[Lessons Learned] Analyzing My Habits

Random Observation/Comment #419: It’s just as hard to start a habit as it is to break one. Take it one day at a time…

see lemons puzzle piece

Habits are just tendencies to do things the way you’ve always done them. It’s not exactly a routine in terms of actionable items, but more like a process in which one reacts to various situations. Understanding this specific difference helped me look back and find the root of my positive and negative actions.

My Positive Habits:

  • Organization. I’m a habitual list maker. It helps me pay attention, digest, and remember all my thoughts. While it can be useful for work meetings, it also has a clear affect on the overall order around my life. I know where things are at all times. These things, whether physical or just ideas, are stored logically for easy retrieval.
  • Prioritization. Whenever I’m faced with multiple tasks, I am very disciplined in putting weights on decisions and outcomes. There’s a system in my head that takes into account expectations and consequences around all my tasks. Once you see these influences clearly, you can make the tough decisions to do things later and focus on finishing one task.
  • Productivity / Focus on Detail. We all know multitasking is just splitting attention. When I know my task in front of me, I set a time and effort around completing it, and just do it. I love it when I get into “the zone” and just churn out these items. Productivity is a large motivator and I’ll feel better when I get things done. Knowing how to hunker down and work makes this extremely important.
  • Observation. When reading a situation, I tend to split the common and foreign ideas. Common ideas are organized by situation with rooted experiences and solutions. The introduction of foreign ideas requires assessment on impact and actions. Thinking clearly and seeing the variables makes the decision process and eventual actions easier.
  • Rationalization. Everything needs to “make sense” in one way or another. I tend to solve my problems when the solutions are derived from givens. It’s like in math theory – you’re asked to prove an equation is true or false by following steps to get it all closer to something familiar. I rationalize everything (from actions to textbook learning) back to the basics in my understanding. Sometimes you just need to keep asking “why?” until the picture comes together.
  • Optimism. More than everything else, I am hopeful of completing something. I visualize it’s completion and see it all happening. I believe in my team and I believe humanity is mostly filled with good people.
  • Curiosity. There’s always a question you can ask and a solution you can find with Google (you so smart…) . Curiosity about the world is what drives me to keep learning. Ask questions when you make observations and prioritize your responsibilities. It ties everything together.
  • Reflection. I always do a lessons learned when it’s all said and done so we adapt and learn from mistakes and repeat victories. No sense in reinventing the wheel every time, right?

Habits I Need to Improve:

  • Focus on one big thing. I love starting projects, but it just leads to a million unfinished projects. If you focus on one big thing at a time, then you’d be able to complete it. I just need to choose the right big project… I think I just like the design phase more than the BAU one.
  • Balance. My bigger picture balances to a positive energy, but I tend to work hard and play hard. My counterbalances, one might say, are just extreme. Living with these spikes on both sides is not sustainable, so I need to round my edges and mellow out. Make sure you’re happy.
  • Control. There’s one thing being organized, but ultimately one must just go with the flow and accept what can’t be completed. It’s hard to let go, but letting go will make you realize you were the only one putting the pressure and stress on yourself.

Habits can always change. Identifying the good and bad ones are a great first start before coming up with an action plan of 30 day challenges to make them better.

~See Lemons Habitually Write Lists