With a twist to the common list of habits that are useful to establish, here are 7 habits that you do best to avoid. Just like finding habits that can be useful for you it’s important to find habits that are holding you back. Most of these 7 habits can easily become such a normal, everyday part of life that you hardly notice it (or how it’s affecting you). I’ve dabbled with all of them quite a bit. Not surprisingly I didn’t get much of the important stuff done. I´d also like to add that these are just 7 broad habits you can establish to become highly ineffective in most parts of your life. I pretty sure there are several more.
1. Not showing up.
Maybe you’ve heard this quote by Woody Allen:
“Eighty percent of success is showing up”
One of the biggest and simplest thing you can do to ensure more success in your life – whether it be in your social life, your career or with your health – is simply to show up more. If you want to improve your health then one of the most important and effective things you can do is just to show up at the gym every time you should be there. The weather might be bad, you might not feel like going and you find yourself having all these other things you just must do. If you still go, if you show up at the gym when motivation is low you will improve a whole lot faster than if you just stayed at home relaxing on the sofa. I think this applies to most areas of life. If you write or paint more, each day perhaps, you will improve quickly. If you get out more you can meet more new friends. If you go on more dates you chances of meeting someone special increases. Just showing up more can really make a big difference. Not showing up will not get you anywhere.
2. Procrastinating half the day. To keep it short, my 3 favourite ways to get out of a procrastinating state are: - Swallow that frog. What´s this means is simply to do the hardest and most important task of the day first thing in the morning. A good start in the morning lifts your spirits and creates a positive momentum for the rest of the day. That often creates a pretty productive day. - How do you eat an elephant? Don´t try to take it all in one big bite. It becomes overwhelming which leads to procrastination. Split a task into small actionable steps. Then just focus on the first step and nothing else. Just do that one until it’s done. Then move on to the next step. - The Get around to It Paraliminal. I find this guided mediation to be very useful. After 20 minutes of mostly just lying on my bed and listening I’m far more productive for a few days. I don´t feel the urge to sink into that procrastinating state or the need to find out what’s new over at one or five of my favourite websites.
3. When actually doing something, doing something that isn’t the most important thing right now. One of the easiest habits to get stuck in, besides procrastinating, is to keep yourself busy with unimportant tasks. To be effective you probably need some kind of time management-system. It might be something really simple, like using the 80/20-rule at the beginning of each day. The 80/20 rule, or the Pareto Principle as it´s also known, says that you´ll get 80 percent of your results from only 20 percent of your tasks and activities. So you need to focus most of your energy on those few important tasks to be effective. When you have prioritized using this rule just write down the top 3 most important things you need to do that day. Then, from the top, start doing them. Even if you just get one of the things done, you have still done the most important thing you could do today. You may perhaps prefer some other system, such as GTD. But however you organise your work it’s still of highest priority to find the most important tasks so you don’t spend days, weeks or months doing busywork that isn’t that essential anyway. Just getting things done faster isn’t that useful if the things you get done are unimportant to you. ...