There are a lot of habits that are advised to be adapted if you want to succeed. It is equally important to get rid of the habits that will hinder your success a.k.a. bad habits.
The kind of habits you have, dictate the kind of life you live. The way you live your life has a huge effect on how you work, and it does not require a genius to figure out that how you work has a huge impact on your success.
Here are some of the habits that you need to get rid of, not only to work for your success but also to become a better version of yourself.
1. Checking Social Media first thing in the morning
After waking up, many people check their phones. This then leads them to scroll through the feeds of multiple social media channels. Precious morning hours that could have been used to work on yourself or your work are wasted.
Make a rule to not look at your phone until and unless you have completed your morning chores. If you want, you can go through your phone while you have breakfast, that way you will take your time to finish the meal, instead of rushing and forgetting breakfast altogether.
2. Watching TV especially Reality Shows
Watching TV is one of the most time-consuming forms of entertainment people engage in. One show leads to another and then another. Now we have Netflix that helps us fuel this addiction more by allowing us to binge watch complete shows.
While some shows can be helpful, reality shows aren’t. They are like junk food for our brain. We might enjoy seeing them, but they are going to have negative effects on us.
3. Not Reading Anything
Reading is a great tool for anyone thinking of learning anything. Reading is one of the important hobbies to take on. Most successful people find time to read. They also advise reading at least one book every week.
If you think reading books is a difficult thing and you can’t commit to reading an entire book, then read magazines in your field. Read articles online; blogs have great reads to offer. Most articles can be read under 5-minutes. Start with small articles and then gradually increase the length of the text. Eventually, you will be able to read a book.
Multitasking can be great but not many people are good at it. Your attention is divided among different tasks, not allowing you to finish even one. If you would really like to get things done, pick up a task, focus on it, get it done, and then move on to the next one.
When you are working in a browser, shut all the other tabs and use only the ones that are necessary for the task you are currently working on. All the clutter can overwhelm you, it is important not to lose focus.
Procrastination has become one of those popular terms that people consider as sort of quirky and relatable. They don’t feel bad or take it seriously, but it is a real issue. Procrastination can delay your success. If you can’t stop putting off important work, then you might as well accept the fact that you aren’t going to achieve the heights you would like to.
You can’t not work for something and expect it to happen. To stop procrastinating, you need to get rid of all the distractions. While working, keep your phone farther from you, answer only important phone calls. I keep my phone always on “Do Not Disturb” mode and it has done wonders for my productivity.
Follow the 2-minute rule. If something can be done within 2 minutes, do it immediately. This stops tiny tasks from accumulating and also gives you a sense of accomplishment.
6. Not Budgeting
Whether you have a job or run your own business, budgeting is really important. You can’t only live in the now with your money and have no safety net to fall back on.
“Don’t save what is left after spending; spend what is left after saving.”
At the beginning of your career, it is easy to get lost in a spending spree because you earn now. But, take a step back. What if there was an emergency one day and you needed money. You won’t have any because you spent it all.
You don’t need to spend every penny, neither do you need to save every penny. If you don’t know how to do it, then the 50-30-20 rule is a good one to start with and follow. This rule tells you to put 50% of your after-tax income for necessities like bills, housing, food, etc. 20% goes to your financial goals, that is, saving. Finally, the remaining 30% can be spent on wants, like dining, entertainment, etc.
I would also advise to save and keep aside at least 6 months of living expenses so that if you lose your job or source of income, you will have enough cushion to fall back on.
7. Not Investing
While saving is important, you can’t neglect investing. If you are following the 50-30-20 rule and saving 20% of your income, have you ever thought about what to do with the 20%. In today’s time keeping your money in the bank just doesn’t cut it. There are many investment options. Buying real estate, gold, stocks, bonds etc are just a few of the many ways to invest.
Let your money make more money for you. If you want to retire early or not slave away every day, then investing smartly can be of huge help. One of the best things to invest in is yourself. If you invest in learning and training, it pays huge dividends. It enables you to start a business which then allows you to make money even when you are sleeping.
8. Not Punctual
Punctuality is one of the very important traits of people who get things done. Nobody likes tardiness. If you are not punctual, chances are, people are going to stop taking you seriously.
If you are always an hour or two late to every meeting, every deadline, then you are making a bad impression. People like working with people they can rely upon. Someone who misses every deadline and has no value to their word, is not the person people want to work with.
