Habits are hard to break. They’re defined as a “settled or regular tendency or practice, especially one that is hard to give up,” so it’s understandable that people are reluctant to talk about their own, much less address them with change. But in this article, we aren’t going to tell you to quit smoking or stop eating unhealthy foods (although both are a good idea); instead, we’re going to take a look at the five unhealthy habits that have the potential to hurt you mentally, socially, and even physically.
1. Stressing: We know it’s not as easy as it sounds, but if you have a habit of stressing out, then you need to take measures that will help relieve some of it. There are many reasons to do so, but for your health, most importantly. If it’s not feasible for you to get yourself into a position that poses less stress (and for many of us, it is not), then consider other habits that will help eliminate some of that, such as exercise, meditation, a consistent time-out from your stressors, or even just a weekly habit of talking with a peer or supervisor about your workload and progress. Sharing the burden goes a long way to finding relief.
2. Over-committing: If you have a habit of over-committing yourself, then it’s time to turn over a new leaf. There are those who feel that proving themselves by working harder and more than everyone else will help them get ahead. While this may work, it also has the potential to backfire when management comes to expect that level of work from you all the time, others are given a break at your expense, and your stress levels continue to rise. Set realistic expectations and do your best job on a reasonable amount of projects or goals, instead of taking on more than you can or should handle.
3. Abusing privileges: This is quite simple. Even if your supervisor doesn’t mind you coming in late, you shouldn’t. Even if he/she doesn’t mind you taking an extra long lunch break, you shouldn’t abuse it. And even if little is said about the amount of days you take for sick or vacation, it’s best to keep it in check. Not only is it likely that someone is, in fact, paying attention, but acting in this manner is abusing privileges and showing a lack of respect to the position and yourself.
4. Procrastination: It’s so easy to say “I’ll do it tomorrow” when you know you have time before a deadline, but goals do not receive their best effort when procrastinated, regardless of what anyone claims. When you leave it to the last minute, it gets a rushed effort, less time, and it misses the chance for reevaluation. Even when you have a lot of time to work on something, you should care enough about it and your reputation as it relates to that goal to want to give it your all, starting as soon as possible.
5. Inflexibility: Do you notice that you always seem to be arguing a point, having a hard time adjusting to the habits of others, or feeling frustrated in general? It may be time to kick the inflexibility habit. Take a step back when feeling frustrated and ask yourself how you can do more to meet in the middle. Make a conscious effort to relax more and not take everything so seriously. It’s okay to stand ground and protect your laurels when required, but if you’re taking such a stand on every issue, then it may be time for a change.