Going from Said to Done
GUEST POST from Arlen Meyers, M.D.
Are you trying to change and practice entrepreneurial habits? Science can help and here’s how.
As you progress in your career, it often gets harder to ask for help in reaching your goals and staying accountable to yourself to achieve them. If you’ve reached a career plateau, this author recommends three strategies to hold yourself accountable to your goals:
- Enlist an accountability partner
- Go public in declaring and sharing goals
- Change your environment
Here are some new entrepreneurial habits that might contribute to your success and change your innovator’s DNA gene expression:
1. Put 5 books on your nightstand that you read for 30 minutes before going to bed. William Osler suggested it for doctors but it should work for entrepreneurs, too. Yes, you can read 50 books a year. The new twist on the concept is the 5 hour rule.
2. Subscribe to 5 newsletters completely outside of your field to find new sources of innovation and inspiration. Most true innovation rarely comes from inside.
3. Write 500 words about anything, anywhere every day. It can be in a journal. It can be on a Pulse post, It can be an evolving book or it can simply be on your iPad. Perhaps the biggest gap in my formal education was in writing. The only way to overcome that deficit is to discipline yourself to practice, practice, practice.
4. Invite at least one person every day to join your linkedin network who you think you can help.
5. Practice random acts of kindness when someone asks you to do them a favor that does not compromise your integrity. It’s good for your karmic bank account.
6. Watch children play every now and then. Like Jobs said at Stanford, be playful and stay hungry.
7. Use vacations as a way to create new habits. Change the rewards and cut yourself some slack instead of practicing incessant self denial. Productivity decreases when you reach a certain numbers of hours of work in a day. Try to do more in less time by eliminating unproductive distractions, overconnectedness or finding when your creative, imaginative biorhythm kicks in. Aim to work 20 hours a week.
9. Have a fun fund. Not an emergency fund. Not a retirement fund, A fun fund you use to reward new and constructive behaviors. Don’t make it too small or too large. Just enough.
10. When your inner voice says no, create a space between the stimulus and your response. Say yes more often and try new things. Say no more often to things and people that are not aligned with your goals.
11. Train your brain to have patience and leave more time for Type 2 thinking (slow) instead of Type 1(fast) that leads to bad decisions based on intuition and bias.
12. Think positively to act positively. Here are 10 ways to do it
14. See things differently. Great creators, innovators, and entrepreneurs look at the world in ways that are different from how many of us look at things. This is why they see opportunities that other people miss.
16. Join communities that a have employees set aside time for work that is important but not urgent. We call this proactive time or pro-time.re different from one another. Balance generalism with specialized focus.
18. Practice gratitude.
22. Do something that scares you every day
Changing your morning routine might help. Mine includes reading, thinking and writing articles like this one.
There are no short-cuts along the entrepreneurial journey. There are only habits that take time, repetition and the motivation to develop. You should focus on a few critical behaviors that have:
Implementation criteria include:
- Actionability: Are people able to perform the behavior?
- Degree of visibility: Can people see others performing the behavior?
- Measurability: Can you measure (preferably objectively) whether people are performing the behavior?
- Speed of results: Can people performing the behavior deliver results in the short term?
- Ease of implementation: Given the current organizational environment, how easy/difficult will it be for people to perform the new behavior?
Some of these principles apply to organizations as well. When it comes to turning strategy to action, pay attention to this check list
These new habits will probably take several months to create. Here are some tips, backed by research, for forming new healthy habits.
Part of surgical training involves creating patterns of behavior that are habit forming. While, on the one hand, it helps to standardize care, it also can lead to making Type 1 and Type 2 technology adoption errors and faulty diagnostic thinking because it precludes other possibilities. The same applies to entrepreneurs.
Try to avoid what your basal ganglia is telling you to do when it makes sense. Like the man says, you’ll like how you feel. But, like they say, innovation and entrepreneurship is much easier said than done. Habits will set you free.
Image credits: Pixabay
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