If you run your own business, this can have a very adverse effect because relations with clients can bring you more business. If the word about your unprofessionalism spreads then your business will take the hit.
9. Getting Too Comfortable
Being too comfortable in the position you have is good but you need to always have some sort of ambition, to rise from your current position. Consider getting too comfortable with your situation as still water. Still water eventually gets stagnant.
It can stump your growth, stop you from reaching the heights of success. Which is why, it is important to always think about what next and then aim for it. It gives you a sense of purpose and the required push to go to the next step.
10. Complaining Too Much
Nobody likes hanging out with negative people. Certain things piss everyone off, but if you spend a lot of time and energy gloating about things that upset you, you are going to push people away.
Quick sessions of complaining when everyone complains can be fun, knowing when to stop is the key. People lose interest in you and what you have to say if you keep complaining. No one likes surrounding themselves with negative people.
Stop spending time thinking about things you cannot change. If there is something you don’t like, then instead of complaining, there are two sensible ways to go about it. One- if you can’t change it, then stop thinking about it and go on with your work. Two- if you can change it, then work on changing it. In either case, there is no room for complaints.
11. Not Making Eye Contact and Poor Body Language
Not making eye contact portrays a low level of confidence. When I was in college, there was a guy who didn’t make eye contact. The problem was that his line of sight was a person’s chest. It wasn’t an issue when he talked to guys but when he talked to girls it was a whole other scenario.
If you have a problem making and holding eye contact, then you can look at the person’s forehead or their nose, keep the height difference in mind. A short person looking at someone’s forehead is a very easy giveaway. Look just past their heads or ears, that way you are making eye contact with them through your peripheral vision while not getting uncomfortable yourself.
Slowly, you will find that you can now talk while maintaining eye contact. Same goes for body language. The way you hold yourself gives off the aura about the kind of person you are. This is why you are always advised to keep your back straight; it portrays confidence and authority.
12. Skipping Meals
I know how easy it is to get lost in your work and skip meals. Breakfast is one of the most important meals of the day. Start by not missing your breakfast. You will start the day with the needed energy, and even if you have a late lunch, your body won’t suffer much. When you have a late lunch or skip lunch with no breakfast to support your body, you start feeling weak.
Recently, I was skipping too many meals because I was busy. It eventually caught up. My sugar level was low. I started blacking out, my whole body started feeling too light and tingly. I had to sit down and eat a few bites, drink something for it to subside.
Is it worth it? Is feeling like this just to get a lot of work done, worth it? No, it definitely isn’t. Making your health suffer in the name of being busy is one of the stupidest decisions you can make.
A healthy body is going to work more, so instead of burning yourself out, try keeping a pace that doesn’t affect you in the long run. Take care of your body, eat proper meals at proper times.
13. Not Exercising
Like eating proper meals, exercising is essential. When your body is in good condition, you can work all you want. When it is not, you spend a lot of time and money to make it better.
Instead of letting it get to that, start exercising. Start with small changes in your routine. Go for a quick walk after lunch and dinner. Do yoga in the morning, meditate before going to bed or in the morning.
Start small and as you start getting comfortable with the routine, increase your pace. A sound body and a sound mind is the key to success.
14. Not Trying New Things
Remember when we were kids, curiosity made us try so many different things. As we age, we stop trying new things. New experiences teach us a lot. They help us learn about ourselves. We find new hobbies, and we learn something that we wouldn’t have.
Learning new stuff challenges our minds. You might discover how much more you can do than you are doing right at this moment.
Curiosity is an important asset to learning. Never stop learning and never stop experiencing new things. In the end, our experiences are what make us.
15. Not Having Fun
The way to get success isn’t working 24×7, it is finding the balance between work and self. Only working can tire your brain, burn out your mind, and put you in a rut. Getting out once in a while doesn’t mean that you are not serious about your future. It means you care enough to give yourself a break.
Let loose, go out for that drink you have been saying no to, go out for the movie you have been waiting to watch, catch up with your friends, spend time with your family. In short, have fun!
“All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.”
The changes we make in our daily routines, our habits, have the power to change the narrative of our lives. They directly contribute to the outcome of the work we do. It is crucial to recognize the areas we need to work on and then find ways to make it right.
“The most important investment you make is in yourself.”
9 Morning Routines That Can Help You Have a Better Day
Starting mornings the right way is essential to having a productive day – an overall fulfilling day is more like it. I always stress on waking up early, if you don’t already you can look for ways to help you wake up early or if it is not feasible to your schedule then you can still follow a routine that lets you have a wholesome day.
