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How To Not Repeat Mistakes

stoft profile image Rasmus Larsson Updated on ・1 min read

Let's face it, every now and again someone makes a mistake. "To err is human" as they say. It's important to realise however that mistakes are unintentional. People in general don't want to make mistakes. Recognise and acknowledge that, both to yourself and whoever made the mistake. Mistakes are a learning opportunity in disguise, don't play the blame game.

Now, there is a simple method to avoid repeating a mistake: habit.

In other words create a process/routine that guards against the mistake and then repeat that process/routine obsessively. In the future you will instinctively know when something is off.

Forget your keys to the house? Always put them in the same pocket and touch the outside of the pocket when you're about to leave the house.

When working together with others there could be a number of possible reasons for a mistake, some outside the control of whoever made it. When that happens it's good to have a way to analyse why it happened and which steps are needed to fix it and learn from the situation.

Below are some common areas that could be the cause of a mistake. There may be others but this should cover most of them.

Was the mistake due to:

  • faulty process/practice?
  • something non-/miscommunicated?
  • missing/false knowledge?
  • stress?
  • culture?

The solution is the same regardless: change your habits to guard against that future situation.

Posted on Feb 13 '18 by:

stoft profile

Rasmus Larsson

@stoft

Fullstack developer, in a previous life I lived and breathed EAI.

Discussion

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In case folks are into reading/hearing books -> there are two books on habits and how to deal with them well.

Charles Duhigg on "The power of habit" and "Triggers" by Marshall Goldsmith. I'm working on breaking some habits and these two books seemed insightful and decent enough (:

 

I really enjoyed The Power of Habit. The main way it influenced how I do things is the idea of setting myself up for small wins from the start, and how that plays into process.

If a process is cumbersome, or you have to go out of your way to do something, then it's a lot more likely to get ignored, but (for example) if you sleep in your running clothes, you're a lot more likely to go running in the morning.

 
 

Updated with a fifth possible cause of a mistake: culture.