Best Practices: What they are and how they can help…

I just spent the past few minutes reviewing my best practices.  I actually have a “best practice” of reviewing my best practices each morning before I get out of bed.  I find that it helps center and ground me by reminding me of what’s most important for a good day.

What exactly is a best practice  you ask?

Well, Wikipedia defines a best practice as, “a method or technique that has consistently shown results superior to those achieved with other means, and that is used as a benchmark.”  Companies use best practices to provide a means of ensuring consistent results over time.  I define a best practice as a habit or activity that encourages optimal performance.

Best practices are something I often help my clients identify and gather in our coaching.  As the client experiments with activities designed to help them overcome their challenges, some of those activities end up being especially helpful, pivotal in fact.  Those sorts of activities may end up becoming best practices, at least for a period of time.  A good example of a best practice that many of my clients and I share is daily exercise – It’s good for your body AND your brain and truly makes a difference in how any day flows.   Other best practices might not be quite so obvious, such as a reminder to check-in with oneself throughout the day by asking, “Am I doing what is most important right now?”  This simple best practice may mean the difference between keeping on task or wasting the day away.  Another best practice might be a commitment to checking email at a certain time of the day, as opposed to constantly throughout the day, thereby providing for uninterrupted periods of time to get work done as opposed to getting lost in email.

Best practices may be forever practices, like exercise, or they might be shorter in duration, such as the practice I once had to remind myself to do “one less thing” as opposed to “one more thing” each time I left the house.  This was a key practice for me for a while because I was making myself late on a regular basis by always trying to squeeze in “one more thing” before I walked out the door.  My coach helped me build awareness around this less than helpful practice and create a more helpful habit of asking myself about doing one less thing.  Because of that best practice I am rarely late anymore, but if I am it is not for that reason.

What things do you do during your day that seem to make the day go better?  What impact on your week would replicating those activities have?  How much better might your week be?   How about your month, your year, or your life?  What best practices might you want to consider?  OR What best practices do you already have in place that are serving you well?  I’d love to hear what you have to say.

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2 Responses to “Best Practices: What they are and how they can help…”

  1. Ellen Delap May 9, 2013 1:08 am #

    I love the idea of grouping ideas in best practices. It is a powerful way to honor your priorities. I especially love the visual aid you created.

    • Andrea Sharb May 9, 2013 12:16 pm #

      I’m a huge fan of best practices and am glad you appreciated the idea of grouping them. Lists in Toodledo or something similar can be fantastic visual aids to support us in reaching our goals.

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