Ditch these bad habits in 2020

January is over, and you might have already given up on your new year’s resolutions. The winter is long, you might be feeling a little bit SAD and unmotivated. I’m here to give you a small push to get you back on track by telling you which 5 bad habits to ditch to make 2020 your most successful yet.

1. Checking social media while you’re working on something

Stop it. No seriously, stop. Lock your phone in a box, turn it off completely, install a website/social media blocker in your browser; anything to stop you from checking social media during work. It’s highly distracting and it gets you absolutely nowhere. You will just get stuck in that loop again and again and again and… you get the point. Find it hard? There are ways to productively use a small social media break as a reward, for example by using the Pomodoro method: 25 minutes of work, 5-minute phone break. Rinse, repeat. Works like a charm.

2. Comparing yourself to others

There will always be someone who is smarter, better, funnier or more motivated than you. Worrying about this is not going to get you anywhere. It’s also not fair to compare someone’s ‘outsides’ to your ‘insides’. You have a unique perspective of your struggles and ambitions, and you’re only looking at other people from the shallow outside. Additionally, your success is not dependent on someone else’s success (or failure) and you have no power over anyone but yourself. Water your own grass, as they say.

3. Complaining constantly

Yes, complaining is fun, but no, it won’t do you any good. It’s been proven time and time again that thinking positive and being optimistic actually helps you and being negative hurts you. Consistent complaining alters the way your brain processes information. The more negative thinking you do, the easier your brain will find it to come up with more negative thoughts. Changing your mindset takes time and practice. If you feel the need to complain about something, try figuring out what you’re unsatisfied with. If you have time (time you might otherwise have spent complaining, maybe?), also come up with ways to tackle the issue. This way you can turn your negative-nancy-ing into a constructive habit instead.

4. Being a perfectionist

I’m sorry to tell you that perfectionism is a bad habit, but you can break it! Focusing on finding the ideal color scheme for your presentation is taking up more time than necessary. Being a completionist is a lot more productive. Sometimes ‘good enough’ really is all you need. Besides that, the saying isn’t practice makes perfect for nothing. You need to do something a lot to improve. Someone who makes 100 crappy pots learns a lot more about pottery than someone who spends the same amount of time creating the perfect pot.

5. Doing what comes up

Doing what comes up in the moment, instead of planning ahead, might be the biggest productivity killer. If you allow yourself to be distracted by new tasks constantly, you’ll never get anything done. A good way to try and break this habit is by keeping a distraction/procrastination sheet next to you while you work. When something comes up, jot it down and come back to it later. Not everything needs to be fixed right away, and a lot of problems will solve themselves if you just let it be for half a minute. Good luck!

Which ones of these bad habits will be the hardest to break for you?

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