Habits - Replace the Bad with Better to Achieve Your Goals

We all have at least one bad Habit, and some are worse than others. In a work context, those bad Habits can prevent you from meeting your goals.

In most cases, your bad Habit is a distraction, a simple way to cope with stress, boredom, or avoidance. You most likely find the stress/boredom-related ones reduce when you’re focused and motivated. The real problem is avoidance habits.

So why do we do them and how can we stop?

Checking your inbox all the time might make you feel connected. At the same time looking at all of those emails destroys your productivity, divides your attention, and in turn adds to your stress. At the same time, you do it because you’re afraid of “missing out”…so you do it again. Sometimes it’s not about “missing out”, it’s because being busy is a great avoidance technique. You know, “I didn’t manage to do that today, I was maxed out…”

Imagine if you could stop those time-consuming, avoidance activities. How much more effective would you be?

Here’s how…

According to motivational coach James Clear, recognising the causes of your bad habits is crucial to overcoming them. Then you need to replace a bad habit with a good one.

Time boxing is a great tool for this. Pomodoros are a great way to focus and then take a short break. The next time you have the urge to check the news, eBay, Twitter or whatever your vice is, wait for your 5-minute break. That way you’re actually in control and break the bad Habit.

Then there’s the really bad habit of making assumptions! This Habit is beyond bad, it’s more like being overconfident and it’s one of the worst for developers. You may have a great idea, but how do you know that:

  • It’s what Users find really valuable

  • It will absolutely work with that module...

  • It’s easy there are no risks

  • Testing it with that old data set will be good enough

  • Etc, etc.

You get the picture.

Why do we make assumptions? Sometimes because we’re rushing. Sometimes we’re new to a Team and think that others know best. Sometimes we feel shy about asking too many questions.

Often, because it’s a Habit.

We believe we’re good enough at “guessing” because of our years of experience and skills. We need to remember that assumptions are guessing and hoping for the best.

You can carry on like this or you can choose to improve and create new, better habits.

Performalise guides you through Refinement and helps you to challenge your own and your colleagues’ assumptions, while you build your new Habit.

There’s some great information and actionable advice about forming Habits here https://jamesclear.com/

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