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7 Reasons Why You’re Doing Everything Badly

7 Reasons Why You’re Doing Everything Badly

Only going through the motions can lead to a poor life. Step away from the fear and the multi-tasking. Doing everything badly doesn’t have to be a lifestyle.

1. Rushing ahead has become your go-to action.

Doing everything badly is one part mental and one part physical. If your mind is always on the finish line, you won’t be in the present. And you won’t be alert to the details or what’s going on around you. If you are rushing through your work or projects, you may be getting involved with things that you have no true passion for because you are not relishing in all the various aspects of the topic or activity at hand. This is a sure path to failure and discontent.

You will continue to do everything badly if you insist on this pattern. If you spend your time engaging in activities to please others or to merely complete a goal, you may find yourself going through the motions, but only half alive. You will begin to live like this, as well. The quality of your work will suffer and eventually your health.

Rushing through things or producing poor work creates tension and anxiety, which leads to even more stress. Rushing ahead and prizing quantity over quality only adds to stress. A frenzied outlook will spread to those around you, and in the end your productivity will dwindle. Living and working on autopilot will not serve you well and is a way many continue to do everything badly.

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2. Too much multi-tasking.

Multi-tasking doesn’t mean taking care of multiple things in a day. It means doing multiple tasks at once, often poorly. It’s exhausting just writing about it.

If you volunteer yourself for more work or responsibilities before you have even completed the ones in front of you, or if you are attempting to do several chores or activities at once, you will notice quickly that it’s nearly impossible to provide each activity with the same quality of attention, and in the end, you will find yourself doing everything badly. It will nag at your self-confidence and you’ll burn out.

In some cultures or societies, being over-committed shows you care or you are capable or you are important. It’s time to challenge this behavior and stop doing everything badly. Neurologists have come to the conclusion one can’t be truly successful if they have spread their thinking across a myriad of goals at once. Stop for a moment, and think about how draining it is to multi-task daily. If you want to stop doing everything badly, find more positive ways to delegate chores or tasks throughout your day, instead of all at once.

3. All work, no play.

We all need downtime. Treating ourselves like machines and demanding we are always on, ready to produce, perform and please will only encourage us to continue doing everything badly. Many successful people throughout history have benefitted from scheduling light hearted activities into their busy lives.

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Those bits of free time dispersed throughout the day can make room for creativity, insightfulness and even make us “more ethical”, according to scientists at the University of Southern California. Rest, quiet time or a little playfulness can aide in mental and physical health. It’s time you took playtime seriously. Playtime can help you stop doing everything badly.

4. You’ve come to expect only one outcome.

Thinking that you already know how things will turn out, or expecting one outcome over all else, will perpetuate you doing everything badly. With age, I have come to understand that life is constantly challenging what I expect and demand of it. Life is unruly and offers many plot twists.

Writer Kathryn Schulz notes in a TED presentation that we are often relying on an internal guide to rightness that is often out of touch with our external world. We get stuck, realize we are doing things badly, and begin thinking we are what’s wrong. We must acknowledge our fallibility but also step outside of it, stop over-reacting to our failures and when we let go of what is supposed to be, we encounter what will really be.

5. You’ve begun to rely on fear and are losing curiosity.

Plotting your goals and life plans based on fears or expectations is a slow and vicious death. It is one of the reasons we do things badly. A life without curiosity will lead to quick stagnation and monotony. You’ve compared yourself to others, tried to live someone else’s dream or became apathetic and retreated to your shell. You don’t want to know anything else, you don’t want to feel anything else. We have all been there.

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When you get into a psychological rhythm of chastising yourself or approaching everything with suspicion instead of curiosity, you will continue doing things badly. You begin to think that it’s better to not even try lest you fail.

6. Avoiding the lesson at the end of each failure keeps you doing everything badly.

F. Scott Fitzgerald once wrote, “Never confuse a single failure with a final defeat.” Just because you have been failing doesn’t mean it’s the end of everything. The most important part of your journey, will be in accepting the lessons that you encounter with each disappointment. These lessons are what will empower you to prepare for and attempt another path.

Not learning anything new is akin to paralysis. You remain frozen in time, reliving the same things over and over again, and continuously doing everything badly, with no change in sight. Sometimes the lesson will be painful. But it will always make us stronger in the wounded parts.

7. Practicing Has Become Just Another Boring Chore. 

Practice makes better. No one is perfect. Perfection can be an elusive goal that you spend your whole life chasing after. Practicing a skill or learning to code a new computer language requires diligence, time allotted for mastery and not focusing on perfection itself, but rather the quality of the work.

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If you are thinking that you will fail anyways, or that it is too hard to become a master or even proficient at something, you will have already decided to not even start. If you are committing yourself to practicing something you have no interest in, you should ask why you even picked it up in the first place.

If it truly was not of your volition, find another skill or hobby that was your intention. When you do not like what you are doing, everyone can see it. You will not be successful at anything when frowning in disgust. And you will not be happy, either. Doing everything badly is a pattern you can break, by replacing poor productivity and action for the sake of action with tried and true authenticity.

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Last Updated on August 16, 2018

16 Productivity Secrets of Highly Successful People Revealed

16 Productivity Secrets of Highly Successful People Revealed

The same old motivational secrets don’t really motivate you after you’ve read them for the tenth time, do they?

How about a unique spin on things?

These 16 productivity secrets of successful people will make you reevaluate your approach to your home, work, and creative lives. Learn from these highly successful people, turn these little things they do into your daily habits and you’ll get closer to success.

1. Empty your mind.

It sounds counterproductive, doesn’t it?