When deciding how to prepare for the day after waking up, the best option is to develop a morning routine. An activity that is constantly repeated on a daily basis, especially, in the mornings can turn out to be pretty effective at helping you be ready to meet the requirements of the day. And if you are unable to come up with any morning routine ideas that can turn out to be effective for you, here are a few suggestions to help you out.
1. Get Some Exercise
One of the most common morning routines is exercise. And if you are facing a pretty busy day ahead, then some exercise will definitely get you ready to see through the day successfully. You don’t need to do any heavy workouts. Instead, some pretty light stretching and jumping should get your muscles and joints relaxed. Else, you might end up feeling stiff all day. Going for a quick run can help you get the much-needed exercise too. Exercising will also make you fully awake and ensure that you don’t feel too sleepy in the office all day long.
Spending a few minutes meditating is also a very good idea for a morning routine. Usually, once a person is awake, the mind remains cloudy for some time. Doing some meditation early in the morning can help a person focus and have clarity of thought right away. Plus, meditation will also calm the mind, help you face the hustle and bustle of the working environment in a composed manner without feeling stressed out.
Ideally, you should learn a few meditation techniques from a personal teacher rather than trying to learn it from the internet. This will ensure that you are able to mediate in a proper manner every morning because there are different types of meditations that focus on different things. I use the Headspace app for meditating daily.
3. Create a Schedule For the Day
If you are someone who has trouble managing your day-to-day tasks, then a good morning routine for you would be to plan out your schedule for the entire day. Just sit down for a few minutes, think about the activities you have to do for the day and the activities you want to do; make lists of the activities that need to be done along with the total time required for completing them. With proper time management, you can even squeeze in some of the activities that you want to do like going to a movie, visiting your friends, and so on.
4. Read the News or Informative Articles
Why not make the morning routine something enlightening? Turn on your laptop or tablet and read the major news of the day. This will get you up-to-date with all the current events that are happening around you. So, the next time someone at work talks about the incident at the football match, you will know what they are talking about and can chime in with your opinions too.
If you are a money-minded person who is very careful about where you spend the money, then budgeting for the day will be a fun way to start off the morning. Think about the expenses you will be incurring for the day and write them down.
Compare it to your monthly budget and make sure that the expense for the day is not too much that it pushes the monthly budget to the higher side. Preparing such a daily budget every morning will allow you to regulate your daily expenditure and ensure that you never spend more than what you earn.
6. View Inspirational Videos
In case you work in an area where you need to constantly keep yourself motivated, then the best way to start the day will be by watching an inspirational video. This is in tune with starting your day with positive affirmations or inspirational thoughts.
Find out some short motivational videos on a weekly basis and assign them to the upcoming days. This way, all you have to do is to watch the video once you wake up. Watching such videos first thing in the morning should pump you up and help you power through your day.
7. Do Something Fun With Your Loved Ones
Just search for some fun activities to do every morning and make sure to do them every day. And, if you haven’t been able to connect with your spouse because of work pressure, then this morning routine will definitely ease things between the two of you. If you have kids, you can also set aside some time in the morning to be with your children.
8. Take a Walk
Taking a walk in the morning is one of the oldest morning routines practiced in the world. Earlier, people used to walk to a nearby shop to get some vegetables and other grocery items for the day. You, too, can do the same and benefit from a morning walk. Or, if you have a park near to your home, then you can walk there and take in the freshness of the morning air. You can also go for a jog instead of a simple walk. This should flex out your muscles and help you get rid of the stiffness you feel when you wake up.
9. Drink Some Water
Finally, did you know that drinking water every morning is also a routine? Yep. Apparently, many people have made this activity their morning routine in a bid to start off their day on a healthy note. After all, your body will be dehydrated from the previous night’s sleep.
So, if you try to do any physical activity without recharging yourself with water, you might feel immediate exhaustion. But, when you do drink a glass of water right after you wake up, you will have rehydrated your body and will be able to do any activity without feeling tired.
Anything that motivates you to go about your day with positivity and a healthy feeling counts. It isn’t necessary to follow all the things that other people do. The important thing is to do things that make the most sense to you as an individual. Your routine can be as simple as not skipping breakfast even when you are running late or starting your day with a cold shower. Anything that helps you have a better day counts!
