Create a “Yes List” to Break Your Bad Habits

Here is another valuable Management Tip of the Day from Harvard Business Review. To sign up for a free subscription to any/all HBR newsletters, please click here.

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Does this sound familiar? You know you have a bad habit (maybe it’s interrupting others, or micromanaging), so you set out to change your ways.

At first, you’re full of energy and enthusiasm, but as time goes on you slip back into your old behavior. If you really want to break your habit, try creating a “Yes List” to track and review your progress.

o Translate your goals into small, measurable tasks. For example, if you want to listen better, your task might be to attend one meeting a day without your computer and phone.

o Write your tasks on a checklist with a space to mark a daily Y for yes (if you met your goal) or N for no (if you didn’t).

o Pin your list somewhere visible and fill it out at the end of the day for the next few weeks.

o After tracking your habits, assess whether there are patterns in all those Y’s and N’s that need adjusting.

Adapted from “Break Bad Habits with a Simple Checklist,” by Sabina Nawaz

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