I learnt from a young age that if I had a distasteful task (like having to complete a High School research project over Easter Break – what teacher does that by the way??) – making myself do a little bit every day resulted in the task actually being complete by the time Easter Break was over.

I also learned that basically no one else in the class did that.

In fact, I was a bit scorned by my classmates for getting my assignment done on time because no one else had the discipline to do it.

That’s what it’s all about – discipline.

And honestly, discipline feels really… well… boring to me. I have that really boring Easter break permanently planted in my brain where I forced myself to work on my assignment every day.

The definition of discipline is “a control gained by enforcing obedience or order.”  Ugh. It sounds awful.

And yet, if we can be disciplined with ourselves it can bring all kinds of benefits.

I like to build these disciplined habits into my work and life in a way that requires the least amount of effort possible with the most amount of impact – and in a way that makes it a bit more fun!

More people tend to talk about habits with regards to health – sleep, exercise, nutrition, meditation – all good things that result in you feeling better as well.

But what about those habits that can advance your workplace, career or business goals? What are some of those?

productive habits writing in a journal

Productive Habits

  • Networking – So you can keep your name out there and build contacts for that next career move or client.
  • Inviting colleagues to lunch – Instead of eating at your desk alone, build relationships with your workmates.
  • Leave work on time – Spend your evenings with your family or other important activities and arrive back at work the next day refreshed and ready for what’s next!
  • Prioritizing meetings & interactions with your direct reports or contractors – This is the best way to avoid becoming the bottleneck with ongoing projects and you’re ensuring everyone has what they need to get their job done.
  • Using a high priority approach – Make sure you’re getting the right things – not all the things – done. Focus on what you’re really good at and delegate or remove the things you’re really not.

Habits for a Good Day

And how about creating a “workday start-up” ritual and a “workday shutdown” ritual? These rituals are meant to be habit-forming so that you make the best use of your time everyday, and ensure you’re ready for the next day, without feeling like you’re flying off your feet and not getting the “right” things done.

They’re designed for you to go into each day feeling ready, on task and prepared.

And all of this, honestly, sounds really, really boring (to me).

female office workers around a deskThe good news is, if you cultivate these habits, they will feel less like work and more like “something you just happen to do everyday.”

Wouldn’t it be nice if we could all start our morning like Richard Branson – up at the crack of dawn so he can respond to emails, get that early morning work-out in (like kite-boarding and tennis) and breakfast with his family before spending the day focused on whatever the heck he wants!

The silver lining…

You begin looking forward to completing those things so you can move onto the things you love to do.

I’ve actually come to look forward to my morning workday start-up ritual because I know it will set me up for the rest of the day so I can focus on my clients and not be distracted by pesky emails or correspondence not yet responded to.

Why Habits are Important

Time for the perks! When you’re consistent with your workday habits you’ll start to experience many productivity improvements…

    1. Consistency: When we establish a habit of working on a particular task or project at a specific time each day, it becomes easier to stay focused and get into a productive mindset.
    2. Time Management: If we establish a habit of setting aside a specific amount of time each day to check and respond to emails, we can avoid getting bogged down in our inbox and wasting valuable time.
    3. Goal Setting: Habits can help us achieve our goals by breaking them down into smaller, manageable tasks. Just like my high school research paper, by establishing a habit of working on a specific task or project for a set amount of time each day, we can make progress towards our larger goals in a consistent and manageable way.
    4. Focus: Habits can help us maintain our focus and avoid distractions. For example, if we establish a habit of turning off our phone notifications while we work on a particular task, we can minimize interruptions and stay focused on the task at hand.
    5. Efficiency: Habits can help us work more efficiently by streamlining our workflow. For example, if we establish a habit of organizing our workspace at the end of each day, we can start the next day with a clean and organized workspace, which can help us work more efficiently and productively.

There you have it – Achieve more. Keep your momentum sky-high. Always have clarity about where you’re going next. Enjoy more stress-free days.

What about that doesn’t sound fun?

Over to you. What’s one habit you can implement this week that will help you get more done, leaving more TIME for more FUN?

Speaking of fun 🤩If you need to get away from the day-to-day hustle to enjoy space, yoga and art with fellow high-achieving women – then join me at The Align Retreat! Explore your unique strengths and dreams while raising your game to a level you never thought possible for yourself.

Susan Elford

PR Launchpad Guidebook ABOUT SUSAN ELFORD

Susan Elford is a Leadership Coach and PR Strategist who especially loves to work with women who want it all: a fulfilling career or business while living a full and satisfying life. Susan helps her clients get real about their strengths and celebrate and promote them so they get more of what they want: success at work; success in business & success in life.

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