Reflections About Habits

About Walking and Playing

Submitted by Andreas Schliep on 01/26/2023
Hamarikyu Shrine, Tokyo

Over the past five years, I have learned a lot about acquiring habits. It all started when I decided to take a one-hour walk every day. My goal was to improve my health and fitness, and I believed that walking was a simple and doable task. I began my journey with relatively slow rounds, managing to complete about 3 km within an hour. But despite the slow start, I quickly noticed some positive changes. The armchair that used to be a struggle to get out of was no longer a challenge; my heart rate improved, I lost weight, and I gained muscle.

As time went on, the experiment became a habit, and the habit became a necessity. I found myself feeling uncomfortable when I had to skip my daily walk. The Responsibility Process helped me to reflect on my new habit and understand that by catching myself sooner, I could maintain my habit. This is what many people would consider a "good" habit.

Last year, I rediscovered my love for online gaming, particularly with my new PlayStation 5. I found myself spending every free moment on Grand Theft Auto Online, building my virtual "criminal" empire. However, I soon realized that my gaming habit was becoming a priority over my daily walks and even my work. The pastime had become a habit, a "necessity," almost an addiction.

After another night spent on my recliner, playing until I fell asleep, I decided to change. I remembered the Responsibility Process and used it to sort out my thoughts. I had bought a walking desk, a stand-up desk with a treadmill, at the beginning of the pandemic. I was afraid I would not be able to have my daily walks during a lockdown. So, I modified my walking and gaming habits. I moved my PlayStation to my treadmill desk and set my mind to playing as much as possible, as long as I was using the treadmill simultaneously.

I formed a new habit, and I still intend to get back to my daily one-hour walks. I have reduced my online gaming time, but my gaming experience has improved. The walking desk has helped me to focus on the game and improve my proficiency.

I never intended to create a virtual "criminal" empire, but as Johanna Rothman said in her excellent book, "Writing requires action." This article is my first shot at creating a new writing habit. I am starting with the experiment, trying out variations, repeating daily, and seeing where it takes me.

The picture above shows the beautiful shrine in Hamarikyu Gardens, Tokyo. A shrine is a place for reflection and reverence, and it serves as a good symbol for my own reflections.

Andreas Schliep

About the author

Andreas Schliep

Andreas Schliep is a founding member and executive partner of DasScrumTeam. He is a Scrum coach and trainer. He studied at the technical university of Bremerhaven, and worked as a software developer, project manager, team lead and group lead. Andreas has worked with Scrum since 2003. He became a full-time Scrummer in 2006.

Since then, he has helped to introduce and improve Scrum and agile practices in numerous companies all over the world. His favorite topics are quality management and scaling.

  • Experienced ScrumMaster, Product Owner, Coach and Trainer
  • Introduced Scrum at WEB.DE
  • Coaching of internationally distributed teams
  • Transition from RUP to Scrum at UOL Brazil
  • Scrum Trainings and Coaching in Germany, Switzerland and Austria

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