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10 Lies Unproductive People Tell Themselves That You Should Avoid

10 Lies Unproductive People Tell Themselves That You Should Avoid

Trying to be your most productive self? Yay! Good for you.

But sometimes that’s easier said than done. Well, let others be your guide on what not to do. Here are 10 lies that unproductive people tell themselves. Avoid telling yourself these lies and you’ll be all set to get some real work done.

1. “I’ll do it in an hour.”

As soon as you tell yourself that you’re going to do something later, it’s easy to keep on doing it. Once you have a task, try to tackle it as soon as you can. Try the 50/10 rule: work intensely for 50 minutes and then take a 10 minute break. This ensures that you get a lot of work done without burning out too quickly.

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2. “I’m too tired.”

This is possibly the oldest excuse in the book. I’m guilty of using this excuse myself, but often I’m not actually too tired; it’s easy to confuse laziness and sleepiness. If you’re truly feeling tired and it’s the middle of the day, try drinking some coffee or taking a power nap. Otherwise, try to look past your “tiredness” and power through to getting some work done.

3. “Maybe someone else will do it.”

Take responsibility for the tasks that you need completed. This one is a big problem with tasks that are perhaps traded around among a group of people, such as taking out the trash in your office’s kitchen. Just get it done and everyone, including yourself, will thank you later.

4. “What if I don’t do it right?”

You’ll never know if you’re wrong if you don’t try first. Fear of messing up is not going to get you anywhere, so try to power ahead and ignore that nagging doubt. And if you do mess up a little bit, don’t worry about it! Just go for it and fix your mistakes later if you make any.

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5. “What if I fail?”

Fear of failure is even worse than a fear of making a few little mistakes. Yes, it can be really embarrassing to fail. But chances are, you won’t. If you’re really worried, just ask someone for a little guidance. It’s likely that that person will be happy to help.

6. “This won’t be my best work.”

If everyone were worried about not doing their best, nothing would ever get done. That’s the point of something being your “best work.” In order for it to be the best, other things have to be less stellar. But that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t give it a go and try your best.

7. “Now it’ll be late.”

Better late than never, right? Not doing work should not be an option. Even if your work is late, face the consequences of that and move on. You shouldn’t let that hold you back from finishing a task that’s given to you, especially if it’s at your job. Keep in mind, though, that you shouldn’t let lateness become a habit. Try to keep on top of your work, and soon timeliness will become second nature.

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8. “What’s in it for me?”

Honestly, your satisfaction should come from a job well done. It’s hard to look past that sometimes, because many people today rely on praise or other rewards to encourage them to do their work in a timely manner. However, try to find happiness in other aspects of your work and have the rewards be internal.

9. “I shouldn’t start until I have all the pieces of the puzzle.”

You can make really good progress without having all the information you need. Focus on getting just a little work done and work on the task as more pieces of the puzzle come your way. This is also a good way to complete an assignment without really feeling like you’re tackling a big project. It automatically cuts things into bite-sized pieces.

10. “I’m not _____ enough.”

Smart enough, clever enough, fast enough, good enough, etc. None of this is true. Just because you’re not the best at something doesn’t mean you can’t do a good job if you work hard enough. So just give it a go and stop putting it off!

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Featured photo credit: Graham Reznick via flickr.com

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Maggie Heath

Maggie is a passionate writer who blogs about communication and lifestyle on Lifehack.

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Last Updated on November 15, 2019

How Do You Change a Habit (According to Psychology)

How Do You Change a Habit (According to Psychology)

Habits are hard to kill, and rightly so. They are a part and parcel of your personality traits and mold your character.

However, habits are not always something over-the-top and quirky enough to get noticed. Think of subtle habits like tapping fingers when you are nervous and humming songs while you drive. These are nothing but ingrained habits that you may not realize easily.

Just take a few minutes and think of something specific that you do all the time. You will notice how it has become a habit for you without any explicit realization. Everything you do on a daily basis starting with your morning routine, lunch preferences to exercise routines are all habits.

Habits mostly form from life experiences and certain observed behaviors, not all of them are healthy. Habitual smoking can be dangerous to your health. Similarly, a habit could also make you lose out on enjoying something to its best – like how some people just cannot stop swaying their bodies when delivering a speech.

Thus, there could be a few habits that you would want to change about yourself. But changing habits is not as easy as it seems, why?

What Makes It Hard To Change A Habit?

To want to change a particular habit means to change something very fundamental about your behavior.[1] Hence, it’s necessary to understand how habits actually form and why they are so difficult to actually get out of.

