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Rethinking your habits

TIGNUM Thoughts

August 10th, 2022

Insights from the author

By Brian Wade

I bet we can get pretty close to describing your typical day. It starts early and ends late. You have some days with nothing but meetings and other days where it feels like sending messages non-stop. As you navigate these daily challenges, do you feel like you have the energy to show up as your best self or multiply the energy of others? Do you feel equal levels of focus across your day, or do you find that as the day goes on, it’s harder and harder to concentrate or solve problems? What actions, strategies, or habits do you do during your day to try to help with this?

Part of the TIGNUM methodology is helping our clients optimize themselves so they can handle their daily challenges with more energy and clarity and ultimately be more impactful leaders, colleagues, and family members. The right strategies and habits need to be in place to do this. And one thing we’ve noticed when we first start working with clients is that many of them have done well despite their daily choices and habits, not because of them. This can be tough to hear and even harder to accept, but we need to practice self-observation from time to time to assess if what we do every day is working for us or if we need to shake up our habits and daily routines. Too often, we can be our own worst enemies and get in our own way. We slowly migrate into and adopt a bad habit or backslide into old habits.

One way to rethink your habits is to ask why you do them and what the expected benefits are. You’ll be surprised how many things you are probably doing that you’re unaware of or mindlessly going through the motions. Take the simple act of reading something on your phone while you drink a cup of coffee or tea. We all do this, and it’s practically an unconscious reflex that we pull out our phones and start scrolling when we sit down. It’s safe to assume that the average person is looking at their in-box, reading the latest messages, or taking in some other bit of information. And although this might feel productive, it’s not doing anything to help you feel more energized, shift your mindset, or gain more focus.

Now, imagine this same scenario, where you sit for a cup of coffee or tea, but instead of just checking your email or scrolling social media for 3 minutes, you open and read your ToBeVision. You spend 3 minutes reflecting and visualizing you as your best self for the upcoming day. You’re still using your phone, but what you are consuming is much more impactful for you. This is a great example of rethinking your habits, finding ways to take existing habits that aren’t working for you and seem reflexive, and shifting or replacing them with new habits that are purposeful and work for you.

Are there other areas or moments in your day-to-day where you can make the same shift in actions with a more beneficial outcome? Think of the time or the space between your meetings. How do you typically fill that time? Like the example before, chances are most fill that space with more emails, messages, screen time, and, at best - a quick bathroom run. That existing habit doesn’t promote your Personal Readiness. Rethink and design your habits during the space between meetings to provide you the benefits of energy, clarity, creativity, steadiness, and focus.

Finally, reflect on your end of the day as you shift from work mode to home mode. Whether you have returned to a regular commute or still work from home, this transition is critical at the end of the day. What existing habits do you currently do, and do they provide the benefit of showing up at home for your friends and family the way you want to be? When our clients design a clear and purposeful work-to-home transition, they include strategies that make them feel more patient, engaged, and present with their loved ones.

As the summer comes to a close and we get ready to move into the second half of the year, now’s a perfect time to rethink your habits and ask yourself if what you’re currently doing is providing the best impact on your Personal Readiness. If not, what small changes or redesigns could you implement to start making your habits become your impact multipliers?

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