Do you believe you can change? I mean, seriously change your behaviors and habits? You know, like stop doing some things and start doing others? How do you improve your work habits so you are more productive and effective?
For example, if you've been struggling with blog writing, can you decide you're going to stop struggling, get on that beast and ride it to glory? How do you become a better writer? …and get better blog results?
Last year, I noticed my blog traffic was getting better, but I didn't think it was enough. So I decided to double my blog publishing frequency. I started posting every day instead of every other day.
It worked. Traffic has actually more than doubled since then. The behavioral change, i.e. writing twice as often, wasn't too hard since I enjoy it.
The secret key was a tip I read somewhere: always have one post "in the hopper," saved as a draft for the next day. I think I might have got that from Sonia Simone of Third Tribe and Copyblogger. This writing tip works for other projects as well. If you just get something started, it's easier to get back and continue working on it.
But what about other work habits? How can you change your work behaviors so that you are more productive AND more effective? Just doing something twice as often doesn't mean you're going to be twice as good, or get more results…
To find some answers, I'm reading Marshall Goldsmith's Mojo: How to Get It, How to Keep It, How to Get It Back If You Lose It.
Although this book is directed towards executives and people working in organizations, it has a lot of applications for entrepreneurs and other professionals. Goldsmith is an uber-coach who helps high-achieving CEOs make real behavioral changes.
Here's a quote from page 36 of the book:
"Very few people achieve positive, lasting change without ongoing follow-up. Unless they know at the end of the day (or week or month) that someone is going to measure if they're doing what they promised to do, most people fall prey to inertia. They continue doing what they were doing."
"If, on the other hand, they know someone, like their coach, their coworkers, or their manager is watching – in the form of paying attention to them, or caring about them, or evaluating them with follow-up questions – they're more likely to change."
"The key is measurement and follow-up, in all their myriad forms."
Hmmm, I experienced this myself with blog publishing frequency. That's something that is measurable. The results are easily tracked with Google Analytics or SiteMeter weekly traffic reports.
Was that the key, what brought about behavioral changes and results? Since I could see that one activity (writing twice as often) brought results in the form of greater traffic, I was encouraged to continue doing the new behaviors.
The big question remains, how do you use this information (measuring is key to getting yourself to make changes)?
Maybe you don't have a manager, if you're self-employed as I am. Maybe there aren't any analytics available on what it is you need to change.
Maybe you need a coach or someone to pay attention to you. For myself, I'm now hiring a consultant. I need someone to help me measure and interpret data. I need to do more of what works and less of what doesn't. That's smart.
I can't figure that out how to make the right changes by myself so I've hired an expert. I can't wait to share with you some of the changes that will be in store for you as readers! Look out for some renewed Mojo.
If you haven't considered asking for help, I highly recommend it. You can't see yourself what others outside of your business can. For example, I'm available when it comes to content marketing for professionals, blog writing, and other help.
Behavior changes when there's measurement and follow-up. Don't be shy, ask for help. Don't be cheap, either, it's worth it if you want your business to grow.