Developing Good Habits Is Great, But Can You Guess What Is Better?This post may contain affiliate links. Please read our Disclosure for more information.
I recently found out all the good habits I’ve been working hard towards have been a complete waste of time.
Everywhere it seems that everyone is trying (or at least talking about trying!) to develop good habits.
“I’m trying to get more sleep so I’m going to bed earlier.”
“I’m working out in the morning so I can keep the rest of the day free.”
“I’m writing down 10 ideas everyday so I can be a better writer.”
We’ve all heard these or variations of these, plus many more.
While crafting good habits can be extremely advantageous to you, there is something even better you can do.
Getting rid of BAD HABITS!
Oh yes! The BAD habits! The things you rather not talk about in polite company.
The niggling little life anti-hacks that unravel all your hard work on your GOOD habits.
If you think your good habits can out weigh your bad ones – think again. It’s similar to how people who know about diet and exercise assert that “You cannot out-exercise a crappy diet”. This is true, especially in the long term.
Your bad habit (eating junk food) will only diminish your good habit (exercising daily) to the point where if you ate well (not super healthy, but just normally) and didn’t exercise at all, you’d be in a better position than you are now.
And once I realized I needed to work on conquering my bad habits, the good habits I had formed were able to be used to their full potential.
Not only will getting rid of bad habits free you up, they’ll make room for future GOOD HABITS that you’ll be able to craft in their place.
Let’s take a look at the main offenders when it comes to bad habits for entrepreneurs.
Are You Creating or Are You Just “Busy”?
Did you ever say, “Phew! I’ve worked all day, but it feels like I haven’t got anything done!”
In today’s modern working world, we’ve crafted a distraction economy where it is the sole job of several businesses and corporations to take you off track and distract you from what you were originally doing.
So this constant switching from one program or task to the next can actually FEEL like work, even though you’re technically not getting anything done!
Well how do we avoid this?
Basically, I like to write a “Stuff I did today” email to myself as a source of accountability.
This allows me to see the actual RESULTS of my day, as opposed to the common tasks I do everyday to make me FEEL like I’m busy (I simply don’t write those down).
Alternatively, start your day off with a To-Do List. Make sure you only write important “results-driven” tasks on there, and at the end of the day see how many you can cross off.
No matter what your current goal in business – hiring, learning, growth, profit – if you assess your work day in terms of your RESULTS, you’ll be able to get out of the “busy-ness haze” and onto the right track.
Lack Of Trust in the Person Who Matters Most – Yourself
Not trusting yourself is really saying that you have no confidence in yourself or your abilities.
Instead of writing a lengthy email reply to a work colleague and sending it after a quick spell check, you scrutinize it, re-work it, craft it, save it and re-visit it at a later time when you have a “fresh state of mind” or whatever junk you tell yourself.
There’s being careful and working hard, and then there’s having no trust in yourself to do the right thing on the front foot. This can manifest into the single biggest bad habit you can have!
It can undermine all the work you do and cause you to use up your only non-renewable resource – time.
Not only will your low self-esteem deplete your time and decision making capacity, but others will see right through you with your lack of confidence.
Instead, just try rationalizing, “I’ve worked hard, I know my stuff – and if I’m wrong, what’s honestly the worst thing that is going to happen?”
Accept that if you do make a mistake, time doesn’t stop and the world doesn’t end. Trust in your abilities and the drive that had to you to become the entrepreneur you are today.
Safe Haven or Warzone? – Your Working Environment Can Cost You
This seems like a total no-brainer, but time and time again your environment can make or break your productivity.
And yes, we all say things like “Oh yes, I know it’s messy, but it’s my own kind of organized chaos“.
What we really meant to say is “Oh yes, I know it’s messy, but cleaning it would force me to have to do some real work I’m not keen on doing, so I’d rather be lazy and distracted than clean and efficient”.
A messy, loud or uncomfortable work environment is simply not optimal for being at your creative best.
If anything, having a constantly messy environment shows you have a bad habit of not organizing things when you should.
