Change These Habits and You Will Change Your Life

Change These Habits and You Will Change Your Life

 

We all have our vices.

However, how much does it take before those vices become distractions?

Think about how much time you spend on leisurely things.

Now, think about how much of that time you could’ve spent on the harder jobs that grant you growth and push you closer to your dreams.

Most of us are wasting our time, letting it escape us because we can’t decide where our attention should be.

We need our vices.

But we can’t let them become habits.

Phone Scrolling

Scrolling on your phone, such as the likes of TikTok and Instagram, can sap your minutes and then hours from you.

When you procrastinate, I bet you start to scroll, right?

It can quickly become a time-sink.

You pick up your phone and start flicking your thumb up and down the phone’s screen. Next thing you know, almost 30 minutes have passed and you’ve now delayed the hard work.

You keep doing this until it reaches its tipping point and suddenly you’re burdened by pressure and rapidly closing deadlines.

Don’t do this.

If you’re going to get distracted, if you really can’t be without your phone, then replace scrolling with something else.

What can I do instead of scrolling on my phone?

Some good replacements for scrolling endlessly on your phone are:

  • Stretching
  • Meditation
  • Gratitude Writing

 

Stretching is great for a number of reasons.

One is that stretching improves your muscle blood flow, making long hours seated not as strenuous and harmful to the body. It gets your blood flowing and muscles warmed up, meaning improved flexibility.

Another is it improves cognitive function because stretching is an aerobic exercise, which can help reduce stress and negative emotions. See stretching as a long deep breath for your body.

Meditation is great primarily because it empties your mind and provides clarity.

Perhaps you’re scrolling due to urges for instant gratification.

Your mind will crave the easiest fixes of dopamine if, for a very long time, you’ve relied on the sources of such a thing which includes, you guessed it, scrolling your phone.

Meditating brings you into the present and provides a moment of stillness that when practiced efficiently, will eliminate the cravings and urges. I recommend it as a general practice, not just something to do in place of scrolling.

Gratitude Writing is my last suggestion because similar to meditation, it makes you present.

It’s also a very adaptive and constructive way to get your mind working away at something more proactive than say, scrolling neurotically.

You give your mind a break that is far better than turning into a zombie for the next half hour and letting your phone drain your time and attention.

Even so, gratitude writing as a whole is a practice everyone should be doing. It ensures you take nothing for granted, and helps make you appreciate everything just that little bit more.

Procrastination

Procrastination plagues us all, however, what defines the extent of our experience with such an abhorrent state is our discipline, motivation, and willpower.

Truth be told, even lacking in one of those three things can be detrimental to your workflow or even basic productivity levels.

Whilst this article will not cover how to “cure” procrastination, there are definitely three things I have that you should try instead of procrastinating.

Forms of procrastination come in:

  • Fidgeting
  • Distractions
  • Daydreaming

 

Again, all three are time wasters and only bring about crunch hours and rushed deadlines.

How can I fix procrastination?

These are temporary “solutions” to keeping your procrastination in check since ultimately, the best thing that lessened my time spent procrastinating was a lifestyle change.

So, here are some things to try when you’re procrastinating:

  • Journaling
  • Organize the rest of your day
  • Clean your workspace

 

Journaling is brilliant for halting your procrastination.

Essentially, having a constructive manner to decompress and unload your thoughts will allow you to analyze the logistics behind certain feelings.

Spilling your thoughts onto a page — journaling — is tremendous not just for one’s mental health, but for keeping yourself in line.

Procrastination begins when we feel lazy and have the urge to do something easier. Journaling your urges and laziness is an adaptive way to amend these feelings pulling you away from success.

Organizing the rest of your day can help ensure that you don’t run into a bout with procrastination further along.

Take some time to schedule some other parts of your day and not only will that be a constructive distraction, but it’ll help ensure other parts of your workload are measured out healthily throughout your day.

