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Ask the Entrepreneurs: 12 Things Entrepreneurs Should Stop Doing

Ask the Entrepreneurs: 12 Things Entrepreneurs Should Stop Doing

Ask The Entrepreneurs is a regular series where members of the Young Entrepreneur Council are asked a single question that aims to help Lifehack readers level up their own lives, whether in a area of management, communication, business or life in general.

Here’s the question posed in this edition of Ask The Entrepreneurs:

We talk a lot about daily habits and productivity. But what’s one thing entrepreneurs should STOP doing every day?

1. Talking About Themselves

Kim Kaupe

    Entrepreneurs tend to get so wrapped up in the pitching, convincing and selling of their day-to-day life that sometimes it becomes all they ever talk about. Being well-rounded and conversational will help you have rapport with others around you. While talking about yourself and your business is important, doing so constantly comes off as being self-centered and oblivious to the world around you.

    Kim Kaupe, ‘ZinePak

    2. Focusing on a To-Do List

    Tyler Arnold (1)

      The best leaders I know focus on building the right culture and energy in the office. Sitting in a corner and pounding out to-do items may feel productive, but don’t forget about doing the things that aren’t fully quantifiable. Helping teammates who may be having a bad morning or struggling with a project could be the single most valuable thing you do all day!

      Tyler Arnold, SimplySocial Inc.

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      3. Eating Pizza

      Andrew Angus

        When you head into the startup phase of your company, everything you used to do that was healthy is going to stop. You are going to put on weight. You are going to end up with too much stress and a back that is in constant pain. Don’t eat pizza. It will make it easier to get back in shape when you’re out of that phase.

        Andrew Angus, Switch Video

        4. Using Social Media Distractions

        Anthony Saladino

          Shut down all your personal social media distractions during the work day. Facebook, Instagram, Vine and Twitter will all be there after you complete your daily tasks. Many entrepreneurs don’t realize just how much time they waste reading and engaging on these mediums and also just how much it decreases their daily productivity. To succeed, use your time wisely.

          Anthony Saladino, Kitchen Cabinet Kings

          5. Multitasking

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          Andrew Schrage

            Multitasking has its place in the business realm, but there are also times when it should be avoided. If you multitask two separate and very important projects, you can end up with two sets of dismal results. Know when to multitask and when to focus on a single task.

            Andrew Schrage, Money Crashers Personal Finance

            6. Waiting for the Right Moment

            michael mogill

              Stop waiting for the right time, and just get things done. Define the one thing you can do today that will help grow your business and not just keep you busy.

              Michael Mogill, Crisp Video Group

               

              7. Attending Management Meetings

              David Ehrenberg

                Admittedly, management meetings are sometimes necessary and useful beasts. But a culture of meetings is ultimately just a time suck. Everyone has had that experience of waiting for a meeting to end so that real work can resume. To increase productivity, reduce management meetings and time in meetings in general. When you must meet, have a clear agenda and stick to it.

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                David Ehrenberg, Early Growth Financial Services

                8. Letting Interruptions Happen

                Maren Hogan

                  Interruptions are just a part of life, but I take steps to prevent them. It is so hard to refocus after multiple interruptions. I don’t even want to calculate how much time I lose to redirecting my attention several times a day. If it gets to be too much, I go into do-not-disturb mode. I close the door, only take scheduled calls and tell my staff that they can email me and I’ll get to them later.

                  Maren Hogan, Red Branch Media

                  9. Going out for Lunch

                  Rameet Chawla

                    The lunch hour is one of the most active times of the day and a great time to get work done. After work is when most socializing should be done. Instead of worrying about getting back to the office or getting work done before you dip out, meeting at the end of the day takes off the edge. You can drink without a conscience, leave the office behind and invite others to join to optimize your time.

                    Rameet Chawla, Fueled

                    10. Working on the Fly

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                    Fabian Kaempfer

                      One habit to break away from is working on the fly rather than with an agenda. With a startup, things will happen, and you can be pulled in different directions. Don’t make it a habit to make that the way you operate. Make it a point to be proactive rather than reactive.

