How to avoid making the same mistakes repeatedly

How to avoid making the same mistakes repeatedly
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Making mistakes is crucial to improve yourself. But making them over and over again without learning from them is a fatal mistake. Find out how to stop making the same mistakes all the time.

Introduction

Making mistakes is something we all deal with. We all know these cheesy quotes like “A master failed more often than the novice even tried” and so on. But this is true. If you want to learn how to stop making the same mistakes, you have to think about your mistakes. It’s simply not enough to just acknowledge the mistake you did, you have to think about it, find out why you did it, and then find ways to improve.

In this post I am going over a simple routine I established to get better. I use this method in my personal and in my professional life with very good results.

How to cope with failure

First of all, if you do a mistake it doesn’t help anyone to beat yourself over it. Yes, it’s good that you are angry about yourself because you know you could do better. But it’s something you should get over quickly. Mistakes are very natural and you can learn so much from them. 

We have a very good mistake culture at work. When I started my new job my CEO told me “Mr. Kluth, you are going to make many mistakes, some of them will be very expensive. And we pay this happily because we know you learn from them.” I give this quote to every one of my workers and co-workers because I love it so much.

How to learn from your mistakes

When you do something wrong, note it. I write a quick report to myself afterward with the goal I wanted to accomplish, the things I did (which didn’t work out) to reach it.

You are always wiser after the mistake, so I also note what my failure produced and think about what I should’ve done instead. Just thinking about it on this level instead of beating yourself up is an improvement in itself.

Create a learning database for yourself

I created myself a recurring note in notion with the mistake I did.

I have my note separated into three areas:

  1. Problem: What was the problem? What went wrong? Example: Technicians didn’t repair a machine in time.
  2. Impact: What was the result of this mistake? Example: The quality of certain products wasn’t good enough
  3. Solution: What can I do next time to let this not happen again? Example: More pressure on the technicians to solve the problem in time.

I have this note recurring to me every 90 days. When I believe that I didn’t do this mistake again or managed something similar well enough, I close this note but let it stay in the database anyway.

Every Sunday when I review my week and plan the next one I sometimes stumble upon mistakes I already did. And this habit really helped me to stop making the same mistakes again and again. If you want to find out more about my daily/weekly planning head over to this post right here.

Conclusion

A mistake is something crucial and wonderful. You do something and you learn from it for your life – some mistakes might be so hard that you will never forget them – and believe me, you will face similar problems every once in a while but you will always think about the first time you did it wrong – and you try another way. 

This way can be better or maybe worse – but you learned. Learning is a lifelong process, it will hurt, it will cost you money but ultimately, you improved upon.

I hope you could learn something from this post and it made your life a little bit simpler – let me know! You can find more productivity-related posts on the right-hand side.

As always, I would be happy to hear some feedback on this post.

-Julian

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