Changing Work Habits

How do you react when when circumstances demand that you change the way you work?  Work processes, once learned, go into a semi-automatic mode that require only part of our brain power, and work flows along quite comfortably.  Changing work habits, is very uncomfortable and we may even feel frustration and resistance.

Several years ago, I explored the numerous times in my life and work that I experienced this discomfort. Today, I thought it would be fun to add to this list.

My Experience of Changing Work Habits

  • Learning to make a meal in the microwave.  I had to relearn everything I knew about cooking.
  • When our department upgraded from DOS to Windows, we had to move away from keyboard functions to mousing.  That was very painful.
  • When I shifted away from the paper appointment book to the Palm calendar.  That was sort of fun, and felt leading edge but meant a totally different way of working.
  • Learning to file electronically.  There was a lot of reluctance here because I was never sure if I would ever find the item again.  It wouldn’t be at my fingertips when I needed it.
  • The discomfort of moving to Office 2007 and spending the better part of a week saying ” Where did that function go?”  Nothing automatic happening here.
  • Changing email from Outlook  to Google. This meant a whole new way of thinking.  How does one make good use of labels or conversations and the archiving/search process?  
  • Shifting from a Blackberry to an Android smartphone – from cable syncing to auto-syncing.  Now I must learn how to ensure privacy and security.

My Experience of Acquiring New Work Habits

  • Expanding networking activities from strictly local to include online.  This meant learning to engage with others using Google Plus and Hangouts.
  • Discovering how social networking works on a variety of platforms – LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram and deciding which are suited to my work.
  • Learning how to host a live online Success Circle for other solopreneurs.  This meant learning video recording and YouTube video management and promotion to participants.
  • Deciding to create and maintain my own website.  
  • Discovering online business opportunities and learning how to manage them.
  • Shifting from Google Hangouts to Zoom and learning the OBS (Open Broadcast System).

All of these experiences have prompted some reflection on breaking old habits and shifting to new ones. I decided to chronicle my progress:

How Do We Move From Discomfort To Mastery?

  1. First the researching and testing of various options.  Being really clear about why I’m making these changes.  Sometimes it is about new technology replacing the old, and sometimes it is a recognition of a pending opportunity.
  2. Final decision.  Making the shift from the old to the new all at once.   Being careful to make the change when there is time to experience the transition.
  3. Watching tutorials and getting a handle on the wide-angle view.  Here’s a great article about learning new technology: Ten Tips For Learning a New Technology
  4. Trying to do a critical task quickly.  Can’t find anything…where did everything go?  Hunting and pecking and getting nowhere. Frustration!!!  Desperation!
  5. Determination.  I’m stuck with it, so I’d better get on top of it.
  6. Remembering to make use of “Help”. How to…..?  Turn it into a game.  How fast can I discover how to do the usual things?  Now it’s sort of fun. I often find exactly what I need by searching on YouTube for instructions.
  7. The pride of knowing that I can figure it out. Also remembering that the learning curve will always slow us down, but will not overcome.
  8. Now the challenge and joy of discovering all the shortcuts, one at a time and as needed.
  9. Remembering that the speed of change is accelerating, so I need to perfect this process.

Computer Happy

My Conclusion

Changing work habits or acquiring new ones means creating new brain pathways. This can be both painful and stimulating but is activity worth pursuing because it’s definitely a way to maintain brain health, continuous growth and a very satisfying Third Age.  

 Mindset Monday Challenge

Take a look at your work processes and the technology you are using.  Have you been putting off a needed change? Look at your calendar and build in some time to Make It Happen!

Photo of author

Lowell Ann Fuglsang

Greetings from LowellAnn,

In my workstyle-lifestyle coaching work I love helping solopreneurs find direction, stay motivated and build systems that both support and promote their business. A great place to begin is the Solopreneur Evaluation Tool that will tell you where you need to put more time and energy.

6 thoughts on “Changing Work Habits”

  1. Good points. I love your positive conclusion and the multitude of social media options right underneath the conclusion – exercise for my brain in learning about and keeping up with them all! Thanks!

  2. Hi, LA….you are courageous and adventurous! Good on you for accomplishing all of this in such a short period of time….an inspiration to the rest of us! I hope to see you at HOST in the Fall. Current work load hasn’t allowed me to participate during the summer. Best wishes, Dawne

    • Thanks for kind words Dawn. I hear you are a very busy person these days. Look forward to connecting in the fall.


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