How you can nail good routines to become more productive at work in 2023

By Jenn Riek, Evernote’s Communications & Education Manager

To help us manage the everyday demands of life effectively and more easily, we like to build routines – especially at the beginning of a new year. 

Many of us understand that by developing good habits and making them permanent routines, we can accomplish amazing things. But most of us find adopting good habits incredibly hard.

When you’re trying to build a new routine, it’s important to see through the common unhelpful myths that exist around why building good routines is tough. This will help you build strong practices to become more productive in work this year.

Myth 1: Developing habits takes a set number of days

The “21-Day Rule” is one example of a commonly accepted saying that is in fact based on a myth, with no grounding in reality. The belief commonly states it takes a magical 21 days of practice to form a habit. The exact number varies, depending on who you listen to, often ranging anywhere from 28 to 60 days.) This variation is a good first sign that the information isn’t credible.

It appears this myth seems to have likely begun with a misreading of Dr. Maxwell Maltz, who conducted extensive research on self-image. Although his findings did not establish that the development of good habits is attached to any specific timetable, he has been attributed with the idea regardless. While the 21-Day Rule is simple and easy to remember, the truth is that people form new habits in their own time, for their own reasons. 

So instead of trying to nail an achievement in work by a specific calendar date, look into the best ways to sustain a habit on a daily basis, such as starting small or carrying out the task at the same time every day, and adapt it to your particular needs. You’ll find that the timetable takes care of itself. 

Myth 2: Missing one day can break your entire plan

Regular practice is important for building healthy habits, much more so than setting a timetable or schedule. The more you can stick to healthy habits, the easier they become to maintain, until the point they’re ingrained into your regular routine. However, this has given rise to another popular myth: if for some reason you miss a day here and there, it’s a disaster. But that simply isn’t true.

Sometimes known as the “Don’t Break the Chain” method, this idea denotes that you must ensure you spend at least some amount of time each day on your new habit – consistency is key. When your behaviour is inconsistent, habits are very difficult to maintain. However, rest and recuperation are just as important; forcing yourself to engage in an activity despite fatigue or mental overload can lead to burnout. 

Evernote’s habit tracker template is a great way to help you watch your consistency and progress, while maintaining some balance and taking breaks when you need to. 

Myth 3: All new habits need to build towards something bigger

Having clear goals are important, especially when it comes to building habits, but don’t make them your end-all. A habit is a practice, not an achievement, thus a good habit doesn’t just end when you reach a goal. It’s an ongoing process; the benefits lie in the journey itself.

Set smaller, measurable, practical goals that represent the steps you need to undertake to help you mark your progress. What steps will you need to take each day? What constitutes successfully practising your habit? 

A good tip here is to try breaking your habit-forming into chunks to work towards it in incremental steps. Write down your steps and set deadlines for completion so you know what you need to accomplish each day and why.

Myth 4: You must replace bad habits with good habits

It’s easy to assume that building up a good habit starts by identifying and replacing a bad one. Don’t connect the two in your mind or think that starting a good habit means breaking an old one. Just start a new habit, and address and overcome the bad habits on their own.

Starting a new habit is much more difficult without a plan to follow and a system to gauge it in practical terms. With a system in place, it’s so much easier to build the habits from the start, plus a good plan will cushion you when you slip up. 

Overall, having a better knowledge of some of the common myths that exist around forming new habits you can better decide what not to do, and what to do, to make positive changes to your routines to become more productive in work this year. Good planning and regular practice will get you there.

The post How you can nail good routines to become more productive at work in 2023 appeared first on HR News.

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