                      Fabian Kaempfer, Chocomize

                      11. Pleasing Others First

                      Elizabeth Saunders

                        If you are allowing your time and energy to be diverted from your priority tasks simply to make professional acquaintances (e.g., individuals not in your inner circle) happy, then you’re not investing your time well. Focus on the people and activities that really matter, and you’ll be better off in the long run.

                        Elizabeth Saunders, Real Life E®

                        12. Emailing Coworkers

                        Saul Garlick

                          The biggest breakthrough at ThinkImpact has been the realization that we don’t need to email each other. We can use different tools to communicate. Our new favorite is called Slack . It allows you to communicate in one of three ways: via office-wide messages with a related subject, a direct message with a colleague privately or a private group of colleagues.

                          Saul Garlick, ThinkImpact

                          More by this author

                          9 No-Brainer Ways to Track Employee Time Ask the Entrepreneurs: 12 Things Entrepreneurs Should Stop Doing Ask the Entrepreneurs: 9 Best Note Taking Tools Ask the Entrepreneurs: 12 Tips for Mastering Public Speaking Ask the Entrepreneurs: 9 Tasks You Should be Outsourcing

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                          1 How to Break Bad Habits: I Broke 3 Bad Habits in Less Than 2 Months 2 How Long Does It Take to Break a Habit? Science Will Tell You 3 How to Reprogram Your Brain Like a Computer And Hack Your Habits 4 How to Make Changes in Life by Changing Your Habits 5 How to Build a Good Bedtime Routine That Makes Your Morning Easier

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                          Last Updated on February 19, 2019

                          How to Break Bad Habits: I Broke 3 Bad Habits in Less Than 2 Months

                          How to Break Bad Habits: I Broke 3 Bad Habits in Less Than 2 Months

                          The cycle of bad habits is what keeps us living small and stops us from reaching our true potential. Breaking a bad habit isn’t as hard as it seems; despite being a CEO of a company and raising two children, I still managed to break 3 bad habits I had within 2 months. Yes, that’s quitting one habit in less than 21 days.

                          I took steps to eliminate them one at a time. Habits such as drinking Coke every day, slouching when sitting and not having a consistent exercise routine.

                          So how did I break these habits? I used the Control Alternate Delete Method (Ctrl Alt Del).

                          What is this method and why is it so effective? Read on to find out how to break bad habits with this unique method.

                          How to break bad habits with the Control Alternate Delete Method

                            We all notice on some level what our bad habits are. A lot of the time we choose to ignore the negative ways these impact us.

                            For me, I was sitting most of the day in front of my computer at work in a slouching position. I drank Coke every single day in an attempt to stay awake. I put off any kind of exercise regime because I felt that it was better to just relax and have fun after a whole day of work. As a result, I was leading a really unhealthy lifestyle suffering from weight gain and back pain.

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                            I needed to make a change.

                            I started to read books about building habits such as The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg, The One Thing by Gary W. Keller and Jay Papasan, and The Now Habit by Neil Fiore. After reading all these books, I’ve come up with my own method to quit bad habits — The Ctrl Alt Del Method.

                            I started by focusing on just one bad habit, the first one being the sheer amount of Coke I was consuming each day.

                            Every day I applied the Ctrl Alt Del Method and after two weeks, not only did I stop drinking Coke every day (I only drank one can in 2 weeks), but I started the better habit of drinking 8 glasses of water every day instead.

                            After eliminating one bad habit, I moved on to the other two with this same method and a month later I was:

                            • Hitting the gym twice a week.
                            • Improving my sitting posture, not only at the office but also at home and everywhere else, improving my back pain.
                            • Gaining core muscle which improved my back pain as well.
                            • Losing fat around my waist which went from 36″ (considered obese level) to 32″ (normal level).

                            If I can improve my life using this method, then so can you. Using this structure to eliminate your bad habits will increase your success and replace your bad habits with more positive ones.