7 Ways to Overcome Analysis Paralysis
A few days ago, I talked about analysis paralysis and if it is the reason for inaction. I think a lot of people relate to it because it hits home with many. Most of us get tangled in trying to find the perfect solution to our problems. Understanding what stops us from taking action and the reason behind it is the first step in finding ways to overcome the hurdle we create for ourselves.
So, what exactly is analysis paralysis?
“Analysis Paralysis is when we have too many options, and we get so overwhelmed that we fail to choose an option at all. It is a state of over-analyzing a situation or problem, and as a result, a decision or action is never taken; as a result, paralyzing the outcome.”
I am sure you have been in this state some time in your life for one or the other decision. How do you overcome this? How do you not fall prey to analysis paralysis? Here are some logical ways that work because we target the problem area that pulls us into this state.
1. Prioritize your options
When you have a lot of ways to go about something, you will be overwhelmed, and you will be sucked into the decision of which option is the most beneficial. Our goal is to come out of that. Treating all the options as if they are going to have the same impact puts them in the same priority block, and that is what results in analysis paralysis.
What you need to do is detach yourself from the decision. Look at it as if it doesn’t concern you at all. Then categorize each option in different priority levels based on what can help you take immediate action, what is more accessible or needs fewer steps, or even what makes the most sense if you isolate it from other options and if it was your only one.
Although I am telling you to give it some thought while teaching you how to not overthink it – this thinking follows a purpose and once that purpose is fulfilled, you won’t be paying it any more attention. So purposeful thinking is better than just fretting over it as a whole. You will then know what option to go with, and it will still be an informed decision.
2. Write down a mission statement
Sometimes the vision or the goal gets lost when you are trying to figure out what a great way of doing something is. When you do not have a clear view of your goal, then making decisions can be even more difficult. Defining your goals on a piece of paper and then checking every option you come up with against it is a great way to stay on track and not get tangled in too many thoughts.
Eliminate anything that does not make sense with your end goal. Yes, it can be a better fit to get you to the halfway point of whatever you are aiming to achieve in the short term, but if there is an option that can see you the whole way through, then you need to strike out the enticing halfway option.
3. Eliminate the bad options
What are the bad options? The ones that need you to invest more than the other options, may it be money, tools, time, manpower, anything. The ones that might not hold in the long run. Anything that increases stress. Anything that causes a strain on your resources.
Some options, though attractive, might not be the right fit considering your current situation. You can use the priority list and your mission statement to prune out the bad options so that you are left with 3-4 workable options, and the decision becomes easier.
4. Set a deadline to make a decision
When you have an open deadline, chances are you are just going to keep overthinking and overanalyzing everything and watch as the opportunity sails past you because you are stuck in analysis paralysis. This is why you need to set a deadline so that you are forced to make a decision. You need to assign yourself just enough time to go over the options but not enough for you to overanalyze everything.
You can set a day or two for small decisions, a week for moderate ones and as long as you think is workable for something really big. Try to keep it concise enough for you to feel the pressure of the deadline but not so short that it stresses you out and you feel rushed.
5. Break big decisions into small parts
Usually, analysis paralysis is common when the decision has a huge impact. We are wired to choose familiarity and safety over anything challenging that can frighten us, which is also one of the common reasons for hesitation to act. So, instead of choosing one option directly, what you can do is break down the option into all the steps it is going to require.
Once you have all the steps in the options laid out bare next to each other, it becomes easier to eliminate the ones that are going to take a lot of small steps to make them happen. If the small steps are easier but more in number, it can still make more sense. And deciding on the basis of micromanaging can be the key to you finally coming to a decision.
6. Don’t wait for perfection
One of the common factors for inaction is people waiting for that perfect option. You have to realize that perfect decisions don’t always happen. There is a compromise involved, if not in all, then in most of the decisions.
While you wait for your perfect break, someone else will make it with their mediocre decision. A mediocre decision is better than no decision. Sometimes “good enough” is exactly what it needed. It will at least get you started.
7. Trust your guts
If an option feels better in your gut than the others then maybe it is the best you can choose. If you have a plethora of options and you somehow keep coming back to the same one, then you need to actively consider it.
Sometimes, our subconscious mind knows exactly what is going to work, but we ignore under the pretense of being well researched and well informed with over-analyzing every aspect of every option.
Most of the times, the need to be 100 percent sure about the solution you are choosing is nothing but fear of acting disguised as wanting to be perfect. Your mind is just giving you reasons to keep putting the decision making off instead of actually making a decision. In a moment like this, it is better to trust your gut and go with it.
