What Can Good Habits Do For You?
Are you perpetually late to work, skipping breakfast, or piling mail up without reading it? These are all bad habits that you have fallen into and maybe not even realized it. Having good habits can drastically cut down on the amount of stress you might feel during the day. Let us say you have a rule where you never leave anything undone for the next day. If you do not have enough time to get something done before you leave, then you do not start it. You will go home not thinking about the things you did not get done, and not dwell on the things you left unfinished. This in turn helps you to get a good night sleep and go in refreshed the next day. You know that when you are well rested you do a better job at work. You also feel better, are healthier, and engage with people more. It is amazing how one little change can make such a big difference.
You have to start thinking of the long-term and short-term effects of your options. Really evaluating the way you do things will help you stop flying through life without any type of structure. Change is hard, but when you know it is going to improve your life, it is a lot easier. Everything you do is connected and having good habits can help improve your quality of life. The things you choose to do at home like planning the next day out to get out the door efficiently or not staying up all night to watch a movie marathon will have an effect on your work life. The things you do at work, like taking on too much and being very stressed out will negatively affect your home life. Even though we try very hard to leave it at the office, we do carry things like that around with us.
Good habits will make you a better friend, a better co-worker and a better person than someone who has bad habits. It is amazing what making a few simple adjustments in your life can do, but once you break the bad habits, you will wonder why you even fell into some of them in the first place. It will not happen overnight, but if you are diligent, you can start to build the kind of habits that give you the kind of life you really want. Anytime you start to do something consistently, it can become a habit, you just have to set your mind to doing it, and then finally you will automatically do it without forcing yourself to.
What If You Already Have Bad Habits?
It is not difficult to break a bad habit such as sleeping in late, but you have to be committed to it. When you get into the routine of sleeping late, your body automatically expects those extra few minutes of sleep. It is important to be mindful of the habits you are currently living under daily and looking at how they are affecting your life. Once you have made the connections between your habits and things that might not go just how you want them to, you will be able to change the practice. It is also important to remember that doing something just one time can break a good habit you have finally mastered. It takes around thirty days for something to become a habit, and just one misstep to mess up all your hard work. So remember, if you spend all the time forming these good habits, you want to think long and hard before you go back on something you have done for a while, because once you break the positive streak, it will be hard to get back on track.
What Are Some Habits For Success?
In your personal life:
- Be a good listener
- Be organized
- Be reliable
These may seem simple, but it is easy to get into the habit of not doing these things. It is easy to become unorganized in your personal life. Reliability means doing what you say you are going to do, and do not leave people hanging. It is easy to get into the habit of not listening to the things people are trying to share with you, as most people listen to reply instead of listening to learn. If you start being selfish and only engage your loved ones and friends in what you want to talk about, it is an unforgiving practice, and you will isolate others around you.
Do not be selfish with conversation, but do not interrupt with your own stories when someone else is talking. Get into the habit of going around the table at dinner and everyone listening to everyone else's day, eventually you will just automatically be a better listener and so will the rest of your family. These habits will also work in the business world, as well. You need to be reliable, organized and a good listener, but there are some other habits you will need to pick up for work related reasons.
In your professional life:
- Set goals
- "Work smarter, not harder"
- Practice time management
- Be realistic
- Take time to breathe
If you set attainable goals in your business life, it would help motivate you every day. If you get into the habit of setting daily small goals and working towards them, it will make larger tasks seem less daunting. Setting weekly goals will help you set daily goals and manage your time better. Time management is another habit you should get into for your professional life and something that will help you cut the stress in your life.
The practice of "working smarter, not harder," means that you see easier ways to do things, and double-dip tasks when you can. This can be getting a co-worker to take something to accounts payable if they are headed that way to save you a trip. If you are mindful of ways to save yourself time and make things easier for yourself, you will be a lot happier.
Being realistic with your goals is important. If you know you cannot fit another meeting into your schedule, do not try. It is okay to say no sometimes to make sure you are taking care of yourself and not spreading out too thin. This is not good for your health and can certainly cause your work to suffer.
Taking time to breathe during your day even if you just go for a walk in the parking lot, or around the building can make a huge difference in your stress. You need to get away from your desk or your work for a few minutes every day just to recalibrate and set yourself up to feel refreshed. If you have a snack break in the middle of the day, make a point to get away from your desk to take it. Eating at your desk can just make you feel rushed, and that is no fun for anyone. A little meditation in the sunshine or just catching up with a co-worker is a great quick break to get your mind back in the game.
In Both Work and Personal Life:
- Stay healthy
- Do not procrastinate
- Take breaks
- Have fun
Then there are the habits that you should work towards breaking in both your personal and work life. You need to eat regularly and get exercise. If you sit at a desk all day, remember you need to work out, and eat as well as you can. There will be days you do not have time, but if you foresee a busy day, pack a healthy lunch. It is important you be mindful of when you need to eat, and when your body is telling you, it is time to make a change. Being active will help you in both your personal and work life because you will be happier. This might be one of the harder good habits to master, but it is worth it.
Procrastinating is one that many people have struggles with, whether you put off doing a big work project, or you put off cleaning out your attic. Those things will not go away if you just ignore them, so stop putting them off. You need to tell yourself you will feel better when they are completed, and you can move on to something else. If you find yourself putting things off, work on it for twenty-five minutes with five-minute breaks until it is finished. That way you can still have a little leisure time while getting your work done. This is also another way that planning and time management come into effect.
Set a goal to complete the task, and give yourself a set amount of time to complete it. Get into the habit of setting hard deadlines for yourself as if your boss was demanding those things on his or her desk at that time, and you will be much more likely to get them done and do a great job on them. Hard deadlines give you that end goal to work towards. In addition, planning to take the project a little at a time can help make it seem not so daunting, versus trying to do it all at once.
Taking breaks is important, because there comes a time in everyone's life when they have just had too much, and it is time to take a breather. Your work or task will still be there when you get back. Take some time to read, or watch a movie and just get your mind off it for a minute. You can start back with a fresh take when you are done.
Make Time To Decompress And Unwind!
Have fun no matter what you do, because life is too short to take everything so seriously. If you are not enjoying what you are doing, then it may be time to reevaluate your life, and start looking at a different path. Everyone deserves to be happy and if you are in the habit of just feeling like what you have now is as good as it gets, then that is not healthy for you. It all goes back to being mindful and checking in with your feelings from time to time. Do not always work or do what you are doing to make others happy, because, at the end of the day, you have to be happy, and be able to take care of your family. Having fun at work and home tells you that you are doing something right, and making it a habit to relax and have fun will give you a better outlook on life.