Many people start the year by making new year’s resolutions, did you make any? How many of them are you still sticking to? Perhaps you have lost motivation with the bigger goals?
It’s a normal cycle most people experience. You start off filled with good intentions, however slowly you become less motivated or feel like you don’t have time to do it, and consequently, you stop.
“Success is the sum of small efforts repeated day in day out.”– Robert Collier
The problem with habit formation is time; The bigger the change, the more time and motivation are required to form the habit. To achieve the desired real change long-term, you need to feel comfortable, and small or mini habits are the way to do so. This is the same for wanting to change your behaviour to be more productive or efficient. Mini habits will make this process so much easier, we promise.
Mini Habits are designed to work no matter how frustrated, busy or unsatisfied you are. Before you know it, your new behaviour is ingrained in your daily life. When looking at improving productivity in the workplace, the same principles apply. You need to address the small things one item at a time which will enable you to reach your end goal.
A small or mini habit is a small positive action you make for yourself daily and it should be something that:
Is simple and easy
Fits into your life and schedule
Prompts and holds you accountable
Trackable and manageable
Can still be done when you are not motivated
Doesn’t take too long (non-time-consuming)
Easy to repeat
This is all great in theory, let’s look at an example:
A Daily To-Do List
Grab your notepad and write out your To-Do List.
Do this when you first sit at your desk or first log onto your device.
Give yourself 5 – 10 minutes to do this, even block it out in your calendar if needed.
List your tasks in order of importance and energy or time consumption.
The list itself is trackable and manageable, you can add or remove items, and cross items off as completed.
This mini habit is repeated every work day.
More Mini Habits
A mini habit for improved focus and communication could be any of the following:
Our choices and behaviours including external factors affect us in general, so it is not surprising that behavioural changes can sometimes be the hardest changes of all. A mini behavioural habit can be turning off notifications and reducing distractions
. Putting this mini habit into practice when carrying out your highly-prioritized tasks will allow you to use the function to minimize distractions and enable enhanced focus.
Physical activity has been proven to improve concentration, energy levels, and focus. Walking and being outside will enhance cognitive performance. A mini-physical habit can simply be going for a daily 20-minute walk or taking the stairs rather than the lift. Just getting outside, getting some air, and moving can have monumentally positive effects.
Eat breakfast, have a banana every morning, increase your omega-3 levels, or add more protein to your diet. Nutritional benefits have been a longstanding cause in promoting health and well-being.
We are surrounded by literature and articles giving measurable time stamps, some state that it takes 21 days, while others state a minimum of six months, studies have shown that on average it does take at least 66 days to form a habit, however, a habit is personal. It takes time, hard work, and adjustments. Only you, the individual, will be able to know when a mini habit becomes something you do automatically rather than having to actively think about carrying it out.
“Great things are done by a series of small things brought together”. - Vincent Van Gogh
As with all things worth having, it takes time and work, starting with mini-habits will enable you to use your time more productively eventually without thinking, this approach and strategy can then be applied to additional mini-habits, these mini-habits will in turn allow you to achieve your goals in a realistic manner, whilst still maintaining control of your time, making time for what’s important to you. In essence, the smaller habits will lead to real change.
We all have a limited amount of time, and we all want to do so much personally, professionally and intrinsically. It would seem practical to use the time we do have efficiently and effectively so, why not try putting a mini habit into practice, we most definitely will.