By James Clear
Few things have as much impact on your professional career as the repeated tasks and mundane responses we call habits. Personal habits often turn to business or office habits as we live our professional lives. Some habits are purely professional. For me, one of those habits is walking through the office and greeting everyone in the morning. I didn’t always have this habit. If it were up to my personality, I would just walk into my office, say hello to anyone I happened to see, then get to work on the tasks at hand.
I was guided to learn the habit of greeting my team every morning. It has proven to be productive and good for morale. In the past year, my morning greeting habit morphed into daily check-ins via phone or Zoom during COVID-19. This caused me to rethink and establish a new habit or slightly modified habit. Changing, starting, or stopping habits is not easy.
This month’s book, Atomic Habits by James Clear, breaks down strategies to improve your habits. Atomic Habits is a #1 New York Times Bestseller, so there’s a chance you have heard of it before.
Now is a perfect time to start new positive habits or break habits that have been hampering your success. Emerging from our pandemic means you can think about and be intentional about your personal and professional habits. Transitions are natural times to change things, which is why I picked up this book in May of 2021. I have left my house consistently between 7:15 and 8:00 AM for the past two weeks and stayed at the office for most of the day. This is in stark contrast to my daily routine over the past 14 months. I have begun to set new habits, and I re-engage in a routine business cadence.
The strategies inside Atomic Habits are a great way to make sure you are as effective as possible in whatever daily or weekly routine you have. Author James Clear shares his story of how he learned habits and realized their power. He then goes on to share powerful strategies to make habits work in your favor.
Clear walks through scientific research, anecdotes, and personal experience to end at a destination helps anyone who reads and practices what he teaches. The Atomic Habit process is broken down into four laws he puts in “the habit loop.” The habit loop consists of a cue that triggers a craving, which leads to a response that provides a reward. The book then uses this process (Cue, Craving, Response, Reward) to set four laws to succeed at habits:
- The first law says, “Make it obvious.” Cues need to be deliberate and easy to interpret. These obvious cues allow you to recognize when a habit should (or should not) occur.
- The second law says, “Make It Attractive.” Completing a good habit should be something that you want to do.
- The third law says, “Make it Easy” and helps you achieve more with less effort.
- The fourth law says, “Make habits satisfying.” There has to be a reward that makes it worthwhile sooner rather than later.
Atomic Habits contains practical advice, engaging stories, and proven research. This book has the potential to greatly impact your life for good. The appendix has several supplemental items including templates for habit tracking, a chapter dedicated to improving a business, and even specific advice for parents.
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About Phil Klutts
Phil is an Edmond native and has managed to keep his wife here instead of traveling the world, which they both enjoy. They have two boys who love the outdoors, adventures, and learning new things. Phil is a problem-solver at heart and enjoys connecting people to the resources they need.
Phil founded the CK Group LLC after working for large and small businesses in the Energy, Construction, and Fitness industries. He focuses on helping small businesses and entrepreneurs improve their systems and processes. CK Group LLC's mission is to eliminate chaos and create clarity for small business by connecting vision, strategy, and implementation.