Don’t Get Blinded by Habits

It’s easy to get caught up in attitude of “that’s the way we’ve always done it.” While there is value in them, don’t get blinded by habits.

Hard to Establish, Even Harder to Break

You’ve probably heard it takes a certain amount of time to establish a new habit. I’ve read anywhere from a few days to a few weeks. I suspect the reality is that is depends largely on each individual, the difficulty of the new habit, and the motivation. But there is one other thing that impacts how quickly we can establish a new habit. That would be are we trying to break another habit and how ingrained is that old habit? If any of us think it’s tough to establish a new habit we should stop and think about something we love and how hard it would be to give it up.

Habits are More than Meets the Eye

When it comes to habits we tend to think about things like what we eat, our intellectual pursuits, and how we spend our time. Breaking a habit in any of these areas can be difficult, but I think it may be toughest of all to break an old habit and establish a new one in the area of interpersonal relationships.

Imagine you are a business manager or owner who has always dictated what everyone else should do and how. I touched on this in Are You Making Things Happen? This was in regards to how a boss relates to employees in how much they are allowed the freedom to make and implement decisions. If you are in the habit of being the one to make all the decisions I can guarantee you it is a hard habit to break, but the rewards are worth it. This is very similar to learning to delegate. At first it’s painful but eventually it is very freeing. The issue becomes that we are so used to doing things the way we always have that we often don’t even realize we need to make some changes. We are simply blind to our habits. We need the input of others so that we don’t get blinded by habits and are able to make essential changes.

On a Financial Note

Especially when it comes to the way a company spends money we are all prone to getting into habits that are harmful and can even destroy a company. These habits become very ingrained. Let me give you an example. At a client a number of years ago I was trying to get them to reduce the amount of inventory they were carrying in order to free cash for other purposes. I was floored when I heard a sales person say, “I don’t have a problem reducing inventory as long as we don’t have any less inventory.” What? That statement made no sense whatsoever. Well, actually it was indicative of numerous thought processes and practices there, but they were so deeply established that it was virtually impossible to change them. Like the sales person who couldn’t seem to accept the idea of a smaller inventory, others were stuck in some bad habits as well. All these habits were costing the company dearly.

So be careful to regularly monitor your practices at work and don’t get blinded by habits.

If you want to know more, contact AimCFO – Contact

As always, your comments are welcomed.


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