It’s notoriously hard to break a habit. Habit breaking takes time, creativity, willpower, and dedication. So it’s interesting to see how many people have taken the chance provided by lockdown, and the strange months since it began to ease, to change the bad habits of a lifetime. We’ve all been given enough time for positive change to bed in, and plenty of us are sticking with it.
My own worst work habit has taken a beating. It’s a habit I started way back in 2006, when I went freelance, and I never realised it was a baddie until the virus struck.
There I was, stuck in lockdown. Almost all my regular clients disappeared into a black hole for the duration, leaving me with very little paid work to do. How did I handle it? I sat at my desk, 9-5 as usual, and fiddled about online, pointlessly, for hours on end.
About two weeks into lockdown, I twigged. I realised I’d been treating my freelance life as a regular nine to five job for more than fourteen years. I’d been spending all day, every day glued to my desk whether or not I actually had any work to do. Madness!
It seems obvious now, but it was such a dramatic revelation.
A couple of months down the line, life remains far from normal. The time we’ve been given to think, explore, wonder, and plan has given me the insight and determination needed to make positive change stick. These days I finish my work then walk away to do some gardening, read a book, write a poem, paint a picture, clean the kitchen, whatever strikes my fancy. I have oodles of lovely time to spend doing lovely things. Changing just one bad business habit has transformed my entire life for the better. Not bad, eh?
There’s more. The long break from the norm we’ve all experienced has left a valuable breathing space for businesses as well as individuals. Some companies will never return to the old normal. They’re making home-working and remote working permanent, moving to smaller premises, going greener, selling more online than in-store for the first time, and extending the home delivery services they set up in response to the virus.
Have you got rid of a bad working habit thanks to Covid-19?