Is the first thing you look at after you get up from bed your Insta? Or perhaps the day you decide to visit the gym is always “Tomorrow”? Like it or not, we all have habits that we know are counterproductive and yet they seem to be really hard to break out of.
And yes, I have been guilty of this as well. My day used to revolve around checking various updates on social media. I’m not talking about just 2 or 3, the number was close to a dozen different social media websites. I even had to change my phone because my older one just couldn’t keep up with my need to get on the latest social media fad.
What this did to me personally and professionally was devastating. I was constantly on the edge, craving attention and “busy”. “Busy” meaning that I was constantly thinking about stuff I didn’t need to and not being productive at all. In short, I got myself into a huge mess and I needed to untangle myself as quickly and safely as possible.
Breaking Bad… Habits
When it comes to bad habits, they don’t blindside you one summer’s day. They grow slowly, making sure that you are drawn into the comfort they offer from ignoring your responsibilities. And after a while, they grow into Mount Doom like proportions and you are stuck at its foot like a helpless Hobbit. But take heart, because we all know that the little guy triumphs in the end!
Fitness is also a major point in favor of breaking bad habits and getting into good ones. Building an exercise routine into your schedule can help you form other good habits. You don’t have to take part in elaborate gym classes like pilates or spinning: Simple compound exercise movements like bench presses, deadlifts and squats can give your body the needed strength and musculature whilst giving you added motivation to get up and do more. If you want to find out more about benefits of decline bench press along with general fitness tips, head over to garage gym planner.
So what I’m trying to say is this: developing bad habits is easy, getting rid of them is hard. It is clichéd but still holds true. So why don’t we line up the suspects and find out more about how you can get rid of them?
Suspect 1: Lone wolfing
I get how you think that you need to be by yourself to get things done, but guess what? You’re wrong. In fact, I’ll go out on a limb and say that even the most successful people who’ve built empires from scratch have a Tonto with them. Metaphorically speaking, of course.
Don’t try to be the living embodiment of productivity and self-sufficiency. Rather, think of yourself as an entity who is managing resources – your own and those of other people.
Fun fact: Johnny Depp was made an honorary member of the Comanche nation just before he played Tonto in the Lone Ranger movie. I’m not saying he was great in it, but that’s a story for another time…
Suspect 2: I Am The Only One Who’s Right
Thinking that you are the only one who’s thinking straight can land you into a lot of needless conflicts. If you are a boss, then you’ll eventually end up with a lot of Yes-men (or women) and a stagnant organization.
Give other people their space to grow, learn and make mistakes. Remind yourself about how you were a fledgling before you flew out into the world on your own wings (or bulletproof cape).
Suspect 3: Mistakes – Dun’ Goofed Edition
This might seem contrarian to a perfectionist, but you need to make mistakes! Well, don’t go out of your way to make them, but definitely don’t be averse to them. Know that when you are toeing the line between high productivity and failure, mistakes will be committed. Learn to cut yourself a break and move on. It’s never the end of the world… not because of you anyway.
Suspect 4: Strategize
One thing I can say for sure is that all successful people have a plan. Most people don’t plan for the fear of failure. The key is to analyze and figure out why your plan failed rather than taking the easy way out. A plan can be something as simple as scribbling your to-do list on a Post-it or using a more substantial to-do list.
Start doing it and you’ll eventually find things are a lot more de-cluttered in your head. You’ll get more clarity about priorities and tasks you need to accomplish.
Suspect 5: Choose to be less distracted
Let’s say you have a critical deadline this evening and your friends invite you to your favorite watering hole. Most of us are already asking them if they’re the ones picking up the tab. Thought it’s hard to do, the right option would be to decline the invitation.
Another popular medium of distraction is social media. Resist the urge to check your phone every minute and just focus on the task at hand. Catch up on your social feed during lunch or breaks in between work.
Distractions like this need to be avoided and once you start postponing deadlines then the slope gets slippery real fast!
Suspect 6: Fear or Progress – Choose One
I’m sure at least some of us are caught up in this comfortable cocoon at work and home, where we just don’t do anything extra . Hey, if you just keep doing what you always do, then you can’t mess things up, right? Wrong. If you fear failure, then you will be caught in this loop of same-ness without any progress.
If you have to fear something at all, fear missed opportunities because those don’t come around far too often.
Suspect 7: Perfectionism
We as a species have made tremendous leaps ahead in every facet of life. All this sudden influx of technology and information in every sphere has made it difficult, if not impossible, to achieve perfection. This is because the tolerances to errors have grown minuscule. There is very little chance that you can achieve perfection given the present.
So when you think you want things to be perfect, at work or home, you are just putting yourself under tremendous pressure. The best way to get by this is to focus on the here and now, ignoring past mistakes or future repercussions. When you pursue perfection, it is an eternal chase with no reward.
These are habits that I’ve most commonly noticed people, including myself, developing through life. Since I’ve had a few of them on this list, I know how difficult it is to break them off. But trust me when I say this – it is totally worth it! The feeling of exhilaration you get when you do is comparable to a good dose of runner’s high.
Hopefully, this has given you some insights into what you can do to get rid of those bad habits for good. Do let me know how it went in the comments below! Good luck!