Ultimately, habits shape who you are and what you will achieve. Avoid these 12 under the radar habits that do more harm than you might realize.
More often than not, people develop habits they aren’t consciously aware of to get through the day to day and “get things done”.
The trouble is, energy sucking habits tend to masquerade as time-saving shortcuts, but in reality, these bad habits take a major toll on your productivity, results and your energy levels in the long-term.
On the other hand, individuals who consciously cultivate positive daily habits experience lower stress, higher levels of energy, increased creativity, more productivity and ultimately, experience more happiness and achievement in life.
If you find yourself relying on any of these 12 energy-sucking habits, be sure to make a conscious effort to re-think your goals and approach so you can implement conscious positive habits that give you the freedom to enjoy your life and realize your goals.
- You don’t make time for what you love.
If you don’t make time to do what you love, you will find yourself demotivated, lethargic, crabby and generally low-energy most of the time. The is most common bad habit to get caught up in and it will completely drain your energy.
Connect with your true passion and make time to do what you love. If you can find a career that integrates doing what you love, great – but that isn’t the only way to ensure you give yourself time to do what you love. Find your passion and make time for it, no matter what.
When you do what you love, and you gain more energy than you know what to do with.
Whether you love cooking, dancing, learning, writing – it doesn’t have to be part of your job description to make the cut. Try simply cutting out a few hours a TV a week and instead carving out a few hours to do what you love.
- You aren’t getting enough sleep.
Sleep is great, and it’s essential to your physical and mental well-being.
If you find yourself caught in a cycle of overworking yourself and cutting back on your sleep to compensate, chances are more than likely that your productivity (and the results of your work) are sub-par.
Make sleep a part of your daily routine as a priority so you have the energy and brainpower to do more.
- You talk about problems instead of solutions.
This is a bad habit that completely zaps your energy, sucks the energy of those around you and has serious negative consequences on your mental health.
Napoleon Hill said it best, “thoughts are things”… so monitor your thoughts and stop focusing on the negative!
If you find yourself noticing problems, pause before you announce it and instead consider what the solutions to that problem may be. As you practice this simple mental exercise of looking for solutions, you retrain your mind to innovate and harness your creativity.
- You check your smartphone every three seconds.
Come on, this is a really obviously bad habit that should be easy to overcome with simple conscious effort.
You don’t need to check-in with your social media feed constantly and you don’t need to incessantly check your emails either. Every time you look down at your phone, you reset a 15-minute window before you regain your train of thought.
Try to minimize the time you spend on your phone when you’re with other people and even when you’re alone. You need time without constant distractions and information to reflect, relax and just breathe. You’ll be amazed at how much more energy you gain when you cut down on your phone screen staring time.
- You eat crappy food.
Food is medicine for your body, so be mindful of what you eat.
Don’t allow yourself to skip meals and compensate with crappy, fast food.
You have to eat every day and what you eat impacts your energy levels, your focus and your long-term health.
Avoid eating processed foods and cut back on sugary snacks and instead make a conscious choice to choose healthy foods you enjoy for a quick and easy way to boost your energy every day.
This can be as simple as replacing your chips with veggie snack options, swapping a morning bagel with a bowl of oatmeal, eliminating the sugar from your coffee – small differences have a HUGE impact on your energy throughout your day.
Remember that making healthy food choices doesn’t have to be a full-on overhaul, you start small and let your taste buds will adjust, you’ll find that your focus stays consistent and your energy is off the charts.
- You work hard but never play.
Why is play so important?
Because it gives your mind the opportunity to have new experiences and enjoy yourself – and believe it or not, your levels of happiness have a major role on what you can create.
Take your vacation, plan out your social outings, make your life about work and play. By the way, watching TV DOES NOT count as play! Your fun activities have to be ACTIVE, not passive. Be sure to go out, meet people, talk and try new things once in a while.
Play gives you valuable new input that you can harness back into your work later so don’t think of it as unimportant because play will give you a powerful boost at work.
- You don’t meet new people.
Why would you restrict yourself to the same group of friends for years and years? Meeting people is fun and gives you a chance to grow and expand your perspective.
Take the time to enjoy getting to know people, and really listen to what they have to say. Think about it later, while you’re NOT staring at a screen mindlessly, and you’ll be surprised at how much you can learn for free.
- You live a sedentary lifestyle.
Are you physically sedentary? Then chances are, you’re also mentally stuck in a rut.
No one is saying you have to sign up at a gym to get a little physical movement. All you need to do is give yourself a 20-minute brisk walk a few days a week to keep your creative juices flowing, your muscles going and maintain a good level of overall health for your energy levels.
- You don’t read.
Reading is one of the most productive, energy-boosting habits you can develop.
Whether you’re reading more about your work or reading fantasy fiction – doesn’t matter, just start reading more. Nothing compares to the mental exercise of reading to get your mind going and naturally boost energy levels.
- You multitask constantly.
Being a busy bee does not guarantee that you’re getting more done. Multi-tasking is proven to decrease your IQ levels while you perform tasks, so choose wisely. Instead of trying to get more done at the same time, pick the tasks that you can perform an auto-pilot and give the time and attention to tasks that deserve it.
- You don’t practice gratitude.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, gratitude is the most undervalued resource to living a happy life.
Practice gratitude daily. Think about the small things you’re grateful to have in your life, the people who you appreciate, the gestures that make a difference and truly take the time to be grateful for all that you have. Sure, we all have our ups and downs, but there’s always plenty to be grateful for when you take the time to look for it and appreciate it.
The best part of this practice is, the more you seek out recognizing what you have and appreciate, the more good you attract to your life and the more energy you’ll have.
- You procrastinate.
Procrastination is a vice that plagues us all.
Because most people tend to overshoot how much they will get done in a day. Bad time management is at the root of procrastination.
Take the time to schedule your week every Sunday night, plan out your time and give yourself room to procrastinate on those tasks you want to. Instead of rushing to “catch up”, you give yourself time and space to realistically get things done.
Cutting corners to reach an end goal is the most common path that leads to the reliance on bad habits. The problem with that is, those bad habits will literally suck the happiness and joy right out of your day to day, making every day more difficult.
Once you start to identify these bad habits, and consciously implement good habits, you’ll instantly gain more energy.