discipline to keep it at 15 minutes and not let that run over to two hours.

Are you a lark or an owl?

Most of us are one or the other and which one we are determines which part of the day is our most productive. In the book, Night School by Richard Wiseman he sets out the criteria for a lark and an owl, or in other words, do you go to bed early, or late. Wiseman says that Larks, for example tend to be more alert around noon and owls are more alert around 6pm. Knowing when your peak time is, can help productivity – set those hated or hard tasks for when you’re at your most alert.

Ultimately, breaking those bad habits is about knowing yourself and understanding how you best work. Taking advantage of technologies, specifically designed to improve your productivity will also be a great benefit, helping you to organise thoughts and build structure into your daily tasks.

Thanks to Nuance Communications for this sponsored post

Nuance Communications, Inc. (NASDAQ: NUAN) is a leading provider of voice and language solutions for businesses and consumers around the world. Its technologies, applications and services make the user experience more compelling by transforming the way people interact with devices and systems. Every day, millions of users and thousands of businesses experience Nuance’s proven applications. For more information, please visit www.nuance.co.uk

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