What’s 2 minutes? Maybe that’s the time you spend scrolling through social media during your work break or how long it takes to make a cup of coffee. But it’s certainly not long enough to help form or sustain positive habits, right?
Wrong! Even just 2×2 minutes per day is enough to bring about positive change.
This mentality (believing that only a giant overhaul could possibly lead to self-improvement) is actually what holds many individuals back. If a new practice or habit seems insurmountable, you’re unlikely to want to dedicate your efforts to it in the first place. But the truth of the matter is, forming and sustaining new habits just isn’t something you can do all at once.
It’s about consistency, not intensity!
A common problem many workplaces face is the ineffectiveness of traditional learning and development initiatives.
In an attempt to bring about the formation of better work practices, they rely on one-off learning opportunities — that might be a lecture, group seminar, or perhaps an intensive coaching session.
The results? Not much happens at all. Employees are overwhelmed with information, unsure where to begin, and learning rarely converts into real DOING. The greatest flaw of these approaches is that learning isn’t brought into immediate action. The Knowing-Doing Gap leaves individuals struggling to implement or apply what they’ve learnt — thus learning is rendered ineffective.
But despite such poor results — frustrated employees, wasted time and resources — many organizations will often invest in more of the same, again and again.
But why? Isn’t there a better way?
Yes! With consistency and practice. Consider this: if you tried to run 20km once a month, you’d quickly give up before your fitness improved. But by running for just 30 minutes per day, anyone can build a positive habit and get into shape over time.
This same concept can be applied to learning and development in the workplace.
Intense learning sprints that happen infrequently are ineffective when it comes to forming (and sustaining) positive habits. Consistent Learning AND Doing — that’s what it takes to add up to something greater.
Just 2×2 minutes every day
Even as little as 2×2 minutes every day can be effective in building better habits. That amounts to a full 24 hours every year, but unlike a day-long seminar program, this approach is about facilitating consistent development over time.
It’s the same advice given for brushing your teeth: 2×2 minutes every day is all that’s needed to maintain a healthy smile. If you were to brush your teeth for 24 hours in one go, you wouldn’t get the same results at all — your teeth might even fall out!
Additionally, while a seminar might only be able to cover 2-3 areas for improvement, with daily, independent learning, individuals benefit from continual, wide-reaching growth.
It’s about small steps, taken daily — that’s how progress is made
It’s time we stopped investing in intensive, high-cost learning initiatives that bring few results. Organizations should instead focus on solutions that help individuals to play an active role in their own learning, practising little and often, every single day. That’s how positive habits are formed and sustained. That’s how Productivity AND Happiness significantly improve over time.