I love the fall. And it will be here before we know it! The weather transitions from muggy and hot to refreshing. The leaves are beautiful. Everything just seems better. I can't wait! But even though it's a season filled with beauty, for me it's one also filled with temptation. With the candy of Halloween and comfort food of Thanksgiving I eat myself silly. With the shorter days and the warmer blankets I sleep in, instead of working out or getting up early to read, reflect, and pray. It's a trivial season.
For me, Fall is the season where a lot of bad habits rear their ugly head.
Now Summer might be your time when bad habits arise. Or, you might not have a specific season of life where habits attack. However, we'll all have periods of time they'll wreak havoc in our personal and professional lives. Some bad habits seem insignificant at first. But if they aren't monitored, they'll derail us from being productive and efficient. Staying on top of our bad habits can be challenging. One of the best things we can do is name them. (It's easier to fight when you know who your opponent is!) So what are your bad habits? Here's a list of the ones that have given me trouble:
Not Writing It Down
Whether it's a phone message, email, or action step, I tell myself, "it's in my head and therefore I'll remember it." I'm great at lying to myself. If I don't write it down I'll forget it. Some of us may claim to have an elephant's memory. However, writing it down also guarantees that we'll respond in a timely manner.
Winging My Hours
I have my weekly schedule posted in two places in my office. Plus, it's on my computer. I need to track my hours because if I don't, I'm going to feel overworked and overwhelmed. Tracking hours is about tracking how efficient you are with the time you have. If you don't track your hours, you risk under producing while wasting a bunch of time.
Skipping The Breaks
My 18 month old son needs a nap. If he doesn't get one, he drives everyone crazy. Granted we can't take naps at work. However, we need to make sure we're taking a constructive break each day. The best time for me to do that is at lunch. Leave the laptop and phone and getaway for a breather. We can't go all out, all day, every day, and expect to stay healthy.
As leaders in the church we're "on call" for emergencies 24/7. However, that should never serve as a reason to neglect personal responsibilities and relationships. It's a grey area I struggle with, and a tension we all need to lean into. However, we need to know when to shut it off and shut it out.
Initiating Without Prayer
Even if it seems formulaic, it's important for us to always begin with God. Even if the prayer is, "God, bless us," you're bringing Him into the conversation. I've been a part of and lead too many meetings that have forgotten this simple, yet, significant habit.
Unfortunately, I could go on and on in regards to my bad habits, some larger than others. The way that we can stay on top of them is through ACCOUNTABILITY. Whether that comes from a coworker, family member, or fellow minister, make sure you give someone the authority to ask you, "How are your habits?" If we can't control them, they'll eventually control us.
What bad habits do you have or do you witness around the work place?