Whether we realize it or not, we all have them. Good habits -- like brushing your teeth twice a day -- and (yikes) bad habits.
We've talked about how you can build good habits that stick - but what about the habits you may not realize are sabotaging your success? How can you recognize and then reorganize your bad habits to level up your success?
Here are four common habits of entrepreneurs and go-getters, our take on why they're not great habits to have, and how you can start to kick them for something better!
The Bad Habit: Too Much Trust in Expertise
Chances are, you've got some great admiration for people who are experts in your field. Women who have reached the pinnacle of success, crushed their goals, and set the standard. It can be easy to look at the gap between where you are and where you want to be, and think that you'll only ever get there with endless education, mentoring, and strategy sessions.
But the truth is, you’re not going to be an expert overnight. And chances are the person you’re admiring started right where you did. Don't get too focused on learning from the experts and setting them on a pedestal. Education is important -- but so is action.
How Can You Fix It?
Focus on what you can do well now, what you can “fake” well now, and what you actually need to learn to get to the next step.
Set measurable goals that are both challenging AND realistic, so you can start to see the very real progress you are making.
Adopt a "fake it until you make it" attitude -- you may be surprised how others start to see YOU as an expert!
Try something new! It might fail - and you might fall on your face. But guess what -- it might also lead to a great success! You'll never know until you try.
Finally, make sure any education or training you take is tied directly to your immediate short and mid-term goals. Don't let education become a substitute for business building activity.
The Bad Habit: Not Asking For Assists
You’re doing a great job building relationships and trust with your network -- but how often do you trust that work and actually make an ask of your trusted circle? Don’t just build a relationship, leverage it to move closer to your goals.
How Can You Fix It?
Think about someone in your network you've been cultivating as a potential partner, or a new relationship that's been gaining traction.
How can the two of you collaborate or help each other?
Maybe you've been talking about your business opportunity with someone who's a master of social media. If she isn't ready to come onboard as a business partner, maybe she'd be willing to feature you on her Instagram story, or share an upcoming event that you're holding in the community.
Think about opportunities and ask for the assist. After all - there are so many ways to grow together. Don't overlook ways to advance because you're too focused on one specific end goal.
The Bad Habit: Multi-tasking Too Much
Multi-tasking might make you feel productive, but the reality is that every time you have to change tasks (for instance, checking your inbox every 15 minutes when you're in the middle of logging reachouts), you’re asking your brain to do extra work. In fact, a university study shows that when you interrupt a task, it takes your brain average of 23 minutes and 15 seconds to get back to the task.
Wow. Let that number settle in your brain for a few moments.
Every time you check that other browser tab or take a quick scroll through Instagram, you could be costing yourself nearly half an hour of productivity.
How Can You Fix It?
Instead of bouncing between three different projects, help yourself work smarter by working on tasks one at a time.
It can be hard to do at first, but here’s a tip on how to start: set a timer for 10 minutes, and use that time to get as much done toward a single task as you can. We bet you’ll be surprised at how much you can actually achieve when you just put your mind to it.
Try that trick 6 times a day, and you've logged a solid hour of focused work.
A few more tricks that help us single-task here at Traktivity HQs:
Create a Real-Life to-do list. This isn’t your master list of everything you want to achieve - it’s just two to three big tasks that help you prioritize your day.
Build In Distraction Time. You'll be more likely to stay focused if you know you've got a break scheduled to catch up on the latest in your social feeds.
Make it Trackable. This idea was one of the origins behind our Win The Day page; if you know exactly what you're trying to achieve and you don't have to devote any mental energy to figuring out what's next, you can power through your tasks with focus. The tracking software holds you accountable so you can't quit before you're done!
The Bad Habit: Not Honoring Your Boundaries
Boundaries are important, and we’re betting as a busy entrepreneur, you’ve been running full-tilt, saying yes to every opportunity that comes your way -- then paying the price as you get home late to dirty laundry, a pile of unsorted papers, or a grumpy partner. (Not to mention a not-so-well-rested self!)
Setting boundaries can feel really hard and even uncomfortable at first - so it’s a pretty important habit to practice early and often.
How Can You Fix It?
Set “work hours” for yourself, and then actually turn off your phone (or put it in the other room). If you honor your work hours -- being responsive when you're at work, and not responding when you're offline -- others will learn to honor them too.
Make saying “No” your default. It’s easier to change a “No” to a “Yes” than the other way around. And chances are, people will respect your "No" in almost every circumstance. If they press you, simply explain that you don't like to commit to something without being certain you can follow through; it's a sign of respect for you and for those around you! And as much as you can, stop saying “Maybe”. Maybe clutters your schedule and doesn’t make your priorities clear to you or the person who’s asking you, so you both end up confused and disappointed.
What are your worst work habits, and how have you beat them? We'd love to hear your stories, #TRAKstar! Join us in the comments on Instagram and Facebook, or share your story and tag @traktivity for a chance to be featured in our feed.