I’ll be the first to say it: I am not perfect. I know that my blog may have led you to believe otherwise, but it’s true. I am a mere mortal, and I often lose the battles against my bad habits.
I’ve been trying harder to beat them recently. Being a freelancer means that I have to hold myself accountable for every little thing. When something didn’t get done, there’s no one but myself there to blame. And when the answer for why it isn’t done is some form of ‘I didn’t want to/I got distracted/I forgot’, it becomes unacceptable really quickly.
Now, there are some bad habits I’m never going to break. Like eating peanut butter directly from the jar. I do it, I accept it, let’s move on.
There are some that have got to get better though. I can’t let bad habits run my life, professional or personal. Bad habits have a way of bleeding into different areas of your life. I struggle with a lot of the same things professionally as I do personally, and it’s got to stop!
Here are my three biggest bad habits, and a few things I’m trying out to kick them to the curb.
Oh, Lord. I procrastinate like nobody’s business. It’s insane. Yesterday I spent a full hour on my Tumblr page, looking at ridiculous memes, and reading about how third party voters are going to hand the election to Trump. I was procrastinating writing this very post!
While I love Tumblr, I allow myself to spend way too much time on there in the name of ‘education.’ I often read about political or social issues near to my heart on there, and I tell myself that is making me a better-informed person. Just like when you’d go on a cleaning or laundry binge during finals week during college. These were helpful and necessary things you were doing! You’d get to the biology notes later!
While technically it may be true, spending that time on Tumblr is also making me a terrible freelancer! And blog owner! And friend! I do the same thing with my blog’s social media accounts– I allow myself to linger on there in the name of ‘growing my business.’
I’ve installed a plug-in that blocks certain websites, and during the hours I work, I’m going to add all social media to it. I need a barrier between me and my procrastination sites.
This is the plague of the modern world. Everyone is expected to multi-task all the time. I can’t do it! All it leads to is me overlooking details of work, and turning out mediocre work. I’m not great with details anyway, and when too many things get put in front of me at once, I go total big picture.
This is such a hard one to break. Multi-tasking also leads into procrastination for me. I tell myself ‘oh, I need to check my email,’ instead of finishing off a post, or sending out a pitch. So I open another tab to check my email, and then I write down a few more blog ideas I had, and then I try to take a phone call while going back to finish that blog post….it’s a nasty spiral.
I am not doing so well with this one. I try to keep my tabs to a minimum and set timers for myself to knock out specific projects. I’d love to hear from y’all how you break this bad habit!
I insist on trying to cram every meeting into the same day of the week. I do it in the name of being frugal. Since I don’t use my car every day, I try to run all my errands, or take all my meetings on one of the days when I do use it. In my brain it makes sense- ‘This is a day I’ll use the car, so let’s do ALL the driving today, and not have to use it again this week! Frugal win!’
THAT’S NEVER THE CASE. Inevitably, I end up over scheduling myself on one day, and can easily lose track of things that were supposed to get done that day. That results in me getting stressed, and annoyed with myself. It’s a stupid habit. Why am I doing this to myself?!
To combat this one, I’m making a rule of no more than two meetings a day. I’ve got the time and flexibility in my schedule to spread meetings out over the week. I don’t need to have one crazy day. I’ve been seeing good success with this so far. I like being alone, but seeing people every day or every other day (outside of my house) has been really good for me!
If any of you have more tips and tricks on how to break these kinds of habits, I’m all ears!
Kara Perez is the original founder of From Frugal To Free. She is a money expert, speaker and founder of Bravely Go, a feminist financial education company. Her work has been featured on NPR, Business Insider, Forbes, and Elite Daily.