Your life is made up of days. Therefore, it’s a good idea to make the most of them and try to find a moment of enjoyment in each one. Don’t let bad habits spoil them.
Habits aren’t only behaviors related to what you do, they also refer to your cognitive behaviors. Those mental routes you activate and follow over and over again, day after day. In fact, it’s as important to detect your behavioral routines that are limiting your day, as it is to be aware of your cognitive habits that also condition it.
We all possess a multitude of toxic habits and routines. However, by controlling certain stimuli and changing the way you organize your tasks, you can minimize them. In this article, we’re going to identify five of the most common habits that tend to ruin your day and tell you how you can modify them.
Of course, it’s fine to get up early every day to get to work on time or to continue with your study routine. However, if you think that, by setting your alarm and getting up early you’re going to have a good start to the day, you may be wrong.
As a matter of fact, the phrase “I’ll do it when I get up in the morning” is the main cause of morning stress, traffic jams at rush hour, and distraction when it comes to getting started on what you need to do. Indeed, first thing in the morning can be a difficult time, as your reflexes may be a little slow and you might tend to lack a certain resourcefulness. Therefore, you could try and make a change.
As a matter of fact, the best way to organize what happens in your morning is to do some preparation the night before. Of course, we know that you’re probably exhausted by the end of the day. Nevertheless, if you can manage to do a few things that don’t require too much effort, you’ll be saved both time and peace of mind in the morning.
For example, work out what you have to take to work and organize your purse or briefcase. If you need to prepare dinner, once you’re in the kitchen, take the opportunity to prepare your lunch for the next day. Have a relaxing shower and get your clothes for the next day ready, leaving them where you can see them. In this way, when you wake up, your brain will process feelings of calmness and collectedness, and you’ll unconsciously feel less stressed and distracted.
Constantly thinking about what you have to do
There’s no worse way to do something than with a loss of focus. In fact, if you excuse your loss of concentration and think you’re justified in not paying attention at that particular moment, you’ll make the task go wrong and possibly have to do it again. This takes time that you could’ve used for other things. Therefore, be honest with yourself and self-regulate your emotions. Don’t allow them to imprison you.
Use your will and mental strength to increase your concentration. You’ll save a lot of time and peace of mind.
You don’t need to address the most distracting of thoughts immediately. Let them be, and plan a certain time of day or week when you’re not doing anything, in particular, to review or fix them if they require it.
Surrounding yourself with distracting stimuli
Removing yourself from distracting stimuli doesn’t mean throwing your mobile phone out of the window or shutting down your computer. However, you should try to control stimuli so that they don’t interfere with your daily routine.
If you work on a computer and open a news page or connect up to social media, the time you waste on it isn’t only limited to the time you’re looking at the screen. In fact, it’s the cognitive trace that it leaves in your mind. Indeed, you’ll usually spend at least a few minutes thinking about what you just saw. Therefore, if you work on a computer, only open the app that’s directly related to what you have to do.
If you think you don’t have the willpower to do this, there are programs that can deactivate certain pages for a few hours.
If you need to make personal calls, make them quickly and stick to the point. After all, it’s one thing to phone your partner and check with them about buying a plane ticket for an upcoming trip. However, it’s totally another to start discussing what the weather will be like and what trips you’re going to take when you’re there.
Not allocating a moment in the day to rest and disconnect
If you use your lunch break to send emails, talk to your boss, or check job offers, you’re not allowing your mind to disconnect for a single second. Indeed, you might as well call it “a stress-prolonging break.”
Your lunch should be a pleasant experience. Furthermore, if you dedicate your spare time to a little rest or even an express nap, don’t think for a moment that it’s a waste of time. In fact, it actually gives you more time. Because a good break, when you disconnect from the world, gives you peace of mind and also improves your work productivity.
Wasting time isn’t convenient. Neither is continually punishing yourself for believing that you could be making more use of it.
However, if you do all of the above, little by little your days will become more productive and satisfying. In fact, these actions will serve as self-motivation and give you the impetus to continue improving. Furthermore, you won’t condemn and sabotage yourself psychologically because you think you haven’t reached your maximum level of performance.
Letting yourself be carried away by laziness is as negative as continually judging yourself for believing that you’re not doing well.
Bad habits slowly incorporate themselves into your daily routine until they eventually become automatic. One way to prevent this from happening is to condemn all that time you’ve wasted in the past and do what you have to do in a calmer and more skillful manner.
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