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Time for a Break?

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We’re all constantly searching for ways to increase our productivity. Are we actually creating good habits, though?

You have probably read a lot of tips on how developing the right habits will help you increase your productivity and effectiveness. But when do your habits just become routine? When do you know if you are in a rut? I had a mentor that taught me that we improve our effectiveness by solving problems, or challenges we face. In fact, he said that we sometimes need to create a problem just so we can see opportunity that we wouldn’t otherwise recognize. That is why I think it is important to occasionally take a break from our habits. We will be able to evaluate from a different perspective what our day could become.

For some of you this may sound crazy. We spend our life building habits. But when you look closely, habits sometimes morph into routine actions. We begin to separate the reason for the habit from the habit itself. If we can step back and reconnect with the why, we may see better opportunities. For example, the way we use technology drives many of our habits. But as technology advances, we may not be able to take advantage of the change, if we are not able to break our habits.

creating habits

© Flickr user Thomas Leuthard (2008-2017)

Another example is not taking advantage of the variety of ways to achieve our purpose. There are unlimited methods that can be employed in exercise, diet, project implementation, relationship building, etc. But if we are stuck in certain habits, our results will never reach our potential. Good habits lead to good results. Don’t throw away habits for a life of chaos. But to see more opportunity, occasionally we need a break.

Jack Klemeyer, a contributor here at AccelaWork, took a look at what it takes to change our thinking habits. He explains that habits do truly rule our lives, be it physical or thinking patterns. It can be really hard to make a change in the way you think. It’s really hard to change those thoughts! Thankfully, Jack provided us with some steps we can take.

STEP 1 – AWARENESS. You have to become cognizant of your thinking and adjust it so that it suits your purpose and builds success and happiness. That means to eliminate the negativity putting yourself and things around you down. Disrupt the pattern. Create new habits of thinking and more positive mental patterns.

STEP 2 – PRACTICE. Think about this: You already developed the patterns and habits you have over thousands of hours and, probably, thousands of days. You can’t change them instantly. It reminds me of a comment I heard recently: Belly fat doesn’t show up overnight, why do you expect it to leave that way? Just like losing weight takes commitment, practice, and perseverance, so will losing your bad mental habits.

STEP 3 – BELIEVE. Perhaps you’re skeptical. Think back to learning to ride a bike. Once you sort of accomplished it, all of a sudden you started to believe you could and then, after a few successful attempts, you knew you could.

Sometimes, just because you have a routine doesn’t mean that it’s the best way to handle that situation. You get to choose how you feel about things that happen be it at work or at home. You can take a negative experience and decide that you only want to see the positive in it, no matter how little of it there actually was. Use your break from creating habits to focus on you and the way you think. Relax and find yourself again in the mess of daily life.

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Mark S. Brown
Mark S. Brown is an executive coach who is passionate about personal development. He works to make a difference in people's lives by empowering them with skills and knowledge that will improve their lives, the lives of their families, and the communities they live in. Mark has been coached, mentored, and certified by John Maxwell and his team. This coaching certification allows Mark to successfully coach and train individuals, groups, organizations, and companies.
Mark S. Brown

@mark_s_brown

Executive and Business Coach at New Roads Leadership. A founding partner of the John Maxwell Team. We coach for your personal success!
Mark S. Brown
Mark S. Brown

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