My Worst Habits – Exercise #9

Seriously? My worst habits? That is what this exercise wants me to discuss next? But I don’t have any bad habits – I am Agitated Habitsperfect! And modest too. But you know, asking someone to list their worst habits is like those job interview questions where they ask you what the worst thing about your job performance would be … “oh, the worst thing is that I want everything to be right. I just care too much!”  Sure, right. That means you are a pain in the butt.

But, enough of them, back to me. Luckily this says my worst “habits” not “traits” so I don’t have to go into my insecurities or anything. Probably my worst habit is procrastination. I am one of those people who claims that “I do my best work under pressure.” Well that is because most of my work is done under pressure because I wait till the last minute to do it. I have done that since I was a kid in school researching and writing papers. Honestly I waited until the last minute before even trying to read whatever book we were writing on. The bad thing about that is that I am a very slow reader. I have always read like the English major I am. I labor over each word and sentence; analyzing the construction of the smallest details in both the mechanics and the meaning. Let me tell you, when you are reading Dickens that can take a very long time!

I still procrastinate today. (And yes, it still is today. I have 40 minutes until tomorrow.) I have used to task lists and to-do apps and project management software. It helps for a short while, and then my bad habits come back. I have even taught project management to engineers and project managers. I know the theory and the practice. I just fail at the implementation. I make up for it by trying to surround myself in my work with people who are good at staying on track and hitting deadlines. Sorry Amanda and Andra. They must really get tired of saying, “how are we coming along on this?”

Other bad habits? Well, how about keeping feelings locked away? Does that count? It makes people think that I don’t care or that I am mad when I get quiet. I am definitely one of those personality types who internalize things. Except for when I don’t — then I wear my heart on my sleeve and let my insecurities show. Too much. But wait, those are traits and not habits. I don’t have to discuss those here.

I am sure some of you can come up with a list of other bad habits for me – taking pictures of friends while they are eating? Buying odd lots of toys? Being the devil’s advocate and stirring the pot? And yes, caring too much. Sue me, I am a giver.

And just for the record I do not consider my occasional cigar smoking a bad habit. It falls under the category of “relaxation techniques.”