                            Control: Master your desire

                              Identify your triggers

                              Bad habits such as drinking alcohol, smoking and snacking too much trigger the release of dopamine, a feel-good chemical in the brain.[1] Although you might not like the end result, they give you a positive outcome in the moment. This is pure psychology.

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                              It’s important to identify what is triggering you to continually act out your bad habit. This isn’t always an easy step because our habits have been built up over a long period of time.

                              If you need help in identifying your triggers, here’s a list of common bad habits and their triggers: 13 Bad Habits You Need to Quit Right Away

                              Self-reflect

                              To help you work out your triggers, do a bit of self-reflection. Ask yourself questions such as:

                              • What comfort are you getting from this habit?
                              • Why do you need comfort?

                              For example, I chose to drink coke because it tasted good and it made me feel good when I was stressed. I slouched only when I sat for too long working on my desk and started to feel tired. I skipped exercises because every day after work I felt I already did enough works and didn’t want to work out.

                              If you choose to eat fast food every night, you’re probably telling yourself you’re too busy to cook. But ask yourself why? What are your priorities?

                              Maybe you have a lack of self-worth that means you don’t have the self-love to want to look after your health. Perhaps it’s a sign you’re not making enough time for important routines like shopping and creating a healthy meal yourself. Maybe you’ve always had a belief that you’re a bad cook.

                              Write a diary

                              Write down your thoughts and feelings around this bad habit. Writing things down forces the brain to think harder.[2] This helps you to find the source to your stress or limiting negative beliefs.

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                              Alternate: Find a replacement

                                Find a positive alternative habit

                                Once you think you’ve discovered your trigger, try to find a similar but healthy option. This is where I replaced Coke with lemon water; slouching with simply taking a walk and stretching my back every hour; and chilling at home after work with workout exercises that I actually found fun.

                                You could decide to walk to the office instead of driving or getting off the bus earlier to walk. You could switch to a healthier breakfast cereal instead of grabbing a sugary snack when you head out of the door.

                                By doing this, you aren’t getting rid of the act altogether like you would if you completely gave something up with nothing to fill that void. This helps your brain accept the improved habit more.

                                Create a defence plan

                                Everyone has moments of weakness and that want to revert back to the bad habit will rear its ugly head. This is where a plan can help counteract these moments.

                                Think of things you can do when the temptations come. For example, if you want to check your phone less, ask your friend or partner to keep it for you or switch it off and read a book. If you’re a starter for an exercise routine, like me, get someone to do it with you to keep you accountable.

                                Decide on something you will do once you feel triggered to go back to your old habit. Repeating these positive alternative habits consistently will help wire your brain to see them as your normal new habit over time.

                                Delete: Remove temptations

                                  Remove stuff that reminds you of the bad habit

                                  Getting rid of anything that reminds you of your bad habit is essential. For example, I got rid of coke in my office and at home and replaced my usual office chair with an exercise ball. It makes it much easier to stop slipping back in a weak moment.

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                                  Avoid all kinds of temptations

                                  In the same vein, avoid places or people that you know will tempt you back into that bad habit. Don’t go to the supermarket on an empty stomach to avoid the temptation to buy trashy snacks, don’t drive past that fast food joint but find an alternative route instead, say no more often to the friend you know will get you drunk again this weekend.

                                  It’s all about not putting yourself in the situation where you’re in danger of relapsing.

                                  Conclusion

                                  The Control Alternate Delete Method uses the right steps you need to overcome your need to indulge in your bad habits. Working with your core psychology, emotions and feelings behind your actions is what makes this method effective and easy to apply to all bad habits you have.

                                  Bad habits are easy to form and making changes can seem difficult but remember that it’s all about consistency and repetition.

                                  Start using the Control Alternate Delete Method today and you can stop a bad habit permanently.

                                  What bad habit do you want to put a stop to once and for all? You must set aside time and pick one bad habit to focus on. Start using the steps to increase and maintain more positivity in your life moving forward.

                                  More Resources About Changing Habits

                                  Featured photo credit: Picjumbo via picjumbo.com

                                  Reference

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