The internet is chock full of daily habits that will help your routine, but what about bad habits? Because habits are so ingrained into our daily routines, we often don't notice how harmful ones sneak in and ruin our success.
Try eliminating the following habits from your life and see how your success in business and in life improve:
It's time to end procrastination.
When "tomorrow syndrome" starts to rear its ugly head, it's easy to get caught up in its effects and delay projects till the last millisecond. Before you know it, procrastination can cause looming deadlines to snowball, and destroy productivity and motivation in the process.
Instead of procrastinating, the experts recommend you take on bite-sized chunks of a project. This can remove the intimidation factor and get the ball rolling towards productivity with minimal effort. For instance, if you have to build a whole website, consider setting a simple goal of designing the logo. It will be hard to go back to your bad professional habits once you start being productive instead.
You need to (actually) listen.
With a million and a half things going on, it's easy to get distracted when listening to others (especially if it's a boring topic). However, as uninteresting as the conversation might be, you should know that listening has been called one of the make-or-break factors for successful leadership.
So if you want to up your success, replace these bad professional habits with active listening. Instead of nodding off, consider both showing the speaker that you're interested (nodding, agreeing, etc.) and actually making an effort to understand (by asking questions and clarifying). Even if you aren't actually interested, you'll absorb the information and look highly professional.
Stop being too agreeable.
We're all told that being agreeable and saying "yes" is polite and desirable. While that might be true during a dinner party, in the business world, it can have drastic consequences. You're only human (sorry to break it to you), and with limited resources, you'll eventually end up making a false promise by taking on everything. Plus, you're an amazing individual, and you need to put yourself first.
Instead of saying "yes" to everything, learn to turn up your turn down skills. It's perfectly acceptable to ask a boss what should be prioritized, or to put yourself first over an acquaintance's needs.
Take a look in the mirror, not in the next cubicle.
If you are in the habit of comparing yourself to others, and a big majority of us are, it's time to stop. Whether you are feeling bad because you think your peers are doing better than you, or you are building yourself up based on their failures, both are unproductive and have the potential to be self-destructive. If you feel good about something you've done, enjoy it -- you don't need the recognition from others to affirm your accomplishments.
Also keep in mind that your perception of others is likely inaccurate, and the grass is actually sometimes not as green as it appears to be. A study done by the Society for Personality and Social Psychology shows that people are much more likely to display positive emotions than negative. So the next time you think the guy from marketing "has it all," you may want to consider what he is not showing underneath it all.
Give up the gossip.
Especially in the office. Not only should you try to avoid it, but when you hear it, you should shut.it.down. Keep in mind that the ears of others are always listening -- and when someone hears you gossiping, you will lose their trust. A loss of trust, I would argue, is the No. 1 reason teams deteriorate and fail.
If your team feels they can't trust you with confidential information, they will not have your back or the team's best interest in mind because they feel their own protection needs to come first. Keep the positive vibes going, there are so many other things we could be worrying about than the relationship that might be happening in the finance department.
Stop aimlessly roaming the internet.
Be intentional about your internet surfing; decide what you are going to focus on and don't move to the next tab until you've finished. A study out of the University of California, Berkeley, found that on average, office workers go only 11 minutes between interruptions, while it can take up to 25 minutes to get into a state of productivity called flow.
Research shows that while working in your flow state, you are working at a level that is five times more productive. So, every time you click on the Facebook tab to do a quick scroll, you are really putting a longer pause on your work than you think.
Dump the toxic waste.
As Oprah Winfrey once said, "Surround yourself with only people who are going to lift you higher."
Do you have a co-worker who makes your blood pressure rise? Stop thinking about him. Think about the family and friends that you are grateful for and that bring you happiness instead -- these are the people who are worth your time, energy, and brain space.
Have you dropped any habits to boost your success? Share them with me on Twitter!