You can even spend a minute or two organizing your downtime so you don’t rush into your urge to watch that show or play that video game too hastily. You can even make sure you don’t waste your day away getting too sucked in, because you’ll be acting on a timetable.

Cleaning your workspace makes for a clearer mind.

Your environment makes up your beliefs, or at least, plays a major role in defining them.

So, ensure that your workspace is distraction-free.

If where you work is a mess, say your desk for example with pens, pencils, sheets of paper, empty wrappers, and so forth, sprawled everywhere then you’ll get distracted.

Your peripheral vision will be too busy taking into account the mess surrounding you, and not the work ahead of you.

Desk clutter is mental clutter, so clean them both so you can actually work procrastination free.

Binge-Watching And Other Distractions

Look, I understand there’s that one show you’re currently sucked into, that one newly released video game that is all you can think about, and you’re anticipating that one text from someone, but they all share one thing in common. They’re distractions.

It’s nothing to feel guilty about. I indulge too, I mean, I love fantasy, and imaginative worlds so of course I’ve binged shows and recent video games too.

Yet, we can get lost too easily in these vices. So much so, they can actually become distractions.

We’ll put off important or necessary work to prioritize these, and that’s not good.

So, whilst these are okay in moderation, when you start to put off work for these, that’s something you need to work on.

What can I do instead of binge-watching, playing games, and so on?

I’m a massive nerd at heart, I want to write my own fantasy and sci-fi novels one day so by all means, do not eliminate these, just tone down on them.

So, constructive things to do instead when it really isn’t time for you to be doing those things yet are as follows:

  • Reading
  • Exercising
  • Learn a New Skill

 

Reading is excellent, and I’m sure perhaps you might’ve rolled your eyes at this.

However, books hold the most valuable life lessons condensed into a flurry of pages.

My biggest life revelation was this:

Why go into debt from university, why waste four years of my life, and why stress over deadlines, when one book could teach me a thousand things?

Books hold centuries’ worth of knowledge, all in the span of a couple of hundred pages, maybe even less than that!

Reading changed my entire life perspective for the better, and certainly equipped me with tools I never would’ve gotten from some courses.

Exercising is absolutely something everyone should be doing in some capacity.

There is literally no downside to exercising besides it “takes effort”.

I mean, duh, of course, it does. Nothing worthwhile and meaningful is achieved sitting there being lazy.

Instead of being idle, get your body moving. A healthy body is a healthy mind and I’ll tell you one thing; having a method of relieving stress, helped with my depression.

You improve your physical health, your appearance, your mental health, and so much more with exercise. Even if it’s 30 minutes a day, at least it’s something!

Learning a new skill is a tremendous way to spend your time more constructively.

Over the past 2 years, here are the skills I’ve learned:

  • Mixology
  • Drawing (Still working on that)
  • Wood Working
  • Reading
  • Eskrima
  • Gardening
  • Cooking
  • Driving

 

And I can still expand all of those skills. I’m not a pro, but I’ve certainly got a good handle on them all now.

If you tried harder than I did, you could learn way more than that, or even get better than me with those.

Learning a new skill has taught me that knowledge is infinite, and you can never have too many skills.

All of those combined granted me party skills, social interactions, dependency, reliability, freedom, peace of mind, stress relievers, and even more.

A new skill will propel your growth as a person. Think of something you’ve always wanted to learn to do or get better at and start working away at it.

Switching up our daily routine can be a little scary at first.

Even if it isn’t, I bet the prospect of reducing how much time you spend playing video games might irk you a little.

I bet the idea of having to separate yourself from your phone more now must leave you thinking about how “bored” you may be.

Truth be told, there is no substitute for hard work.

You cannot let your vices become habits, because then you’ll end up complacent.

You need to make habits out of the tasks and jobs that help you along your life’s mission and achieve your ultimate purpose.

But as I’ve reiterated, this was about shaking things up.

Not eliminating everything altogether completely.

This post was previously published on medium.com.

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Photo credit: THE 5TH on Unsplash

 

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