The self-control required to develop good habits (and stop bad ones) also serves as the foundation for a strong work ethic and high productivity. Practice flexing your self-control muscle by breaking the following bad habits:
- Using your phone before bed.
Many of us suffer from a lack of quality sleep due to using our phones while in bed. Our favorite evening devices can emit a blue light that can halt production of the sleep-inducing hormone melatonin. The same blue light can be found in the sun’s rays which signals our brains to be more alert. This exposure before bed can impair the melatonin production and interfere with your ability to obtain quality sleep. If you have an iPhone, there is a great feature called “Night Shift” that can adjust the display so that it gives off a warmer, less blue light. Although “Night Shift” is a good alternative, it is still a good idea to avoid your devices after dinner if possible. Remember, it’s not about the amount of sleep, it’s about the quality.
- Hitting the snooze button.
We are all guilty of this. Your alarm goes off, your heart skips a beat, and you are instantly in denial that it’s time to get up. Reaching over and hitting the snooze can actually do you more harm than good. We reach our deepest sleep during the early morning. After we first wake up, we begin to release alertness hormones that prepare us for the day. Trying to go back to sleep does not give your body enough time to rest again since your deep sleep cycle has now been broken. To ease the heart attack of waking up to a loud alarm, try using a soft ambient sound to wake up. You could even try leaving your alarm across the room so you are forced to get up and walk. By then, you have no choice but to drag your zombie legs to the shower.
- Working on the easy tasks first.
Sometimes we tend to start the day working on the easy tasks that we know we can get done quicker. Leaving the more difficult tasks until the end of the day can lead to it not getting done at all. It’s a great idea to start your day with your more complicated tasks so you have the most focus and creative energy. Our performance levels can drop as the day goes on. So it’s important to get a jump start on chipping away at the wall, before it crumbles down on you at the end of the day.
- Too many notifications.
We live in a world where we thrive on receiving information in the now. So, of course we love it when we are instantly notified on updates on just about everything. This might be something that you are used to at home but at the workplace, it’s a different story. Even though it may feel productive, it will actually ruin your productivity every time your phone or email pings you for your attention. Try limiting your notifications and try not to check them immediately. A good practice would be to check them every hour in order to keep your productivity going.
Some of us are good at it, but research has found that only two percent of the population is actually effective at multitasking. Shifting between your tasks can cause most of us to feel that we are not getting anything done. Staying focused and keeping yourself disciplined without being pulled in many directions can help with completing your projects faster and provide you with a sense of accomplishment at the end of the day.
- Abusive web browsing.
Do you ever find yourself clicking on one link, only to click on another, and another? Before you know it, you’re purchasing that belly wrap thing that goes around your waist. Don’t fall into the internet black hole and lose an hour of your productivity. It takes 15 minutes to get back into your flow after the distraction of checking on your news, social media, or sports feed. So save the cat videos for your breaks so that you are able to maintain your focus on achieving your goals for the day.