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Yesterday’s post discussed how hard it is to incorporate change in your life and the first step that might make it easier: awareness.

Educating yourself is the second step in changing your behavior. It’s hard to change habits when you don’t know how or what to change them to. Let’s say you’ve become aware that you spend too much time in your email, and you know it’s having a detrimental affect on how much you get done every day. But what choice do you have? It seems like you get an endless amount of email and if you aren’t checking it all the time, it will just pile up on you, right?

Well, regardless of what you are contemplating, there are typically many people who have done it successfully before you. That’s one of the positive things about the internet: the abundance of information available for you to learn from. Find a book, or an article, or a blog (like this one! =), or an entire website, about someone who has learned how to successfully stay on top of email, while continuing to get things done and be productive. (Incidentally, besides this blog, another great place for advice and more resources about email management is Merlin Mann’s work at 43 Folders: Inbox Zero). Maybe you need more help than just reading, but those resources are available to choose and learn from as well.

Another idea that works really well for me is to ask people. I typically get a wealth of information when I simply say to my friends and acquaintances during conversation, “you know, I’m trying to get better at XXX. Do you know of any resources to help me do that?”  People LOVE to be helpful and look smart. If you don’t often do this, I think you’ll be surprised at the results.

So, if you’re trying to incorporate change in your life, the first step is to become aware of the habits you have that aren’t serving you. Next, educate yourself about NEW habits that might help, learning from people who have mastered the skill you are trying to acquire. Tomorrow I’ll post the third and final step: dealing with your own psychology.

Thanks for reading!