Behind every great man is a woman rolling her eyes. 

Jim Carrey

Habit #5 focuses on double-checking.  Remember: a habit is an automatic implementation of a behavior (or set of behaviors) in response to a stimulus.  It is what you do when given a cue.  You don’t have to think about it; it just happens.  Previous habit blogs focus on the concept of habitsHabit #1: Expressing LoveHabit #2: Questions before AnswersHabit #3: Sleep to Live, and Habit #4: Single-Tasking.

Habit #5 is double-checking.

Here is a common scenario that plays out in our driveway.  I come out of the house, lock the door.  Get in the van.  Realize that I don’t remember locking the door.  Get out of the van and—you guessed it—double-check the door.

And Kelle is behind me, waiting in the van—rolling her eyes.

It is a habit.

My double checking.  And, perhaps Kelle rolling her eyes.  Let’s focus on double-checking.

The habit encompasses many areas of my life.  At home, it involves locks, ovens and keys.  At work, it involves stopping before I leave a training site to ensure that all equipment is packed, and the room is in good condition.

The time required is negligible.  It usually requires somewhere between two and thirty seconds.  And most times, the double-check confirms the completion of the task.  The door was locked.  The oven was off.  The equipment was packed.  But, not every time.  Every now and then, I catch a mistake.

Occasionally, I forget to double-check and pay the price.  After a training for the city of Gainesville, Texas I arrived home in Fort Worth only to discover that I had left the power chord to my laptop.  Why?  Because I forgot to double-check.  It cost over two hours of travel time to get it back.  The 30-second check would have saved two hours.

Double-checking is a positive habit that can save you time while costing you very little of it.

What things—behaviors, tasks, etc.—are worth double-checking?  Think objectively.  How much time would be required?  You may even be able to do it on the way.  If so, why not?  Being careful does not have to be time-consuming.

But it might cause someone to roll her eyes.  Consider it a confirmation of greatness!

Did I say that double-checking is a positive habit?

Let me check…