10 Bad Habits You Must Break to Succeed

10 Bad Habits You Must Break to Succeed

Have you wondered what’s holding you back from becoming more successful? It could be because you have the following 10 bad habits.

1. Neglecting your health.

No doubt you’ve read articles discussing the importance of healthy habits, like exercising and eating a well-balanced diet. The reason? Because living a healthy helps control your weight, improves your mood, boosts your energy, fights diseases and health conditions, and improves your sleep. These can all impact your work performance because if you’re constantly sick, fatigued, or stressed-out, then how do you expect to be a productive individual?

Besides the reasons listed above, being fit as some unexpected perks as well. “In fitness, much like in business, there are pushes for personal achievement that often make you goal-oriented. There’s also a quest to push yourself to the limit—you come to understand what’s possible and what isn’t,” says Duncan Simpson, Ph.D., a Florida-based sports psychologist.

Even if you eat healthy and exercise frequently, you also need to consider how long you’re sitting behind your computer all-day. As entrepreneur Murray Newlands points out, when we sit, we put a lot of “strain on the lower back, shoulders and neck, which “also reduces blood flow to the brain and lungs.” Make sure that you stretch your back and shoulders every 20 to 30 minutes and adopt a yoga or pilates routine.

I would also suggest that you invest in a standing desk. They may be pricey, but there are affordable options like this $22 IKEA hack or the $25 Oristand.

2. Trying to be perfect.

No one is perfect. And when you're constantly trying to prove otherwise, you can become anxious and exhausted. Most detrimental, being a perfectionist prevents you from starting a project in the first place - whether if it’s writing a blog post or developing a new product. When that happens you can’t achieve your goals, meet deadlines, or grow personally or professionally.

As former Yankees great Derek Jeter said, “I’m not perfect; no one is perfect. Everyone makes mistakes. I think you try to learn from those mistakes.”

3. Always getting distracted.

Freelancers and those working from home deal with this on a daily basis. For me personally, I can’t focus on work if there is a pile of dirty dishes. And, I can’t tell you how many times people want me to go out for lunch or help them with a project because they think I can drop whatever I’m doing at any moment. And, that’s not even getting into emails, phone calls, writing and taking care of my family.

That’s not saying that those working in an office have it any easier. Again, viewing every email that arrives, grabbing a snack, and having colleagues pop-in can also be main sources of distractions.

After a while, those constant distractions add-up and prevent you from doing whatever it is that needs to get down.

To cut back on distractions, use tools like RescueTime or Time Tracking so that you track your time and block distracting websites. Other ways to reduce your distractions are to put your phone on airplane mood, respond to your emails at dedicated times, and place a ‘Do Not Disturb’ or stop light on your office door. And, learn how to politely say ‘No’ if you don’t have the time to chat or start another project while finishing what you already started.

4. Overspending.

How does being in debt prevent you from becoming successful? For starters, constantly worrying about paying bills can have serious health consequences and distract you from completing the task at hand. It can also damage your credit score which means that when it’s time to ask for a loan to help your business grow, you’ll be denied.

As an added bonus, when you learn to create a budget and set financial goals, you can put those skills to work in keeping your business lean, along with knowing what you can and can’t do - just like with exercising.

5. Multitasking.

The human brain isn’t designed to multitask. As powerful as the brain is, it’s just not wired that way. In fact, researchers at Stanford University that those “who are regularly bombarded with several streams of electronic information do not pay attention, control their memory or switch from one job to another as well as those who prefer to complete one task at a time.”

Even more disturbing? Multitasking can lower your IQ and can decrease your productivity by 40%.

In short, do one thing at a time.

6. Not starting what you finished.

As an entrepreneur, I always keep an eye open for new opportunities. But, there’s a balance between noticing potential opportunities and seeing a project through until the end. For example, when I travel, I may think about how to make traveling easier -  and you may be doing the same thing, especially if you’re a parent. I mean even do some quick research while waiting to board my flight for any possible investment opportunities. But, I’m not going to launch a new business while still growing my current business.

Just like the advice I gave for multitasking, do one thing at a time instead of bouncing all over the place.

7. Ignoring criticism.

While being confident and having a healthy ego can be beneficial, you also have to realize that your talent, products, or services aren’t the greatest in the world. You can’t ignore or get offended whenever you hear constructive criticism from your inner circle, employees, or customers. As well, you can't ignore or get offended whenever you hear non-constructive criticism either. You need to deal with it. It’s one of the best ways to learn what you’re doing right and what you need to work-on.

8. Making excuses.

We all make mistakes. Whether it’s because you're too busy to workout or putting off your new website design because you can’t find a good enough designer, we use excuses to justify our actions and failures. The thing is, you have to hold yourself accountable for your actions. In the end, it’s nobody else’s fault why you aren’t exercising or why your business failed. You either didn’t make the effort or you listened, concentrated and worked on the wrong problems that your business was experiencing.

9. Starting with the small stuff.

“We all like the idea of a quick victory. But does that victory mean anything if you haven’t advanced your cause?,” asks Miranda Marquit.

Instead of starting your day with easier tasks, make it a point to start with tougher tasks. Getting those more challenging projects out of the way first thing in the morning is recommended because it’s when you have the most amount of energy, as opposed to later in the day when mentally drained.

10. Being complacent.

Getting stuck in your comfort zone prevents you from experiencing and doing more with your life or business. It also prevents you from networking, testing new ideas, or learning new skills that can make you a more well-rounded individual.

Don’t settle. Keep pushing yourself forward and always demand more of yourself. In other words, go big, or go home.


 

About the Author

John Rampton is an entrepreneur, investor, online marketing guru and startup enthusiast. He is founder of the online payments company Due.

Start your free 14-day trial of Shopify