Habits: When Roadbumps Occur

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This is the beauty of having a blog: I can put myself out there and committ to something, and then two days later I can roll my ankle and have to start again. And so it is.

Let’s compare this situation to Reliability work, and look at some strategies for not getting frustrated when your best intentions are thwarted. A similar situation could be when you have a schedule you’ve set for yourself to get your work accomplished, but you are relying on another’s input.  And those people are unavailable.

When you can’t move the train forward on the tracks you’re on, there are still things you can do to make the time productive and worthwhile. Three things I learned during this speed bump:

1. Train your weakness.  In my particular case this means focusing on strength training and nutrition.  For a reliability worker, it could be studying the first principles of the machine, going out to see the problem and learn something new you didn’t have time to learn before, or working on that difficult project you’ve had on the back burner because you don’t really want to start it.

2 . Recovery and preparation: switching out my shoes, doing some foam rolling to work out lingering tightness, planning future routes and workouts. For the other: gathering all the data you need and setting up the analyses, talking to other experts to understand what they do (context), planning your next project beyond.

3. Reflection:  If you’ve been committed to a habit, and it has to pause…this is a good time for reflection.  Is there anything missing in your overall approach? Is this habit still serving you?  This is the time for introspection and questioning.  For me, I can start again, and my committment is more sure because I’ve taken that time to question and decided it is for me still.

All these things can help when you are ready to go again.  Often its better to change direction instead of stopping all together.

What are your thoughts on restarting when you get hung up?

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Steph Holko

Reliability Engineer in Steelmaking. I love the business and the process. I’m working to inspire others to care about the details.

Novice runner, environmentalist, supporter of kids in STEM.

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