Emptying your mind when you have so much to remember seems like you’re just begging to forget something. Instead, this gives you a clean slate so you’re not still thinking about last week’s tasks.

Clear your mind and then start thinking only about what you need to do immediately, and then today. Tasks that need to be accomplished later in the week can wait.

Here’s a guide to help you empty your mind and think sharper:

How to Declutter Your Mind to Sharpen Your Brain and Fall Asleep Faster

2. Keep certain days clear.

Some companies are scheduling “No Meeting Wednesdays,” which means, funnily enough, that no one can hold a meeting on a Wednesday. This gives workers a full day to work on their own tasks, without getting sidetracked by other duties or pointless meetings.

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This can work in your personal life too, for example if you need to restrict Facebook access or limit phone calls.

3. Prioritize your work.

Don’t think every task is created equal! Some tasks aren’t as important as others, or might take less time.

Try to sort your tasks every day and see what can be done quickly and efficiently. Get these out of the way so you have more free time and brain power to focus on what is more important.

Lifehack’s CEO has a unique way to prioritize works, take a look at it here:

How to Prioritize Right in 10 Minutes and Work 10X Faster

4. Chop up your time.

Many successful business leaders chop their time up into fifteen-minute intervals. This means they work on tasks for a quarter of an hour at a time, or schedule meetings for only fifteen minutes. It makes each hour seem four times as long, which leads to more productivity!

5. Have a thinking position.

Truman Capote claimed he couldn’t think unless he was laying down. Proust did this as well, while Stravinsky would stand on his head!

What works for others may not work for you. Try to find a spot and position that is perfect for you to brainstorm or come up with ideas.

6. Pick three to five things you must do that day.

To Do lists can get overwhelming very quickly. Instead of making a never-ending list of everything you can think of that needs to be done, make daily lists that include just three to five things.

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Make sure they’re things that need to be done that day, so you don’t keep putting them off.

7. Don’t try to do too much.

OK, so I just told you to work every day, and now I’m telling you to not do too much? It might sound like conflicting advice, but not doing too much means not biting off more than you can chew. Don’t say yes to every work project or social engagement and find yourself in way over your head.

8. Have a daily action plan.

Don’t limit yourself to a to-do list! Take ten minutes every morning to map out a daily action plan. It’s a place to not only write what needs to be done that day, but also to prioritize what will bring the biggest reward, what will take the longest, and what goals will be accomplished.

Leave room for a “brain dump,” where you can scribble down anything else that’s on your mind.

9. Do your most dreaded project first.

Getting your most dreaded task over with first means you’ll have the rest of the day free for anything and everything else. This also means that you won’t be constantly putting off the worst of your projects, making it even harder to start on it later.

10. Follow the “Two-Minute Rule.”

The “Two-Minute Rule” was made famous by David Allen. It’s simple – if a new task comes in and it can be done in two minutes or less, do it right then. Putting it off just adds to your to-do list and will make the task seem more monumental later.

11. Have a place devoted to work.

If you work in an office, it’s no problem to say that your cubicle desk is where you work every day.

But if you work from home, make sure you have a certain area specifically for work. You don’t want files spread out all over the dinner table, and you don’t want to feel like you’re not working just because you’re relaxing on the couch.

Agatha Christie never wrote at her desk, she wrote wherever she could sit down. Ernest Hemingway wrote standing up. Thomas Wolfe, at 6’6″ tall, used the top of his refrigerator as a desk. Richard Wright wrote on a park bench, rain or shine.

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Have a space where, when you go there, you know you’re going to work. Maybe it’s a cafe downstairs, the library, or a meeting room. Whenever and wherever works for you, do your works there.

12. Find your golden hour.

You don’t have to stick to a “typical” 9–5 schedule!

Novelist Anne Rice slept during the day and wrote at night to avoid distractions. Writer Jerzy Kosinski slept eight hours a day, but never all at once. He’d wake in the morning, work, sleep four hours in the afternoon, then work more that evening.

Your golden hour is the time when you’re at your peak. You’re alert, ready to be productive, and intent on crossing things off your to-do list.

Once you find your best time, protect it with all your might. Make sure you’re always free to do your best uninterrupted work at this time.

13. Pretend you’re on an airplane.

It might not be possible to lock everyone out of your office to get some peace and quiet, but you can eliminate some distractions.

By pretending you’re on an airplane, you can act like your internet access is limited, you’re not able to get something from your bookcase, and you can’t make countless phone calls.

Eliminating these distractions will help you focus on your most important tasks and get them done without interruption.

14. Never stop.

Writers Anthony Trollope and Henry James started writing their next books as soon as they finished their current work in progress.

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Stephen King writes every day of the year, and holds himself accountable for 2,000 words a day! Mark Twain wrote every day, and then read his day’s work aloud to his family to get their feedback.

There’s something to be said about working nonstop, and putting out continuous work instead of taking a break. It’s just a momentum that will push you go further./

15. Be in tune with your body.

Your mind and body will get tired of a task after ninety minutes to two hours focused on it. Keep this in mind as you assign projects to yourself throughout the day, and take breaks to ensure that you won’t get burned out.

16. Try different methods.

Vladimir Nabokov wrote the first drafts of his novels on index cards. This made it easy to rearrange sentences, paragraphs, and chapters by shuffling the cards around.

It does sound easier, and more fun, than copying and pasting in Word! Once Nabokov liked the arrangement, his wife typed them into a single manuscript.

Same for you, don’t give up and think that it’s impossible for you to be productive when one method fails. Try different methods until you find what works perfectly for you.

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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