You remember the quote about the definition of insanity, right? It’s doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. Making the same mistakes over and over can definitely make you insane! And it’s so irritating when we do it. So what makes us repeat that frustrating pattern?? I’ll bet that one of these issues could be the culprit…
You Aren’t Reviewing Completed Projects
I sit down after every project for a mini-review of what went right and what went wrong. Since mistakes are just another opportunity to learn something new, I always take notice of the errors I made when I assess my projects. (Yep, they happen every project!) But I don’t let it stop there. I spend some time thinking about the lesson of those mistakes, so I can implement a change that prevents them from ever happening again. Instead of beating yourself up for a mistake, turn it into a positive. Remember, whatever you resist persists, so don’t obsess over making the same mistakes you made before, but instead, focus on what you could do differently to avoid them.
You Aren’t Focusing
We all have a lot to do, and we’re often juggling more than one project at a time. You just have to take the time to focus on the task in front of you! If you don’t, you are definitely going to make mistakes. I talked on this blog recently about distractions and how they can keep you from being as successful as you want to be. If you allow yourself to be distracted too often, it can take your eye off the ball, and you’re definitely going to drop it. Keep your attention where it needs to be!
You Aren’t Organized
If you’re reinventing the wheel every time you start a new project, you’re going to leave out a step or an important process. You have to have systems, schedules, and timelines all spelled out. And you need to follow your procedures every single time. Those checklists are going to keep you on time, on budget, and on task. It’s harder for mistakes to creep in if you have your checks and balances in place. AMEN!
You’re Too Tired or Stressed
Yes, this job is stressful. And you can definitely work yourself to the bone. But research shows that’s also a sure way to make a mistake, and particularly one you’ve made before. So REST! You need to be sure you’re getting enough sleep and that you have outlets to combat stress. Keep yourself in good working order – you are your company’s most important asset!
You Didn’t Allow Enough Time
Of course we all want to finish and deliver a gorgeous full-house renovation in two months. But that is completely unrealistic! Can’t be done! Don’t ever promise your clients a timeline that’s too tight. Always be honest with them (and YOURSELF) about how long something will take, because we make more mistakes when we’re rushed than we do at any other time. Right?! If you know you’re the kind of person who is always sliding into a deadline at the last minute – giving yourself more time will help you break that bad habit.
For tasks I do over and over, for example, I always list them on my calendar and timelines so I don’t forget how long they actually take me. And I’ll adjust as I complete them. You can do that, too! Click here for my Checklist for Reoccurring Calendar Items and download it for FREE!
By thinking about breaking bad habits and using tools like my checklist, you can reprogram your brain to avoid those mistakes you can’t seem to stop making. Good luck!