What Keeps a New Productivity System From Sticking?

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Maura Nevel Thomas article on making a new productivity system stick.

My latest HBR article explores making a new productivity system stick.

Did this happen to you? You discovered a new productivity system and got excited about its potential to help you accomplish more. You vowed that THIS YEAR would be your “Year of Productivity” and then put your new system into action.

Then, a few weeks later, you found yourself slipping back into old, unproductive patterns despite your best efforts. So why did your new productivity system get derailed so quickly?

That’s the question I tackle in my latest article for HBR.org: “Why New Personal Productivity Efforts Don’t Stick. For this article, I teamed up with my husband, Shawn P. Thomas. Shawn is a speaker, researcher and fine-art photographer who uses photography to help others discover their own path to self-mastery.

In the HBR article, Shawn and I summarize what we’ve learned about why people have problems getting new productivity systems to stick.  We noticed it was a common problem:

In our experience working with clients, we’ve seen many people “fall off the wagon,” failing to consistently follow the new productivity system they’re trying to adopt, despite the fact that they are putting in the time and effort to consistently practice the new behaviors.

We go on to talk about three major factors that might be keeping your new productivity system from taking hold: the power of old habits, an unsupportive environment and high stress that causes you to “choke.”

Check out the full HBR article to learn more about how each of these factors could be holding back your productivity. If you’re fan of authors like Charles Duhigg (“The Power of Habit”), Dr. Art Markman (Smart Thinking), and Malcolm Gladwell, I think you’ll especially enjoy seeing the connections between their work and personal productivity.

 

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