Five Traits That Shall Improve

If you read my last post, you already know I’m great at a few things. Unfortunately for me, this is not another post like that. This is about things I’m just okay at, things with a lot of room for improvement. Luckily, they’re things that can be improved easily. Even better, I lay out a plan for doing just that after each skill. Enjoy!

Focus

I have a great deal of passion for a great many things. This is nice when I want to seem well-rounded, but it’s not so nice when I need to talk with expertise on a topic. It’s also not so nice when I need to sit down and work when I don’t really feel like it. Unfortunately, both of those are things that I need to learn to do better than anyone else.

I’ll achieve focus in my work by treating scheduled work sessions like mandatory meetings instead of suggestions. I’ll become an expert in a given field by reading almost exclusively on a single topic of interest instead of floating from subject to subject without acquiring any depth.

Consistency

When I’m working at my peak, my work is among the best. When I’m not on my game, the quality swings wildly. This usually happens when I’m sleep-deprived, but sometimes it seems to happen for no reason at all. Feeling that block and not knowing what to do to break it down is incredibly frustrating and can kill my motivation in no time.

This will also be attacked by treating my work periods like a job. Sticking with a schedule and forcing myself to get something on paper will hopefully do wonders for my output. I’ll ask my advisors and fellow Praxians what their best strategies are for overcoming sloth and volatility in their work.

Memory

The most frustrating thing about me is that if I don’t write something down, I will almost always forget to do it. It doesn’t matter if it’s saving puppies for starving children—if it’s not written down, I probably won’t do it. This has led to missed opportunities and almost cost me a few professional relationships.

The solution to this is simple: write everything down. I don’t think I’m ready to totally overcome my memory problems, but I am ready to do what’s necessary to keep them at bay.

Flexibility

I’m usually pretty flexible in general. I like to go with the flow. But sometimes I’ll get stuck in a rut. It often has to do with a way of doing something. I’ll find one way to do something, and when that stops working, I’ll refuse to find another way. I’d rather slam my head into my monitor than find a different way to fix a computer problem.

This, and the next trait, involve me stepping out of my comfort zone. Just because something works almost all the time doesn’t mean it works all the time. It seems so obvious when I write it down. I just need to follow my own advice.

Willingness to change

As I mentioned, I’m normally willing to be open-minded and listen to new ideas. This has led to some wonderful experiences. Occasionally I’ll find myself stuck in an unproductive way of thinking that feels comfortable. My typical curiosity is extinguished, and I’m content to marinate in my ignorance for fear that learning more will shatter my preconceptions. This differs from flexibility because this affects me on a long-term basis, while my lack of flexibility affects my day-to-day activities.

At first glance, this seems tough to square with my goal of increasing my focus. I’ll solve this by learning about each topic that discomforts me one at a time, instead of trying to tackle them all at once. I also won’t obsess over any topic; when I’ve learned a bit, I’ll take a break, instead of trying to solve every issue.


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