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11 Bad Habits That You Don’t Realize Are Costing You

11 Bad Habits That You Don’t Realize Are Costing You

Want to know the biggest difference between people who are in shape and people who are overweight or obese? Or people who save a lot of money and those who don’t?

Habits.

Your bad habits are costing you time, money, and health. Here are 11 examples, along with some tips on how to change those bad habits into good ones:

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1. Eating unhealthy foods.

This is one bad habit that may be slowly killing you. The Western diet of highly-processed foods is making you fatter, sicker, and more depressed. Eat more real foods like these instead, and you’ll look better, feel better, and live longer.

2. Failing to exercise.

Lack of exercise puts you at greater risk for chronic conditions like obesity, diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, and stroke. The key to getting into better shape is first making a commitment and then taking tiny steps every day to create better habits. Start with simply 5 minutes of exercise every day for a week, and see how much better you feel.

3. Reading gossip magazines.

William Penn said, “Time is what we want most, but what we use worst.” Gossip magazines may be mindless entertainment, but they’re costing you valuable time that you could be spending with people you love, doing work that fulfills you, or improving your health. So drop that copy of the National Enquirer and pick up a good book that stimulates your mind instead.

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4. Not planning your finances.

On a scale of 1-10, how would you rate your financial planning habits? Most of us are somewhere between a 1 and a 5. If you want to save more money, you need to have a plan. Here’s an easy first step: talk to someone who knows more about money than you do. If you don’t have money to hire a financial planner, talk to a friend or family member who is good with money. Ask for advice. And use this knowledge to start creating a financial plan for yourself. Just start somewhere.

5. Buying coffee.

I’m not saying you have to give up your caffeine kick each day. Coffee is actually good for you (sans the sugar and cream). Why not brew your own though? Let’s say you pay 5 dollars for a coffee each day. That means you’re dropping $1,825 each year. Buy your own, brew it at home, and save $1,000 or more over the course of a year.

6. Not maintaining your home.

This bad habit can cost you some serious bucks. While doing routine maintenance on things like your furnace, roof, yard, etc. can be a nuisance, it will save you money in the long run. Don’t wait until it’s too late to take care of your home.

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7. Playing the lottery.

While chasing the Mega Millions might be a fun way to spend dollars, you might as well burn your money. Here’s why: your odds of winning most lotteries are slim-to-none. For the Powerball, you have a 1 in 175,223,510 chance of winning. Save your money and start a rainy-day fund with those dollars instead and put the money into savings or invest it in the stock market.

8. Smoking cigarettes.

A pack of smokes gets more expensive every year. If you smoke a pack a day and each pack costs you $8, you’re dropping nearly $3,000 a year on this bad habit. Not to mention increasing your odds of dying from lung cancer by 5 to 30 times.

9. Ignoring car maintenance.

A vehicle not maintained can quickly turn into a money pit too. Check your owner’s manual to make sure you get oil changes and other maintenance according to the manufacturer’s recommendations. It will save you money in the long run.

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10. Getting road rage.

Listen, we all get frustrated by bad drivers. But road rage solves nothing and puts unnecessary stress on your heart. If you find your blood boiling behind the wheel, try these 10 gadgets that can help make driving a bit less stressful.

11. Not sleeping enough.

Up to 40 percent of people suffer from insomnia, and this habit can affect your health and work productivity big-time. Here are some common reasons why you sleep well and what to do about them.

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Scott Christ

Scott Christ is a writer, entrepreneur, and founder of Pure Food Company.

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Last Updated on March 23, 2021

Manage Your Energy so You Can Manage Your Time

Manage Your Energy so You Can Manage Your Time

One of the greatest ironies of this age is that while various gadgets like smartphones and netbooks allow you to multitask, it seems that you never manage to get things done. You are caught in the busyness trap. There’s just too much work to do in one day that sometimes you end up exhausted with half-finished tasks.

The problem lies in how to keep our energy level high to ensure that you finish at least one of your most important tasks for the day. There’s just not enough hours in a day and it’s not possible to be productive the whole time.

You need more than time management. You need energy management

1. Dispel the idea that you need to be a “morning person” to be productive

How many times have you heard (or read) this advice – wake up early so that you can do all the tasks at hand. There’s nothing wrong with that advice. It’s actually reeks of good common sense – start early, finish early. The thing is that technique alone won’t work with everyone. Especially not with people who are not morning larks.

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I should know because I was once deluded with the idea that I will be more productive if I get out of bed by 6 a.m. Like most of you Lifehackers, I’m always on the lookout for productivity hacks because I have a lot of things in my plate. I’m working full time as an editor for a news agency, while at the same time tending to my side business as a content marketing strategist. I’m also a travel blogger and oh yeah, I forgot, I also have a life.

I read a lot of productivity books and blogs looking for ways to make the most of my 24 hours. Most stories on productivity stress waking up early. So I did – and I was a major failure in that department – both in waking up early and finishing early.

2. Determine your “peak hours”

Energy management begins with looking for your most productive hours in a day. Getting attuned to your body clock won’t happen instantly but there’s a way around it.

Monitor your working habits for one week and list down the time when you managed to do the most work. Take note also of what you feel during those hours – do you feel energized or lethargic? Monitor this and you will find a pattern later on.

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My experiment with being a morning lark proved that ignoring my body clock and just doing it by disciplining myself to wake up before 8 a.m. will push me to be more productive. I thought that by writing blog posts and other reports in the morning that I would be finished by noon and use my lunch break for a quick gym session. That never happened. I was sleepy, distracted and couldn’t write jack before 10 a.m.

In fact that was one experiment that I shouldn’t have tried because I should know better. After all, I’ve been writing for a living for the last 15 years, and I have observed time and again that I write more –and better – in the afternoon and in evenings after supper. I’m a night owl. I might as well, accept it and work around it.

Just recently, I was so fired up by a certain idea that – even if I’m back home tired from work – I took out my netbook, wrote and published a 600-word blog post by 11 p.m. This is a bit extreme and one of my rare outbursts of energy, but it works for me.

3. Block those high-energy hours

Once you have a sense of that high-energy time, you can then mold your schedule so that your other less important tasks will be scheduled either before or after this designated productive time.

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Block them out in your calendar and use the high-energy hours for your high priority tasks – especially those that require more of your mental energy and focus. You also need to use these hours to any task that will bring you closer to you life’s goal.

If you are a morning person, you might want to schedule most business meetings before lunch time as it’s important to keep your mind sharp and focused. But nothing is set in stone. Sometimes you have to sacrifice those productive hours to attend to other personal stuff – like if you or your family members are sick or if you have to attend your son’s graduation.

That said, just remember to keep those productive times on your calendar. You may allow for some exemptions but stick to that schedule as much as possible.

There’s no right or wrong way of using this energy management technique because everything depends on your own personal circumstances. What you need to remember is that you have to accept what works for you – and not what other productivity gurus say you should do.

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Understanding your own body clock is the key to time management. Without it, you end up exhausted chasing a never-ending cycle of tasks and frustrations.

Featured photo credit: Collin Hardy via unsplash.com

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