030915_CrackingThoseBadBizHabitsOver the years I’ve picked up a bad habit or two (or three or four). Like most human beings, I can rationalize my way around, over and through them.

But when problematic tendencies start adversely impacting one’s work, clients, coworkers and peers WILL notice … if they haven’t already. Remember, it only takes one disgruntled customer review on social media to inform the whole world.

The time to eliminate such habits is now, before sinking your chances for securing future projects and ongoing clients.

A March 3, 2016 broadcast of WHYY’s Radio Times offers strategies for “Breaking old habits, creating new ones at home and at work.” Here are a few of the guests’ best suggestions:

  • Replace the habit with a different one (minute 3:40) by making and writing down a plan (minute 4:25).
  • If/then planning. If I want to ___ then I will ___ (minute 4:40).
  • Willpower is a limited resource; we need to have alternate plans (minute 14:15).
  • Write a letter or list to yourself that says why you want to change and leave it in an accessible place (minute 16:30).
  • Staring at yourself makes continuing the action difficult. Tack the aforementioned letter on a mirror and read it while you’re looking in the mirror (minute 30:00).

If your personal brand forms part or all of a business, the negative impact of your actions – on reputation and earning ability – takes on an even higher significance. (To understand the importance of personal branding, read this illuminating article by Jessica Dewell.)

I’ve already put the advice above to good use. A tall vanity mirror now sits close behind my computer, its reflective surface well above edge of the laptop screen. An attached sticky note list reads:

  1. I will turn off the smartphone off when working.
  2. I will only venture online to conduct project-related websites or research.
  3. I will NOT take an Internet break from editing or copywriting to read the news or latest Carolyn Hax column.

What are YOUR personal methods for crushing bad business habits? Please share your experiences in the “Reply” section!

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