5 Bad Habits That Can Totally Wreck Your Daily Productivity and Health
Bad habits are very easy to form, but are the hardest to break. It’s because toxic behaviors are usually learned from family/friends, marketed to us, or they develop as initial rewards to ourselves, but over time, the effects can become damaging and even lethal.
Recently, I’ve had to reexamine my current daily habits and routine to determine why I was feeling so exhausted, irritable, and mildly defeated in finding enough time to finish tasks. I’m a naturopathic doctor, so I know what foods to eat, vitamins to take, and herbs to use for living healthy; and yet, it still didn’t seem to change those feelings.
The realization arrived that I needed to take a closer look at my daily behaviors and identify if I have toxic habits hurting my energy and productivity. From there, it became clear and I wanted to share the five toxic habits to consider changing if you want to increase energy, productivity, and feel better in your body.
Diving into Phone/Tablet/Computer When You Wake Up
Many of us start checking our phone or other devices as soon as we wake up. And by checking, I don’t mean glancing for the time or missed calls. It’s diving straight into emails, text messages, news stories and social media.
Now, this might seem like you’re being efficient or responsible at first, but actually, you’re shocking your nervous system. You’re overstimulating your brain with large amounts of information before you’ve even had a chance to get out the bed. Not only is this behavior addictive, but also can generate abnormal cortisol (stress hormone) which may create anxiety, depression and less motivation over time.
- Simply wake up and take some deep breaths the first 5 minutes.
- Try to avoid thinking immediately about the day and your task-list. Instead, take a moment to be present and scan your body.
Ask yourself: “What does my body and soul need to feel comfortable right now?” Maybe you need to drink some water, urinate or stretch; but whatever it is, be present with your body first and not the phone.
- Start your morning with checking-in and cuddling your favorite person or pet.
Loading Up on Caffeine to Energize Yourself
Coffee or tea are used by many to start our days and boost morning energy. And like many, I enjoy a cup of hot coffee or tea in the mornings.
Drinking multiple cups of coffee or caffeinated drinks may seem helpful for energy and focus at first, but you’re actually making your body and mind weaker over time.
High amounts of daily caffeine will strain your nervous system and start to damage adrenals.
This leads to a destructive cycle of feeling more exhausted and needing more caffeine to counter the fatigue until eventually you collapse from burnout.
- Drink hot water with lemon and aloe vera, then go step outside to sit or stand in the sunlight and breathe fresh air for 10–15 minutes.
The beverage is a great tonic for flushing your liver, kidneys and gut, which helps promote energy. The sunlight and fresh air help stimulate your adrenals and cortisol in a safer way so you feel the energy boost without the bad effects of drinking more caffeine.
Working for Hours & Skipping Breaks
I was guilty of thinking I needed to be in the office by 9AM and work non-stop, without lunch, until 8 or even 9PM in order to get things done.
Not only is this approach INSANE, but it’s not sustainable long-term. Eventually, working greater than 40-hours/week will wear you down and can lead to burnout.
- Honor your body and respect rest! Rest is essential for increasing productivity and energy.
When you feel rested, you have more energy to give and work efficiently. Breaks also help give you time away from the work to be more creative or exploratory for new ideas and solutions.
Multiple Daily Meetings & Jam-Packed Schedules
This is another toxic habit forced onto good people to cater toxic personalities (i.e. micromanagers, needy folks, worrywarts). You may be tempted to believe having more meetings and packed schedules mean you’re being productive and successful. Think again!
All-day meetings and heavy schedules are energy drains! They also suck out productivity and creativity because we waste time discussing or arguing versus actually getting things done, which is a morale-killer.
- Use your PTO or mental health days for time off to rest in cycles.
- Shift your schedule to meet with people only on certain days with less frequency.
- Consider if a commitment or responsibility can be assigned to someone else who is able to offer support.
Remember, success can be measured by many other factors, so opt for using your time more wisely. It’s OK to be less busy for the sake of health!
Caring Too Much About What People Think
With Cancel Culture in full effect, it’s hard to avoid offending people these days. It’s healthy to be mindful about how your actions affect others, but also, you can’t worry about what others think all the time.
No matter what you do, you cannot change or stop how someone will respond to you.
Everyday the news, social media, our peers constantly share information that may trigger you. Constant worrying will only run you down, and leave very little reserve for yourself. Plus, the stress may cause inflammation, high blood pressure, mental illness, emotional-eating, and other diseases as well.
- Recognize what others think does not rule your world or your decisions.
- Learn to find peace and feel secure regardless of someone else’s opinion by increasing your arsenal of grounding tools — focused breathing, meditation, or listen to calming music, to name a few.
May this insight help you reclaim more energy, productivity, and better health in the name of self-care and boundaries. Learn more tips for your health here.