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Creativity is a habit

“Creativity is a habit, and the best creativity is the result of good work habits,” says dancer Twyla Tharp.

If you’ve been stuck in a rut of late, here are some suggestions to kickstart yourself to ensure that you build good work habits, and better performance.

1. Cut down on multitasking

Said productivity expert Tony Wong, “Stop trying to do 10 things at once! Changing tasks more than 10 times a day drops your IQ an average of 10 points. Get things done more effectively and efficiently by focusing on one task at a time.”

2. Notice however self-discipline versus laziness feels to you

Notice that in those times you really do discipline yourself to require action, it typically feels fantastic. And how does additional TV time, or excessive time lazing around at home feel? Don’t confuse laziness with ease. Long-term, laziness leads only to painful regrets. You will always feel more contented for putting in that extra effort.

One would do well to heed the advice that Lord Chesterfield gave to son, “No idleness, no laziness, no procrastination; never put off till tomorrow what you can do today.”

3. Embrace responsibility

Recognize that the lazy turning away of responsibility isn’t for you, unless you want to stagnate. You would like growth, which requires needs action, movement, change, and basically taking the bull by the horns whenever an opportunity presents itself at the workplace. Don’t place this burden of action on anyone else. It rests squarely on your shoulders.

4. Begin your day powerfully

A strong work ethic begins with a disciplined morning routine. Once your alarm sounds, shoot out of bed and stand with your feet firmly on the ground. Eat a healthy breakfast and think positive thoughts about how successful your day is going to be. 20th-century sociologist Robert Merton said there is a lot of power in self-fulfilling prophecy, a prediction that causes itself to become true due to the connection of positive feedback between belief and behaviour.

5. Tackle a true challenge before lunch

Kick off every workday with a mental challenge. Dive right into a difficult task that you would prefer to avoid. Train yourself to embrace what’s tough rather than pushing it under the carpet. Small postponements can lead to procrastination becoming a bad work habit.

You may also find your own individual ways in which to develop good work habits, as we all have different personalities. “People often assume that the same approach will work for everyone, that the same habits will work for everyone, and that everyone has the same aptitude and appetite for forming habits, but from my observation, that’s not true,” says author Gretchen Rubin.

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