I’m Only Human
All of us face situations where we procrastinate certain tasks or regularly make certain mistakes. It’s frustrating to us and others around us. Since we all are guilty, we can either accept our failings as just being human (no one’s perfect) or we can hack through our failings.
Any repeating behavioral cycle has at least three components. If you continually misstep in a certain situation or with a particular task, it can be a priority issue, a motivation issue or a routine issue. If your failing is a result of a priority issue, it means you opt to engage in other important things that occupy your attention and effort. You get to the end of the day and that less important thing is still there, only to be rolled over to the next day’s to-do list.
If it is a lack of motivation, you will not put forth the effort required. The problem is that you have to feel it to do it. Motivation comes and goes, so relying on your “get up and go” is not a good strategy for getting things done. Waiting for a surge of energy is a sure way to miss deadlines and disappoint others.
Value Of Routines
Rather than relying on priority and motivation only, there is another, more reliable way to execute. It’s using routines because they actually cover for the other two when they are lacking.
For instance, you have a morning routine that you follow without fail and without thinking about it. That routine ensures that you do everything you need to do to get ready for your day. You are barely aware of what you’re doing. You’re just going through your pattern of behaviors. On the days you are unable to adhere to your morning routine or are interrupted, you are especially vulnerable to forget something (deodorant?).
Here’s another routine you have. The next time you drive away in your vehicle, before you got very far down the road, you may notice you have your seatbelt on. And you probably don’t remember doing so. But you have a routine you follow, in the same sequence, every time. Why? Because it’s a routine you’ve adopted that allows you to be successful without considering its importance or feeling like it.
So, if something is important to you and you are motivated, yet still stumble and misstep, check your (lack of) routine. It very well may be the solution to your missteps.
Read Related Blogs:
A Third Message This is a third Message focusing on how you can protect your mental health this busy season, in a trying time when there are so many undercurrents of social, political and economic mayhem. You can read the previous two Messages here and here. The point...
From Last Week As I wrote in last week’s Message, 2021 will be an extension of 2020 and it is wearing on people, especially those who are driven to help others—professionals like you. In addition to the stress of a normal busy season, add in a measure of social...
As a knowledge worker, your primary asset is your ability to think, reason and solve complex problems for your clients. Your mental capabilities are critical to perform at such a high level. And that’s why I’m very concerned that you may be at risk. Let me explain....