Success may seem like some unachievable or difficult goal to reach, and while it may feel that way, that simply isn’t the case. Being successful has much to do with the things we do, and even the things we don’t do. Even the simplest habits can make a major difference.

Have you ever met someone successful and noticed that they tend to live their life through a formulation of good habits? While there are some exceptions to this- the majority of successful people avoid unproductive habits and replace them with better ones. Success may be different to every one of us- but one thing is certain, a lack of productivity doesn’t often equate to success

And while certain habits may seem innocent enough- many of those innocent habits can add up, causing us to lose much time that could have been otherwise spent towards becoming more successful. If you don’t believe me, check out these 14 unproductive habits that successful people tend to avoid.

1. Getting caught up in distractions.

We’ve all done it- there we are, working on an important task or project when we pick up our phone to take a break. Before all is said and done, we’ve been watching TikTok or YouTube for over a house, and wasted time that could have been better spent. While this is going to happen sometimes- it’s important to be aware of where your time is being spent. Keep a log of everything you do for a few days, and you’d be surprised at how much time you can waste with distractions.

2. Not planning.

You don’t have to plan every little detail, but it helps to plan when your goal is a success. When you have a plan, you can expect the unexpected, and make a plan for each detail. Doing this will make it easier for you to take care of each task necessary to reach your goals.

3. Refusing to set goals.

Setting goals, writing them down, and making a plan to carry them out is so important for success. When you set goals in your mind- you are setting your intentions and taking the first step of action towards reaching them.

4. Setting unrealistic goals.

Be careful not to set unrealistic goals. For example, let’s say that you want to lose weight, so you set a goal of losing 50 pounds in one month. Not only is that not healthy, but it’s also nearly impossible to achieve. Start with small goals and use them as stepping stones towards a greater goal. Each time you reach a milestone, you will be motivated even more by your initial success, which will make you want to keep pushing towards the big goals.

5. Procrastinating.

The longer you put off an important task, the more stressed out you are going to be towards the deadline. In some cases, you may lose all motivation to even complete the task. It’s best to go ahead and get it done when it’s fresh on your mind. And as a bonus, it’s easier to enjoy breaks when you have completed tasks.

6. Skipping meals.

While it can be easy to get caught up in a task, and push eating to the side, running on low fuel is only going to result in burnout. It’s important to eat enough food because food is energy. You need nutrients to fuel you so that your brain is running full force and stabilized for success.

7. Not catching enough rest.

Going without sleep isn’t going to do you any favors. During sleep, our mind rejuvenates and re-energizes itself. When we run on low sleep, we miss details, can’t focus, and our productivity plummets. Sleeping 7-9 hours each night is recommended by the Sleep Foundation, and for good reason- you cannot run on an empty tank.

8. Avoiding exercise.

Many people may brush exercise off, believing it to be extra, or something additional rather than necessary. You definitely don’t have to spend hours in the gym, but taking a brisk 20-minute walk, squeezing in a yoga session, or doing some strength moves each day is not only beneficial to the upkeep of your physical body, but it also boosts productivity.

According to the CDC, exercise improves cognition, resulting in less anxiety, better thinking, and judgment, as well as reducing your risks for depression. Furthermore, it helps you maintain a healthy weight and helps improve sleep.

9. Frivolous spending.

You don’t have to be rich to achieve success, but it’s important to keep your finances organized. Organizing and improving your finances should be just as important as your health because it’s difficult to thrive when you use your power bill money to buy Starbucks coffee. You don’t have to be perfect- but working towards improvement can make a major difference.

10. Saying yes to everyone.

It can be hard to say no, especially when someone asks you to do something for them. However, you cannot say yes to everyone. Prioritize how you spend your time, and if you simply don’t have the time to do a lot to help someone, you aren’t a bad person for saying no.

11. Avoiding consistency.

Keeping a consistent routine is imperative to achieving success. Yes, there will be times when you cannot keep to a schedule, but maintaining as much of one as possible will help you to eat regular meals, get enough rest and keep your life on track.

12. Not feeding your passions.

You cannot live life with just work and chores. Our minds need more than that, so it’s important to understand what you enjoy and make time for it. When you feed your passions, that passion will make a ripple effect throughout the rest of your endeavors.

13. Taking too much on.

It can be tempting to pile on task after task, thinking that the more you do at once, the more you can accomplish. But, this type of thinking can be a recipe for disaster. Make sure to only take on what you can handle, leaving time for rest.

14. Choosing perfection over completion.

Perfection is not possible. If you have your intentions set up on being perfect, you will be disappointed all of the time. Instead of wanting perfection, do the best you can and adjust as needed to reach the finish line. Completing a task to the best of your ability is better than quitting because you couldn’t achieve perfection.

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