10 Bad Habits That Stop People From Getting Things Done
Sometimes we’re our own worst enemies when it comes to accomplishing our goals. Here are ten bad habits that stop people from getting things done.
As someone who’s been called “productivity-obsessed,” I’ve learned a lot about what it takes to get things done over the years. And while there are many things that contribute to being productive (like time management techniques, good habits, and self-discipline), sometimes we’re our own worst enemies when it comes to accomplishing our goals.
That’s why I created this list of ten bad habits that stop people from getting things done:
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If you find yourself constantly second-guessing your decisions and only making them when someone else asks for your opinion, it’s probably because you don’t feel like your opinion counts. Being indecisive can be a sign of low self-esteem, and if this is you, it may be a good idea to work on building confidence in yourself.
One way to do this is by practicing being decisive over small things in everyday life: deciding what to eat at dinner tonight or whether or not you want ice cream with that cookie could help build up your confidence so that bigger decisions aren’t so daunting.
Avoiding the scary parts of a project.
Avoiding the scary parts of a project is one surefire success killer. In fact, this list of 10 bad habits was originally inspired by my client, who had been avoiding her business for months. She started projects but never finished them, and this was all because of her fear of failing.
Here are some tips to help you get started on your next big project:
Get started by doing the simple parts first. If you’re worried about delivering something impressive or perfect, it's helpful to start with something small and simple that gives you confidence in your abilities - that way, when you tackle the more intimidating tasks later on, they won’t seem as overwhelming anymore!
Break down your project into smaller steps so they feel manageable and less daunting than trying to take everything head-on at once (which rarely works). It’s also helpful if each step has a clear purpose - that way it’s easier for yourself mentally track progress towards completing all necessary tasks before moving onto other phases later on down the road! For example: “Today I’ll do X.”
Focus primarily around what benefits there will be once everything is completed successfully, not just immediately afterwards but long-term too.
Binge-watching TV shows.
It’s easy to fall into this trap: You get home after a long day of work and all you want to do is sit down and veg out on your favorite show for an hour or two before bedtime. And then another episode comes on, so you watch that one. Then another one comes on after that one ends...and suddenly it’s midnight and you feel guilty because you stayed up so late watching whatever show happens to be streaming right now in your Netflix queue.
The bottom line here: We spend way too much time watching TV when there are so many other things we could do with our lives instead - things like going outside for fresh air or exercise; reading books; learning new skills; meeting new people...the list goes on forever! Activities that broaden your mind and skills will make you feel better about yourself and build your confidence.
Not sleeping enough.
There’s a lot of talk about the importance of getting enough sleep. But just how much do you need?
The consensus is that adults should get between seven and nine hours each night. If you’re consistently getting less than this, it could be time to take a closer look at your habits - and try some new ones. This can include going to bed earlier, and simply reading for 10 minutes before sleep. You may be surprised by how much better you feel with a good sleep routine behind you!
Having unrealistic expectations.
If you have a high level of expectations for yourself, that’s good. It means you have confidence and ambition. But if your expectations are unrealistic, it's hard to meet them.
If you’re setting goals for yourself that are too hard or too easy to achieve, then what’s the point? You’re likely to be disappointed with whatever outcome you get because it won’t match up with what was in your head. If instead of setting these high standards and being disappointed when they aren’t met (or worse yet - when they are), take some time to think about what is realistic instead of what seems impossible right now.
Not taking enough breaks.
When you are trying to have a productive day, the concept of taking a break is counter-intuitive, right? And yet not taking regular breaks can actually be detrimental to both your health and productivity.
No matter how hard you try, your brain will eventually become overwhelmed by too much work in a short period. Stress levels rise as the body struggles to deal with increasing demands - which means less mental clarity, more frustration, and lower motivation for doing anything at all (including getting things done).
Taking brief breaks throughout the day helps keep these negative effects from taking over. It allows us time to relax our muscles, restore energy levels through food or sleep, recharge our brains with some fun distractions like music or social media (just make sure not too much), and get back on track so we can focus again without feeling overwhelmed by everything we still need accomplish before quitting time rolls around.
Settling for your first idea and not exploring other options.
Just because you’re used to doing things a certain way doesn’t mean that’s the best or only way to do it. When you settle on your first idea and stop exploring other options, you’re just going through the motions without really trying anything new or challenging yourself. This can lead to stagnation and put a damper on your productivity levels.
So how do we break this bad habit? Start by being more open-minded when faced with decisions - don’t be afraid of change! Next time someone suggests something different from what you had planned, don’t automatically shoot them down right away; give their suggestion some thought first and see if it has merit before dismissing them entirely (you may discover something useful).
When you attempt to multitask, you’re really switching from task to task quickly and constantly interrupting your flow. You might be using a computer at work while also talking with a co-worker about a project, for example, or texting someone while watching TV in an attempt to save time. But even if it doesn’t feel like it, doing all these things at once is actually quite inefficient because each task requires its own processing power and will take longer than doing one thing at a time would.
Also, keep in mind that multitasking makes us more stressed - so much so that when people are asked about how they are feeling after working on two tasks simultaneously versus completing just one task at a time, they report feeling more stressed!
Perfectionism is a faulty way of thinking that can lead to procrastination and avoidance. It’s a common habit, and it’s not just bad for your productivity, it can also have serious consequences for your health.
Perfectionism is an unhealthy way of thinking that causes you to believe that whatever you do won’t be good enough unless it’s perfect, or as close to perfect as possible. This type of thinking puts pressure on yourself and causes stress, anxiety, and depression.
It’s easy to see how this belief could get in the way of getting things done: if there isn’t anything you’re happy with about something you’ve done (and there probably won’t be), why would you want to move on? Instead of taking action and learning from previous mistakes (or simply accepting them), perfectionists will avoid doing anything at all out of fear that their efforts won’t live up to their expectations or standards.
Not delegating enough tasks to others.
The worst thing you can do is try to do everything yourself. And by everything, we mean anything that isn’t your main strength or something you enjoy doing. Delegating tasks to others frees up your time so that you can focus on what matters most to getting things done: the big picture.
OK, I know what you are thinking - “I’m a solopreneur - I don’t have anyone to delegate tasks to!” That’s a fair point, and one that I have struggled with in the past. But actually, you do have someone - you just haven’t looked for them!
Any tasks outside of your core skills should be delegated.
As a solopreneur, consider hiring a freelancer. There’s a cost involved, but it will be a great value for money if you can free up your valuable time to focus on more important tasks.
As an employee, try asking colleagues for their help, or at the very least, their input. They will appreciate your confidence in them and are likely to help you out.
If it is a ‘life job’ you need help with, ask family and friends to lend a hand. Again, you will find them all too willing to give you a hand.
The bottom line - ASK!
Overcoming these limiting habits will help you accomplish more every day and every week, both at home and at work.
The goal of this article is to help you overcome these habits so that you can be more successful in all areas of life. Overcoming these bad habits will help you accomplish more every day and every week, both at home and at work. It may seem overwhelming at first, but don’t worry! With practice, you can learn how to break the cycle of bad habits and form new positive ones.
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