Photo courtesy of Melissa Maples
Here at TinyShift, we’re constantly looking for ways to make life better. In the Mindful Mondays series we ran last year, we discovered that one really effective way to increase your overall productivity is by creating effectual habits. It turns out that you need significantly less brain power to perform activities that are habitual as opposed to things that require decision-making.
Because of this, forming as many good habits as possible will help you free up mental energy to focus on important things, whether professionally, personally, or a little bit of both. As there are more than enough people telling you to eat healthier or to exercise more, I decided to take a look at it from the other end. Here’s a list of common behaviors that you’d be better off avoiding. If you’ve already developed a proclivity for one or more of these, well, it’s in your best interest to quit while you’re still ahead.
- Living in fool’s paradise - Spending a little time daydreaming is ok, but if you don’t keep at least one foot on the ground, you could end up missing out on the best parts of your life.
- Over-moderating yourself – I know, I know. You’ve finally managed to get yourself under control, and now we’re telling you to let loose? Not exactly. Being able to effectively self-moderate is an important life skill - just don’t limit your creative potential at the same time.
- Burning the midnight oil – Everyone pulls a late (or all) nighter once in awhile, but if you turn it into a habit, you could actually end up with a circadian rhythm disorder, which is far more unpleasant than it sounds.
- Self-slandering - Rest assured; there will always be someone who’ll try to bring you down in life. It’s your job to be your own biggest fan and loudest cheerleader.
- Betting your bottom dollar – Whether you get the Annie reference or not, constantly hanging all your hopes on a brighter tomorrow won’t get you very far. For habitual procrastinators, the perfect tomorrow they’re hoping for never actually comes, leading to a whole lot of nothing. Make things happen today instead.
- Mindlessly clicking on the “boob tube” – Research shows that adults who were raised with the tv on all of the time are much more likely to suffer from obesity and insomnia. They’re also usually inclined to continue the excessive screen time ritual with their own children.
- Seeing stars – Starbucks, that is. Caffeine addiction is at an all-time high right now. What may seem like a simple energy boost can actually lead to high blood pressure, trouble sleeping, cardiac problems, stomach ulcers and even death. It’s also a habit with a hefty price tag, so quitting will give you the additional benefit of a fatter wallet.
None of us is perfect – I myself struggle with a thinly veiled Starbucks iced latte obsession which causes me to burn the midnight oil when I allow myself to indulge. The important thing is that I’m able to check myself. If you have a behavior that could become a bad habit if left unchecked, repeat after me: everything in moderation. Even moderation.