A little bit of mess is fine and part of the process. But if papers are stacking up all around and you haven’t thrown out that pile of opened junk mail for the last 2 weeks, then it’s time to put everything on hold for the next hour or so and literally clean house!
“Professional Crastination – It’s a Way of Life, if You’ve Got Lots of Time.”
When even seminal punk bands are releasing songs about procrastination in the late 80s, you KNOW it’s a big problem for everyone.
Why do we procrastinate?
It’s mostly a question of motivation.
Do you ever put off going to see a new movie you’re interested in? Or lining up outside the store that’s having a major sale?
No. Of course not. There is the incentive to do something that will deliver instant gratification.
But how about cleaning the kitchen, making your bed or finish writing a blog or ebook?
Since the outcomes of those tasks are either negligible (i.e. a clean kitchen or made bed won’t achieve success but it’ll get you back to baseline) or the gratification isn’t instant (i.e. as soon as you push “publish” on your blog article, you generally don’t get thousands of responses immediately), we try to fool ourselves into thinking we’ve got more pressing matters to attend to in our success journey like….uh… catching up on Game of Thrones or spending quality time with your cat.
Conquering this one can be tough but not impossible. You simply have to understand that which will help you achieve your desired outcome and just stick to the plan.
Procrastination is the antithesis of focus. As long as you can find ways to stay the course you’ll always beat procrastination every time.
Here’s another little tip I find works a treat: Just start.#Procrastination is the #Antithesis of #Focus. Click To Tweet
Whatever you should be doing, drop everything and just WILL yourself to start it.
Once you get the ball rolling, the task has already begun and you’ll find yourself in a much more comfortable position to keep up the momentum.
Give this method a try today on a niggling task you’ve been evading for while. I’m sure you’ll be pleased with the results.
Last Call For Flight BH247 to Stagnation – How Leaving Things Last Minute is a Bad Habit Multiplier
Not everything goes to plan. I get it. We’re all busy.
“So what if you leave just a little time to get those analytics reports done? It’s not like it’s super important right?”
“Yeah we’re cutting it close on releasing the weekly newsletter to your members. They’ll deal.”
“I know the rent is due on the 15th of each month, but it’s not like the landlord will starve!”
“Tax deadlines are for squares! The government is cool with me. We go way back.”
Leaving things to the last minute can be considered one of the WORST bad habits you can have as it’s what I call a “Bad Habit Multiplier” or BHM.
What a BHM does is not only stress you out, but it causes other bad habits to form.
If you leave your work to the last minute, you have zero buffer should anything go wrong, or something unpredictable happen. This in turn will stress you out and you subsequently won’t be in the mood to clean your desk.
Your messy desk becomes an ever increasing unpleasant work environment, which de-motivates you even more.
Before you know it, you’re on the couch with your cat, watching Game of Thrones, with missed deadlines, stress, work piling up and nothing getting done!
Again, it just takes some focus and planning to make sure you’re always on track to finish projects before or on time. Should anything derail your progress and you’ll need to make up for lost time.
Like I mentioned in the previous point, by just simply WILLING yourself to start earlier than you normally would that would already get the ball rolling.
The prospect of finishing earlier becomes just that much more attractive.
Work Smarter, Not Harder By….
Working on kicking those Bad Habits to the curb before starting to build those Good Habits.
Just remember, like the saying goes, “You cannot out-exercise a crappy diet”. You gotta clean out all the junk to make room for the good stuff.
If you don’t the good stuff will only be there battling the bad stuff and all your hard work to create the good habit will have a net change of zero. Thus demoralizing you and making your journey all the harder to deal with.
If you exhibit any of the above Bad Habits (and let’s face it, we all do at one stage or another) try tackling them one at a time, but start with your BIGGEST bad habit.
Once you’ve knocked that bad boy off the perch, the others will seem much easier.
Do YOU have any other bad habits that you need help with?
Or did you have a bad habit you overcame in a novel way?
Please let us know in the comments below and share this article with someone you know could lose a bad habit or two today.