I sat up suddenly and looked at the clock on my phone. It was only 12:30 am, not time to get up yet. This happened again at 2:30 and again at 3 and 4. This often happens to me when I have to wake up early, I’m so scared of sleeping in and missing my event that my body can’t just relax and sleep. This particular morning I was getting up at 5:30 to attend my first in a series of Crossfit “OnRamp” classes. When starting Crossfit, my gym requires you attend a full month of OnRamp classes to learn proper technique when lifting weights and working out to assure you don’t injure yourself. As I was driving back from my first workout, I asked myself the question, “why couldn’t I get a good night sleep last night?” I think the major reason was because I was forcing my body into a new schedule, waking early, dragging myself to a gym and breaking out of my comfort zone. So why was it so hard?
All animals are creatures of habit, and humans are no different. We get set in our routine and it is tough to break out of the inertia of our current lives and chance direction. Getting up early was a unusual change for me, and my body was just reacting. My body was rejecting the new habit.
I see the rejection of new habits as the biggest impediment of social media use by professionals. The technology just isn’t that complicated. I know some will disagree, but really—LinkedIn walks you through step-by-step, showing you everything you need to do. The challenge is changing our routine from non-social communicators to social communicators.
This is easier for younger people, not because they get the technology, but because it already fits into their established habits and routine of communicating with people they know through online tools.
So, how do we break through and make effective business development online part of our lives? There are three key principles: first, create a plan or get instruction if you need it. Second, find a set time every day that you can jump online and take care of business. Third, measure your results on a regular basis so that you can see the positive effects of the work you have been putting in.
Creating positive habits and sticking to them is a common trait of high performers in every type of business. Our body fights against it, but we’ve got to power through. Even if we lose a little sleep over it.