The Biology

Habits form in a place what we call the subconscious mind in our brain.[2]

Our brains have two modes of operation. The first one is an automatic pilot kind of system that is fast and works on reflexes often. It is what we call the subconscious part. This is the part that is associated with everything that comes naturally to you.

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The second mode is the conscious mode where every action and decision is well thought out and follows a controlled way of thinking.

A fine example to distinguish both would be to consider yourself learning to drive or play an instrument. For the first time you try learning, you think before every movement you make. But once you have got the hang of it, you might drive without applying much thought into it.

Both systems work together in our brains at all times. When a habit is formed, it moves from the conscious part to the subconscious making it difficult to control.

So, the key idea in deconstructing a habit is to go from the subconscious to the conscious.

Another thing you have to understand about habits is that they can be conscious or hidden.

Conscious habits are those that require active input from your side. For instance, if you stop setting your alarm in the morning, you will stop waking up at the same time.

Hidden habits, on the other hand, are habits that we do without realizing. These make up the majority of our habits and we wouldn’t even know them until someone pointed them out. So the first difficulty in breaking these habits is to actually identify them. As they are internalized, they need a lot of attention to detail for self-identification. That’s not all.

Habits can be physical, social, and mental, energy-based and even be particular to productivity. Understanding them is necessary to know why they are difficult to break and what can be done about them.

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The Psychology

Habits get engraved into our memories depending on the way we think, feel and act over a particular period of time. The procedural part of memory deals with habit formation and studies have observed that various types of conditioning of behavior could affect your habit formations.

Classical conditioning or pavlovian conditioning is when you start associating a memory with reality.[3] A dog that associates ringing bell to food will start salivating. The same external stimuli such as the sound of church bells can make a person want to pray.

Operant conditioning is when experience and the feelings associated with it form a habit.[4] By encouraging or discouraging an act, individuals could either make it a habit or stop doing it.

Observational learning is another way habits could take form. A child may start walking the same way their parent does.

What Can You Do To Change a Habit?

Sure, habits are hard to control but it is not impossible. With a few tips and hard-driven dedication, you can surely get over your nasty habits.

Here are some ways that make use of psychological findings to help you:

1. Identify Your Habits

As mentioned earlier, habits can be quite subtle and hidden from your view. You have to bring your subconscious habits to an aware state of mind. You could do it by self-observation or by asking your friends or family to point out the habit for your sake.

2. Find out the Impact of Your Habit

Every habit produces an effect – either physical or mental. Find out what exactly it is doing to you. Does it help you relieve stress or does it give you some pain relief?

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It could be anything simple. Sometimes biting your nails could be calming your nerves. Understanding the effect of a habit is necessary to control it.

3. Apply Logic

You don’t need to be force-fed with wisdom and advice to know what an unhealthy habit could do to you.

Late-night binge-watching just before an important presentation is not going to help you. Take a moment and apply your own wisdom and logic to control your seemingly nastily habits.

4. Choose an Alternative

As I said, every habit induces some feeling. So, it could be quite difficult to get over it unless you find something else that can replace it. It can be a simple non-harming new habit that you can cultivate to get over a bad habit.

Say you have the habit of banging your head hard when you are angry. That’s going to be bad for you. Instead, the next time you are angry, just take a deep breath and count to 10. Or maybe start imagining yourself on a luxury yacht. Just think of something that will work for you.

5. Remove Triggers

Get rid of items and situations that can trigger your bad habit.

Stay away from smoke breaks if you are trying to quit it. Remove all those candy bars from the fridge if you want to control your sweet cravings.

6. Visualize Change

Our brains can be trained to forget a habit if we start visualizing the change. Serious visualization is retained and helps as a motivator in breaking the habit loop.

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For instance, to replace your habit of waking up late, visualize yourself waking up early and enjoying the early morning jog every day. By continuing this, you would naturally feel better to wake up early and do your new hobby.

7. Avoid Negative Talks and Thinking

Just as how our brain is trained to accept a change in habit, continuous negative talk and thinking could hamper your efforts put into breaking a habit.

Believe you can get out of it and assert yourself the same.

Final Thoughts

Changing habits isn’t easy, so do not expect an overnight change!

Habits took a long time to form. It could take a while to completely break out of it. You will have to accept that sometimes you may falter in your efforts. Don’t let negativity seep in when it seems hard. Keep going at it slowly and steadily.

More About Changing Habits

Featured photo credit: Mel via unsplash.com

Reference

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