Out with the old in with the new (habits)

What was your daily habitual routine? Get out of bed, shower, travel, arrive at work and check your emails?

On Monday the 23rd of March Boris Johnson gave the order to the United Kingdom to lockdown, to help fight the spread of coronavirus and with it, he interrupted the daily morning rituals and habits of millions of people, but what do I mean by a habit?

Out with the old in with the new habits_COVID-19_Insights by Lansons

The habit loop, as described In Charles Duhig’s book “The Power of Habits” states that “this process within our brains is a three-step loop. First, there is a cue, a trigger that tells your brain to go into automatic mode and which habit to use. Then there is the routine, which can be physical or mental or emotional. Finally, there is a reward, which helps your brain figure out if this particular loop is worth remembering for the future”. Charles then goes on to say that these habits are “powerful, but delicate. They can emerge outside our consciousness or can be deliberately designed. They often occur without our permission, but can be reshaped by fiddling with their parts”

With my own routine disrupted and my old habits or parts not replaced, for the first couple of days of lockdown, it was hard to get into a flow at the start of the day and to feel motivated. But something changed. My wife and I discovered Joe Wick’s fantastic daily 9am PE class, which is reaching nearly a million households every weekday morning. Although it’s aimed at kids, it turns out their parents, 30-somethings like my wife and I, and even OAPs are joining in the fun. Just like that, I had replaced my routine. And when I arrived at my working-from-home destination (a desk in the spare room) and connected with my team via Zoom (other web conferencing tools are available), I felt like I was there with my team, ready and raring to go, full of ideas and enthusiasm.

The smart part of Joe’s PE class is that it’s live.  Of course, you can always catch up later but sticking to the 9am slot, sticking to the routine and working out with millions around the world really starts the day off in a positive mindset.  And the endorphin boost of a 30 min workout helps!

For Joe, livestreaming a workout means he can track how many people are tuning in (for those nerdy yet useful analytics) and he can interact with his audience, giving shout outs resulting in a two-way experience which only live video can bring.

If you’ve seen or joined in with one, you can see how much it means to him and it’s not hard to see how millions of people worldwide are benefiting from the regular routine.

But it’s not just people who are stuck in the same habits, organisations are too, including the ways in which they communicate with their audiences, which they need to be doing now more than ever.

The challenge is adapting communication styles and format to the current situation, particularly video or audio communication which many organisations used regularly before this crisis to engage with employees, customers, employees and other important stakeholders.

The instinct may be cancelling any plans to shoot video or record podcast material, on the assumption it is not possible to do, or to do well with everyone in different places.  In fact, by adapting our own habits and ‘fiddling with the parts’ we have found ways to produce high quality remote video and audio production in the current circumstances.  And moreover, we have found that communicating in this way has been hugely welcomed both by the organisations and their audiences, who are surprised and delighted to receive communication like this, at this time. Over the past few weeks we have created podcasts, video updates and more and it has been highly rewarding and effective.

So, you can find a new routine, and companies can too, not by removing a habit but by adapting it and it can be as easy as child’s play, or even, a Joe Wicks PE class.


For more information about Lansons and our content services, please visit www.lansons.com or contact me directly at StevenA@Lansons.com


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