What I Learned From My Week Away

I’m back! After a week away from the screed, I’ve returned to this space refreshed and ready. You might wonder how a week of not writing could be helpful to my writing. Ask anyone who writes regularly and they’ll tell you that writing’s like a muscle: if you don’t exercise it regularly it will atrophy. I have a bit of an issue with that and the reason why is something that might help any of us who are in business.

Sagittal human brain with cortical regions del...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Writing is a habit. We all know that there are good habits and bad ones, but all of us have them. We might think of them as our daily routine and many of them we do without really thinking. If you’ve ever been driving a route you travel on a daily basis and gotten to your destination without remembering much about the trip, you know what I mean. As an article about a wonderful book called “The Power Of Habit” I read a few years ago said:

Neuroscientists have traced our habit-making behaviors to a part of the brain called the basal ganglia, which also plays a key role in the development of emotions, memories, and pattern recognition. Decisions, meanwhile, are made in a different part of the brain called the prefrontal cortex. But as soon as a behavior becomes automatic, the decision-making part of your brain goes into a sleep mode of sorts.

I broke my writing habit for a week because I felt as if I had gone into that sleep mode. There have been a few times recently when I began a post only to realize that I’d written something similar a few years earlier. My brain was actually working less. I’m willing to bet that either you or people within your organization are behaving in exactly the same manner. They are following the same daily routine in how they perform their jobs. Maybe they’re doing the equivalent of what I found myself doing – rewriting the same things over and over without really thinking or maybe just doing their jobs they way they’d always done them.

So here is what I learned. I am going to post a bit less often with an eye toward not having the screed be a habit. Rather than getting up each day and spending time reading news feeds in order to do my habitual writing duty I’m going to focus on finding fewer topics that resonate more with me and, hopefully, with you. Maybe that’s something you can think about with respect to you or your business: do less and in so doing, do more. Make it less about quantity and more about quality. After all, those of you who read this are my customers (and hopefully on the road to being clients!). Fulfilling my habit might have just been cluttering up your inboxes or taking a couple of minutes of your time without offering real value. That was a bad habit. What are yours?

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Filed under Consulting, Thinking Aloud

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