When You Give an Author a Cookie

How is your business journal coming along? 

In the post, Keep a SMART Business Journal (Part I), ​I wrote about the Forgetting Curve and the Learning Curve. While working on Part II of the post, I started listening to the audiobook Smarter Faster Better: The Secret of Being Productive in Life and Business by Charles Duhigg, a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter at The New York Times

​Not only is Duhigg's second book excellent, the publishing professor part of me wants to write an entire post, right now, on how an author builds a body of work and the elements of packaging and branding. Instead, I am taking a page from Duhigg's first book and practicing self-discipline. 

Choice or Habit? ​

For instance, did you know that more than 40% of the actions people perform each day aren't actual decisions, but habits? When I read this in Duhigg's first book, it blew my mind. When am I choosing versus only thinking that I am choosing? Which actions fall into the 40%? ​

In his first book, The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business, Duhigg explains in clear language with interesting examples what habits are and how they serve us. In fact, I added a question about best/worst habits to my client questionnaire; by doing so, clients have a better understanding of "noticing" the world around them more clearly.

So before I publish Part II of the business journal post, I think it is helpful and fun to watch the video of Duhigg talking about his cookie habit and what he learned about how his brain works. ​Plus, I've included five quotes from The Power of Habit that I feel have helped me become more productive. 

Habits, scientists say, emerge because the brain is constantly looking for ways to save effort.

#1  

The problem is that your brain can't tell the difference between bad and good habits, and so if you have a bad one, it's always lurking there, waiting for the right cues and rewards.

#2  

Habits can be changed if we understand how they work.

#3  

Dozens of studies show that will power is the single most important keystone habit for individual success.

#4 

Small wins fuel transformative changes by leveraging tiny advantages into patterns that convince people that bigger achievements are within reach. 

#5

Melissa A. Rosati
 

Melissa A. Rosati, CPCC, is a career strategist to writers, independent scholars and academics. An award-winning publisher, Melissa has acquired nonfiction titles and led editorial teams for HarperCollins, Van Nostrand Reinhold and Routledge in New York, and served as editorial director for McGraw-Hill International based in London.

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