I have the worst kind of habit – a near complete lack of habits. Apart from a commute, there’s almost nothing I do every day. Some nights, I’m in bed early. Some late. Some days I write. Most days I don’t. I go to the gym with no particular regularity. And the results are as to be expected. I go through spurts of health and fitness. I go through fits of productivity. And the products are inconsistent.
But I was reading a post from Chris Guillebeau last week that spoke to me – particularly as I wrestle with balancing work, ideas about my future and three parallel writing projects. Most times when I write, I go in major spurts – usually on a deadline – five, six, 7,000 words at a time. And I tend to get myself into some trouble; behind the eight-ball, up against a wall. I also end up not getting that much done. A thousand words takes me a half hour to write. And if I follow Chris’s plan, I’ll be able to write four or five books a year instead of one or two.
So that’s what I’m doing. It’s been a week now and I’ve managed to follow through. I’ve been more productive with less commitment and the writing is better.
I’m designing similar habits in the area of health and fitness and work/career/futurescaping.
Habits are hard to break, but they are even harder to start. And, with all things difficult to explain, I like to turn to Latin. (Yes, nerdy, I know, but it sounds so much cooler than English.) That’s where the above comes in – ‘Magna est vis consuetudinis,’ or “Great is the Power of Habit.”
So, Steven Covey may have known the “7 Habits of Highly Effective People,” but perhaps the most impactful was having habits at all.