Do you drink a cup of coffee at the same time every morning or sit in the same chair at meetings? While habits like these may be harmless, TW Walker, author of (Breakthrough Media Network, 2012) says other habits may be negatively affecting your business productivity and success.
"Habits form from repetition and frequency. The problem is that most people repetitively implement the wrong [habits] that are actually blocking their success," says Walker. Here are five bad business habits to drop now.
1. Failure to delegate. "You can’t be everything to your business," says Walker. Sure, you can cram in an 80-hour workweek, but you likely won’t be able to keep up that pace. Invest in the best people you can afford, delegate tasks that match their expertise and trust them to do their job. This will allow you to focus on what you do best and the company to run smoother.
2. Bottlenecking decision-making. "Entrepreneurs like to have control," says Walker, but forcing every decision pass through your office can cause your business to slow down, frustrating not only your employees but your customers as well. By hiring the right people and ensuring everyone is clear on the overall goals, you'll allow your business to thrive.
3. Being reactive instead of proactive. Setting your sights to the future is the key to any business' success, unfortunately Walker meets many entrepreneurs who don't plan ahead. "Strategic thinking is what you need in order to have the right habits," says Walker. Once you have goals, you can create habits that reinforce these goals and set you on the path to achieving them.
4. Engaging in unproductive activities. Walker says email and Facebook are the worst offenders in this category. "[People think] they’re being productive and multitasking where in reality I believe that the whole idea of multitasking is unproductive," he says. Make it a habit to only check your email two or three times a day and plan ahead for your social media time.
5. Fear. Walker says the worst habit that an entrepreneur could have standing in the way of productivity is fear. Fear of failure, making a decision, and of upsetting others can quickly erode your productivity and business success. "Fear actually takes time," he says. Focusing on your fear takes time away from making important decisions that will propel your business toward achieving your goals.
Related: 4 Cures for Chronic Procrastination
If you recognize any of these above habits in your business, it's time to take action. Walker says exchanging negative habits for positive ones begins with assessing your current situation. "If I have a result that I don't want, the first question I have to ask myself is how did I get there," says Walker. The next step is to write down the habits you want to get rid of and make goals that will get you to where you want to be and review these goals daily.
Walker says it takes 21 times of repeating an action for it to become a habit. Creating a vision board or reviewing your goals every day for 21 days will cement them in your subconscious and become a habit. "Once your goals become habits, everything starts to fall into place," says Walker.
Related: How to Make Good Habits Stick