Analysis paralysis is unavoidable when you think about it. You are constantly going to be stuck in it when you are in the stage of building your business or making changes in your life. The main thing is knowing what to do when you feel like you don’t know what to choose. These steps will help you realize when you are entering analysis paralysis and how to treat it.
All it boils down to is differentiating the solutions or options based on priority by breaking them into smaller steps and eliminating bad ones or the least feasible ones, and also setting a deadline on your decision-making process so that it does not go on forever.
Social Media Detox Stories That Were Successful
Social media is not accidentally addictive. Companies behind social platforms have been actually reported to hijack people’s attention. All the design elements you see on your app have been created to cater to marketing agencies.
And it seems the social network founders have hit the jackpot with their business model. If you’ve seen the second episode of the latest season of Black Mirror, Smithereens, you’ve probably resonated with the chief complaint of Andrew Scott’s character. Humans are now hunched and thumping on their devices. They don’t look anymore at the sky, he says.
Enter social media detox.
While social media should not be painted evil, the intention behind its existence remains suspect. But users should not wait until the verdict has been given. Your attention is more important than ever, and guarding it should be one of your goals now.
Social media detox is one of the ways to protect it. This does not mean you should be quitting online platforms cold turkey. But it requires you to be intentional about the time you spend online.
How do you get started? Read on and be inspired by the stories of people who successfully did it. Here’s why I took a break from Facebook.
Keeping A Journal During A 30-Day Social Media Break
For Jason Zook, social media has been a daily part of his life since 2008. He’s been using Facebook and Twitter for personal and business purposes. Zook has experienced successes in terms of getting attention and generating revenue. But one day, he experienced negative emotions and couldn’t get out of them (one of which was jealousy). So he decided to quit social media cold turkey.
What began as a decision to get rid of the unwanted effects of social media became a springboard for new ideas for Zook. By Day 3, he wrote in his journal about feeling happier. By Day 10, his attention seemed to have expanded. He took note of the things that replaced the time he would usually waste on social media. And by Day 21, he recognized he had broken bad habits and gained a new perspective on his digital life.
This was taken from his entry for Day 30:
“It’s been a while since I’ve had so much clarity and focus in my thoughts. The only thing I can equate it to would be ‘getting in the zone’ in sports.”
Curbing Anxiety and FOMO Through Disconnection
While Stephanie Vozza was at a party, she felt a pang of regret common among social media users when she couldn’t post pictures on Facebook. That’s when she realized she needed to take a break. It is when you are anxious about updating your profile or staying connected that you need to disconnect.
In Vozza’s case, Facebook was her means of keeping in touch with fellow writers. But she had to forgo it for the reasons mentioned above. Like Zook, she also fasted for 30 days. In talking to experts, she also learned a few things, like social media addiction is a real phenomenon. And by quitting Facebook for a month, she allowed herself to take on a new ritual instead of checking the app first thing in the morning. In turn, her brain was able to create new neural pathways, a new normal.
Zook and Vozza enlisted tools and tactics to make their social media detox a success.
Social Media Detox Tools & Tactics
- StayFocusd Chrome Extension – An extension for Web Chrome users. You can add social media sites on the Blocked Sites List. And when you try to increase the maximum allowed time to spend on the Blocked Sites, humorous popup messages will appear to confirm that you’re really making that decision (and not regret it).
- Self-Control App – This app is created for MacOS users. You will be able to block your own access to distracting websites within a time frame. It’s similar to StayFocusd in that sense. But it does not only work for websites. It also lets you blacklist mail servers and anything on the internet.
- OurPact – This is an app that enables parents to control their children’s screen time. It also lets them monitor the apps being downloaded on their kids’ device. Of course, you can also use it during your detox. But take note that it is only available for Android users.
- Your Phone’s Settings – Tweaking some of the settings on your phone can already make a world of difference. Turn off the notifications for your social media apps. Activate the Don’t Disturb mode. In some cases, you can also just go offline by turning off the internet connectivity on your device.
- No-Phone Rule – Some people, friends, or families establish variations of the no-phone rule. For instance, it would be considered rude to check Facebook while you’re having dinner with friends or family. Talk about what rules you want to establish at home or wherever you may be.
Social media detox allows people to gain perspective on their relationship with and activities on social networks. It also enables them to deal with the anxiety caused by social media addiction. Whether it’s you or a loved one who’s going through one, the support of the people around you will have a lot of impact. So make sure to seek help or encourage someone during a social media fast.
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