Bad Habits You Need To Cut From Your Life

Tuesday, September 28, 2021

 Our habits make us who we are. Everything that happens in our lives is a consequence of some good habits or bad habits. A self-damaging habit is going to influence your life and turn it towards a negative direction. These are simple habits that are engraved in our life and are hard to let go of. But they offer a cumulative impact on our entire lives. Here are some bad habits that you may have and how to turn them into something positive!

Checking Social Media First Thing

It's not a habit we indulge in on certain days of the week; it's something we do all week long. From asking the question, What are you up to? to Did you see that Netflix show last night? The invitation to ponder and continue the conversation seems enticing. So enticing that an entire hour can go into the messaging back and forth, especially when it's combined with sending links to Instagram or Twitter posts you want to share. I am not saying that sharing funny cat videos or what's in the latest news is bad. It's just that those first hours of the day are better suited to something better, such as getting your deep work out of the way.

Deep work can include challenging cognitive tasks such as reading new material, analysing, writing, problem-solving and critical thinking. Set aside the first two hours after waking up to focus. If you don't have sufficient time to do this, train yourself to wake up a bit earlier each week, even if it's only 15 minutes at a time. You can adjust your bedtime if it helps you to get a full night's sleep. Use noise-cancelling headphones and play music so you can focus better. When you finish up, use the first big break of the day to catch up on all those topics you enjoy discussing with friends. Getting work done in the morning can free up your day and help you to be more productive! 

Related: Productive Thing To Do When You're Bored

Organizing Your Workday Around Your Inbox

This habit is even more challenging because most of us work on computers for a living. Most tasks are delegated and monitored via our inbox. It's no surprise that the first activity of the workday for most people is to check what's in it, so we know how to organize the day. The biggest problem with this habit? You put yourself in reactive mode because you respond to other people's requests instead of prioritizing your projects.

It will take a while to retrain your brain not to do everything from your inbox but give it a try. You'll notice results very quickly in terms of your work productivity. Instead of using the inbox as your planning tool, dedicate a notebook to writing down all the items you need to start or complete each day in bulleted list format. Be sure you're aware of the due dates of tasks so you can prioritize. Then, go down the list, starting with the items that are the most challenging. Check and respond to emails first around midday and then again in 2 to 3 hours. Give your inbox a glance at the end of the workday to get a preview of what's coming. 

Related: How To Plan A Productive Admin Day!

Procrastinating The Big Things

That sounds counter-intuitive. Because if there's anything we should be devoting our energy to, it's the big things that matter to us:

• How to reach a big goal.
• How to overcome a personal challenge.
• How to improve our relationships with people closest to us.

But what ends up happening is we're so busy with our daily lives that we push all the big stuff aside and leave it for later. It's too complicated and stressful! It is not the ideal way to live a high-quality life. Remember that everyone procrastinates. But successful people tend to procrastinate on things that do not impact their life much. They focus on what is important and what influences their life the most.

Whenever you feel frustrated about doing something, try to understand why you procrastinate. Ask yourself why you're feeling reluctant to finish a goal or task. What is standing in the way for you to take the first step so that you can accomplish something important? We can all be scared of taking the first leap, but you'll feel better once you know why. Once you get to the bottom of it, you can move on to the next step: taking action. Consider this a baby step move. Dedicate 15 minutes to getting something underway. It could be starting an outline of five things you'll need to do to acquire a skill or talking you your partner about solving a problem together.

Demonstrating A Fixed Mindset

Having a fixed mindset means we believe that our skills and strengths are ours from birth, built into our DNA, and set in stone so much that we can't do anything about them. This mindset has its origins in the messages we were given from a young age about what we are good at or what we should avoid doing at all costs. As adults, we demonstrate a fixed mindset by engaging in negative self-talk. When we think we're bad at something, we will avoid attempting it or trying something new. For example, you might not want to take a course because you don't think you'll pass the exam.

Train your brain to practice a growth mindset way of thinking. A growth mindset adapts our internal messaging, so we start believing we can grow our skills and core strengths through continuous and dedicated practice over time. Instead of repeating phrases such as, You're a natural at this! It's more beneficial to tell yourself; You can grow this skill by practising it for 30 minutes a day. Then reward yourself for all the hard work with a treat at the end of the week, such as catching up with friends or going on a long bike ride to recharge!

