The smallest things can topple amazing people. Whether you’re an entrepreneur, an artist or an aspiring author, there are a number of habits that can keep you down. While no singular bad habit can keep you from success, enough of them can limit your potential and keep you from your dreams.
Self-improvement isn’t easy, but if you want to succeed, you’ll have to think what you’re doing to yourself. Here are a number of habits you should cut out of your life.
8 Terrible Habits That Are Keeping You From Success
1. Agreeing To Do Too Much
If you have trouble saying no, you’ll eventually end up stressed. At some point, you’ll agree to too much and end up with a schedule that rivals the worst avalanches in history. This can even lead to depression and a general lack of self-control. Saying “no” is powerful, and you must learn to say it whenever possible. Don’t hedge it with answers like “I’m not sure”. If you can’t or don’t want to do it, say so.
2. Using Your Device Before Sleeping
Many people have spent their lives reading before bed. While many still do that, a number of people have replaced the book with the cellphone or tablet. It doesn’t seem like a lot, but this can actually disrupt your sleep pattern. These devices emit short-wavelength blue light. This light is useful in the morning, but at night, it can hamper melatonin production and affect the quality of your sleep. Avoid using your device before you sleep. If you can, put them away after dinner.
3. Focusing on People Who Annoy You or Are Toxic
There’s something that draws the mind to toxic or annoying people. For many, it’s an attempt to understand them. For others, it’s to plot their downfall. Whatever the reason, this fixation is detrimental to your productivity because you’re not thinking about how to achieve your dreams. If you must think of people, think of people you’re happy to have in your life.
4. Waiting Until You’re Sure of Success
The worst thing you can do for your dreams is to wait until you’re sure you’ll make it, because you’ll never really know if you will. It’s a terrifying thought, but that’s the truth. Nobody who has ever made it as a writer, for example, has waited to get that one amazing idea. Any writer worth their salt has written thousands of stories and has had numerous rejections. Don’t wait to do things perfectly. Do what you can now and start improving as soon as possible.
5. Letting Yourself Be Distracted by the Internet
Many studies have shown that it takes around 15 straight minutes of work before you get into a real flow. When you’re in your groove, you’re more productive and better at your job as a whole. 15 minutes doesn’t seem like a lot until you realize how often you get the urge to check your feed or the news. Every time you pull up Facebook, you reset the clock on your flow. Put the Internet away or block distracting sites when you’re working to keep productivity levels high.
6. Comparing Your Success to Others
One of the biggest things that could be holding you back is the bad habit of comparing yourself to others. While it can be used to measure your progress, more often than not people end up using it as a basis for happiness. Instead of looking at how far they’ve gone, they’re focused on how well everybody else is doing. Their happiness becomes less about what they can do and becomes more about somebody else. The moment you embrace that thought process, you’ll never be happy.
7. Habitually Checking Your Phone Mid-Conversation
The habit of checking your phone seems completely harmless until you find that urge overwhelming you in the middle of an important meeting. Instead of pouring your focus onto the other person, you may end up accidentally pulling out your phone and checking for a message. This can make other parties feel undervalued and can cost you a valuable partnership or a job.
8. Allowing Too Many Push Notifications
Interruptions negatively affect your performance. Every time something comes up, your brain has to reorient and you lose all momentum you may have built. Push notifications on your phone, for example, can keep you from ever developing your rhythm. If it’s not mandatory and work-related, turn off those notifications. Check your mail and other items at a designated time instead.
These are far from the only bad habits that’ll affect your productivity, but they’re among the most damaging. Just like any other bad habit, they’ll take time, effort, and conscious action, to properly uproot. Don’t feel too bad if you backslide – that’ll happen. Just keep trying until you get rid of them.