“Correct your mistakes before they become your habits”

"Correct your mistakes before they become your habits"

Yet another great quote from James Clear: "Correct your mistakes before they become your habits."

In the data management world, you might hear this more commonly as "We've always done it that way."

The following is a true story: During a conversation with a client, I learned that after an individual joined online, a staff person would go into that individual's record and copy data points from one part of the database to another part of the database. When I asked her why she did this, she responded: "This is what I was taught to do." After discussions with several other staff members, no one could come up with a reason for why this was being done.

What caught my attention on this particular process was the cutting and pasting. If data needed to be in a different part of the database, why wasn't it going there/entered there in the first place?

Without knowing the details of the process above, it was a mistake to start copying and pasting data from one part of the system to another. And eventually, that mistake became a habit.

It's quite possible that "you've always done it that way" for a perfectly valid reason at that time. It's also possible that the original decision was a mistake, and now your mistake has become habit.

Always ask "Why are we doing this?" You might be surprised by the answer.

Wes's Wednesday Wisdom Archives

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