This week is a right in the face example of how entrenched we get with our habits. The microwave died. It was a slow death that began with beeping at 3:00 am. You know the beep it makes when something is done? And of course, I had to get out of bed to check it.
Grumble… ”what the heck”, while also thinking maybe there was a fire, someone had gotten in and was heating up something, or whatever else you guess, is an issue at 3:00 am.
I pushed several buttons, did the clear and it seemed to take care of the issue. At 5:30 am, it started beeping again.
It would not work for my morning warm-up of tea so I put “new microwave” on my list of things to buy and get out a saucepan to warm up my tea.
Now for the habit part of this microwave story:
- I tried to heat up several cups of tea without remembering it was broken
- Tried to warm up the puppy’s dinner – did not remember
- Was going to defrost a yummy dinner I made last week – right again, did not remember
- Mid-evening I decided to see how broken it was and it worked. What?
- In the middle of the night, it started beeping again – nothing on it worked
- Next morning it still did not work. It would not stop beeping and I unplugged it
- Re-plugged it in when I finally had time to go get a new microwave and IT WORKED. Dammit.
- Another 2 days of beeping, working, not working, and me not remembering the not working
It could have been funny if it had not been so annoying that I could not run my life without a working microwave.
When my grandgirl came to visit, heated a bottle in a saucepan. Heated up my tea in a saucepan. Heated up my puppy’s dinner in a saucepan.
Now my kitchen is filled with dishes to wash.
No popcorn, defrosting, warming or cooking. And yet I kept going back to this broken thing to use.
My habit of relying on my microwave for so many kitchen needs was driving me nuts.
And now we get to the lesson.
How many times a day, week, month, year do we try to use something that is not working anymore because it is our habit?
Is your listening working well? How about communicating clearly? Being accountable for your word and then being late…again?
You can’t buy a new you. However, you have a huge list of behavior changes you could make to become more aware of your habits that just might not be serving you anymore.
Start with this one. Breathe. Then stop and ask yourself, what about this is working or not working? Do this everyday for the next 72 hours and you will see how habitual you are with your routines. And you will find the ones that are working well and the ones that are NOT working at all.
I bought a new microwave, finally.
To your success,
P.S. Assessing your habits, leadership, communication and accountability is what I do with all my clients. It is an easy and thorough online assessment tool I have used (and they have used on themselves and their teams) with great success. This leadership, communication and behavioral performance assessment provides not only interesting information, but valuable cues and clues to how your next steps can create high performing results for you and your team. Send me a note and let me know you would like to do an assessment.