Top Power Habits - Small Changes that Lead to Big Results
Compounding Effect of Habits
If you think of a habit as a system of getting something done (or avoiding doing something negative), habits provide a powerful way to automate productivity with little impact on your energy or willpower once the habit is ingrained. These advantages alone justify intentional habit setting.
Another powerful advantage is that small habits practiced consistently over time lead to huge results later. For example, if you placed $1,000 in an investment that returns 10% per year and let it compound with no further investment, it would total over $45,000 in 40 years. That’s a 45x return by setting that system in place. Similar returns can be achieved in the individual productivity area by adopting and maintaining powerful habits.
Top Power Habits
Here’s a list of my top power habits as well as links to individual posts devoted to discussing each one in detail. This list will be updated to include new habits.
Morning Routine — In the morning routine, we set aside time to do high leverage activities that lead to big gains over time. Consistent with the “First Things First” philosophy of Steven R. Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, we get these important activities done first thing in the day to set ourselves up to succeed and before distractions intervene. Read more in my post Power Habits - Morning Routine.
Evening Routine — While the morning routine starts the day to set a positive course, the evening routine closes out the day, uncovers valuable lessons learned, and sets us up for success tomorrow. Evening routine activities include journaling, setting our Daily Action Plan for the next day, releasing frustrations, and preparing for sleep. Read more in my post Power Habits - Evening Routine.
Daily Action Plan —The Daily Action Plan is all about executing on the three most important tasks of the day. By committing in writing to these high values tasks the day before, you empower yourself to maintain focus and energy on what most drives your success. By sharing your Daily Three with your team, you build accountability and achieve higher productivity. Read more in my post Power Habits - Daily Action Plan.
Tips of Building Power Habits and Keeping Them Going
Here’s a list of lessons learned of forming and maintaining habits:
Focus on one habit at a time. While studies range, habit formation appears to take 21 days to 3 months. In my experience, the harder the habit the longer the formation stage, so I strongly recommend that only one habit at a time is implemented. I also pick a calendar quarter for the formation time. Trying to do more than one can be counterproductive.
Make a new habit easy, attractive, and simple. This seems obvious but worth considering when you plan to incorporate a new habit.
Peer accountability is a powerful tool. Committing to new habits in writing and sharing progress with a peer group or accountability partner exponentially increases your chances of success. At the office, I pick one habit per quarter for my team to adopt. This keeps us aligned and accountable.
Most Important Habit Rule - Once a habit is formed, never miss it more than twice in a row. Everyone misses now and then. Missing a third time risks failure.
Further Reading on Habits
The Compound Effect by Darren Hardy
The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do In Life and Business by Charles Duhigg
The One Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results by Gary Keller and Jay Papasan.
Warrior Book - “Balance” element of the “Core Four.”
I hope you have found this blog post helpful and welcome comments from readers.
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In addition to Thriving Attorney, Darin M. Klemchuk is founder of Klemchuk LLP, a litigation, intellectual property, and transactional law firm located in Dallas, Texas. He also co-founded Project K, a charity devoted to changing the world one random act of kindness at a time. Click to read more about Darin Klemchuk's practice as an intellectual property lawyer.