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10 Bad Habits Worth Losing

10 Bad Habits Worth Losing


    As we enter the first week of July, it’s been 6 months since we made our 2012 New Year’s Resolutions. How many have you nailed? And how many have fell by the wayside?

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    Now is a good time to review what you’ve achieved so far and what needs more work. Effective people understand the need to constantly ‘review’ themselves to improve and refine their level of productivity and achievement. Instead of focusing on what to achieve, sometimes it can be good to look at things to cut out from your life.

    What bad habits do you currently have that are hindering your progress or productivity? Remember the saying:

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    “We are what we repeatedly do.”

    What ‘thing’s do you do that you wish you didn’t?

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    It’s a good idea to put together a list of bad habits to remove from your life this year. And the good news is – we still have 6 months to get rid of them!

    To get you started, here are my top 10 bad habits to lose:

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    1. Striving for perfection. The sooner we let go of ‘perfection’ the sooner we get results because we’ll take action! Perfectionists find it difficult to move forward because they become paralyzed by a ‘fear of failure’. Know that it’s ok to go ahead when something is not yet perfect – it’s much better to take action and fix it up as you go!
    2. Being too serious. Approach things with a light attitude. Don’t take yourself too seriously. Positive psychology has shown that one of the most important routes to happiness is to laugh at yourself more – and not take life too seriously. So ditch the frown and take the time to laugh more!
    3. Negative self-talk. Make a decision to be kinder to yourself going forward. Remove that negative voice that constantly puts you down when you make a mistake. It doesn’t do us any favors when we insult ourselves in our own heads – this just creates negativity which can compromise our goals.
    4. Listening to other peoples’ opinions. While it can be useful to get someone else’s opinion I would urge caution here. The most important thing is not to ‘value’ yourself based on what other people think of you. So it’s okay to get feedback, but know that you have control over your life and you make your own decisions. Be careful not to life your life according to what others want instead of yourself.
    5. Oversleeping. We all need good quality sleep – but are you getting too much sleep? Research has shown it’s actually counter-productive to over-sleep as this can make us feel groggy and more tired! Try limiting your sleep to between 6 – 8 hours and notice how much more energy and time you have as a result!
    6. Saying ‘yes’ to everything. By being a people pleaser you are pleasing everyone but yourself! Start to value your time by learning to say no. Fear not – people will still like you if you say ‘no’ every once in a while! It’s important we schedule in enough down-time to recharge our batteries.
    7. Multi-taskingWhen we try and do everything at once we do a lot of things at a poor standard. It’s much more effective if we stop and focus on one thing at a time. This strategy produces good quality work in half the time!
    8. An unhealthy attitude to stress. In the corporate world we are taught to admire people who are ‘stressed’. In fact, if you’re not stressed then people often think you’re not working hard enough! What rubbish! Ditch any mis-perceptions that ‘you have to be stressed in order to achieve’. Plenty of great people have achieved amazing feats without high levels of stress. Think of Gandhi and other ‘gentle, relaxed’ super-achievers who did it their own way.
    9. Stop talking – and start listening. The most effective communicators are proficient listeners. By taking the time to intently listen to others we can understand their needs quicker and build valuable rapport with them. Listening is such an underrated tool – start to use it!
    10. Naysayers. Negative people are like vampires – they suck all of your good energy and leave you tired and lethargic making it difficult for you to be productive. Distance yourself from the negative people in your life and instead surround yourself with positive super-achievers!

    (Photo credit: Bad Habits in 3D via Shutterstock)

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    Zoe B

    A strategist, coach and blogger who shows people how to stop what isn't working for them in life and to start to plan the life they really want.

    6 Effective Ways to Enhance Your Problem Solving Skills How to Increase Brain Power: 10 Simple Ways to Train Your Brain 12 Inspiring Quotes from Richard Branson that Enrich your Life 7 Irritating Thoughts That Throw You Off Track How to Overcome Boredom

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    Last Updated on March 13, 2019

    How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

    How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

    Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

    You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

    Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

    1. Work on the small tasks.

    When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

    Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

    2. Take a break from your work desk.

    Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

    Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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    3. Upgrade yourself

    Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

    The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

    4. Talk to a friend.

    Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

    Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

    5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

    If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

    Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

    Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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    6. Paint a vision to work towards.

    If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

    Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

    Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

    7. Read a book (or blog).

    The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

    Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

    Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

    8. Have a quick nap.

    If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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    9. Remember why you are doing this.

    Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

    What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

    10. Find some competition.

    Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

    Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

    11. Go exercise.

    Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

    Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

    As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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    Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

    12. Take a good break.

    Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

    Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

    Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

    Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

    More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

    Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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