Obsessing Over Things Outside Your Control 

We need to come to terms with the things we will never be able to change. It's a horrible thought, but we need to adjust to what we are given and make the best of a bad situation. Instead of worrying about things you can't change, appreciate what you do have. For example, exam deadlines can't be changed, but you can build a study schedule that works for you. Control the things you're able to do, and make a situation work for you. Even if you can't change something, there are always ways to adapt to avoid obsessing over it. I like to write things down when I am stressed and cross the ones I can't fix off of the list. Work on the ones you have left, and forget about the issues that are no longer down to you.

Stressing over things you can't change is a bad habit. You can't change things, so why worry about that? If they are outside of your control, why not adapt to them. Change the little bits you can and find a way to adapt to the bits you can't.  

It is time to keep these habits in mind and reshape your habits into something more positive. Each day, your bad habits will become harder to break but taking them on little by little can help to improve your mindset! Habits take time to form, so don't feel bad if you're not seeing changes instantly. What bad habits are you finding hard to break? I'd love to hear little habits you broke and how you changed them into something more positive! 

About the guest writer!

Moinul is a 4th-year medical student studying at Dhaka Medical College, Bangladesh. He shares study hacks, productivity tips and personal growth tips, which has helped Moinul to live a happier life. He loves to teach students about the efficiencies he's learnt so that every student can maximize their potential and find the ultimate road to success in life! You can find his blog here!

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  1. Organising my work day around my inbox was my worst habit back in previous jobs. I was very customer focused and had to be reactive all the time but it meant that so many things slipped through the cracks and my to do list became longer and longer. Now, I write my to do list before I leave my desk the night before so I am mentally prepared for the next day and react to emails when time allows it where possible.

    Great post, really got me revved up to be the best I can be!


  2. This post is what I needed to read, I'm terrible at checking my phone first thing and overthinking too xx

  3. I love these ideas. I'm definitely guilty of going on Instagram first thing in the morning :/ I didn't use to check my email that much but since my blog has taken off, I keep checking them which is definitely a bit unhealthy!

  4. Love this! I definitely need to work on procrastinating less, it's always been a bad habit of mine and, although I'm beginning to work on it now, I've still got such a long way to go. It can definitely be tough breaking bad habits! Thanks for sharing x

  5. I'm the world's biggest procrastinator and it's definitely a habit I need to stop! x

    Lucy |

  6. Oh my god, just tag me already!
    I am guilty of so much of this. Especially checking my phone. I roll over, snooze my alarm, and spend ten minutes scrolling. I honestly should just get up tbh.
    Cora |

  7. Well done you for sharing this. It can be so hard to throw a mirror up to ourselves and decide what to change. I can be quite negative towards myself. It's something I'm really trying to work on and improve


  8. Great post! I definitely need to stop obsessing about things I can't control and this is a great reminder. Thanks for sharing Em x

  9. Ruth| Ruthiee loves Glamour5 October 2021 at 09:55

    This is a fantastic guest post Em! I am so guilty of using my phone first thing in the morning and procrastinating. I have heard so much about the disadvantages of these things. I need to stop using my phone first thing in the morning and I need to stop procrastinating as well. Procrastinating doesn't help.

  10. Great tips! I definitely need to work on not worrying about things outside of my control. Thanks for sharing!

  11. Agreed! It's important to avoid procrastination as much as possible. Checking social media right away distracts you and feeds you negativity early in the morning. Thanks for sharing!

  12. This is such a great post. I'd never thought about inboxes in that way. I usually have a plan for my day and then I check my inbox and my whole day will change and I have to postpone what I planned to do!!! I'm also really bad at trying to be in control. I've been working on letting go of anything that I can control and focusing my energy elsewhere.

  13. What a great post! The one that stands out to me is obsessing about things outside of my control. While this is usually related to health concerns of those around me, as a nurse I always feel like I’m obsessing about them because I need to figure out what I can do to help the situation. I’m working on it, but it’s tough.