Whether you are looking to make changes in your personal life, improve your productivity at work, or better understand the habits of your customers, The Power of Habit is a must read book.

power of habit bookAt one point, most of us have gone on a diet or started an exercise program. It starts out great. The first couple of days you eat more salads and avoid sodas and junk food. You also start waking every day. Then without you barely even noticing it, you start eating a little more junk food and skipping your walks. In less than a week you are back to your regular schedule and wondering what happened.

The truth is, habits are strong. Luckily, a lot of research has been done on habits. If you understand how they are created and how they work, you can use them to your advantage to make changes.

The basic premise is that something cues your habit, you go into a specific routine, and you receive some kind of a reward.

Cue->Routine->Reward

For example, when you hit a mental block at work, you pull out your phone to check Facebook, messages, etc. You get enjoyment by seeing what your friends are up to and sending a few messages. Pretty soon your brain starts to crave that reward. Unfortunately, checking Facebook doesn’t help you accomplish the things you need to get done. According to the book, the key is to understand why you start doing something (the cue) and then change your routine.

So each time you come to a mental block, you instead make the five phone calls you need to make or write that blog you have been putting off. You will still get the reward of getting away from your task and also will get some extra work done.

The Power of Habit gives you both the science and methods to change your habits and to understand the habits of your customers.  Once you understand your habits and how to change them, you no longer feel helpless against them. According to the book, often times many bad habits might be linked to a specific key habit. If you manage to change that one habit, the others will change by themselves.

It’s definitely worth the few hours it will take you to read the book.