The problem with getting self-help advice is that there are two kinds. There is the kind that makes you (feel) better and the kind that makes you not feel your pain. The second kind is coping mechanisms from trauma, but often, it’ll be passed on as actual advice. The second kind is the reason why toxic self-improvement habits are so common.
Let’s have a look at three toxic self-improvement habits and why they aren’t as good as they might seem.
You multitask when you try to do several things at once. You might do it as it seems to be the best way to increase productivity. Multitasking might seem like a great way to get more done, but it isn’t. Your brain can’t focus on more than one thing at a time. When you’re multitasking, you aren’t focused on two tasks. Instead, you’re quickly switching your focus back and forth between them.
When you force yourself to switch tasks this often, you never get to be fully concentrated on what you’re doing. The quality of your work is worse, you have less energy, and it won’t be as enjoyable as it could be otherwise.
Drop the habit of multitasking and instead practice focusing intensely on one task at a time. This might be difficult at first, but you get better as you practice, and so does your work.
Related: Habit myths
Prioritizing productivity over health
One of the most toxic self-improvement habits is to think that nothing matters more than what you do. You might skip sleep, self-care, and your hobbies, to maximize your productivity. There is nothing wrong with occasionally setting everything aside to work on something. But when neglecting your health becomes a habit, it can interfere with the quality of your work and life.
First, you might begin to feel more tired, have trouble concentrating, and have a drop in your mood. As you continue to neglect your body and mind, these symptoms will become worse. You have to work more to get the same done. At this point, it’s common to get stuck in a loop until something forces you out.
Drop the habit of always prioritizing productivity over health. Allow yourself to get enough sleep, exercise, and do things you enjoy. As you do this, you might notice that the quality of your work increases, despite using less time on it.
Always working towards a goal
We all have goals and dreams in life. Something we’d like to achieve, and sometimes, we go from chasing one goal to the next without ever stopping or feeling satisfied with what we have. This drive to always get more is a common part of the hustle mentality but is one of the most toxic self-improvement habits.
When you’re always chasing a goal, you don’t get time to slow down, breathe, and enjoy where you’re at. You might forget to enjoy the process.
Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with working on your dreams. Everybody should do this to some extent. However, if you think you need to reach a certain milestone to be happy and won’t allow yourself peace before you get there, you will never find it. You’ll never be satisfied.
Don’t stop working towards your goals in life but find a way to do so while enjoying the process. Life can be wasted chasing something you don’t really care about. And when you notice, it might be too late.
Toxic self-improvement habits are often the result of misunderstood coping mechanisms.
Multitasking, prioritizing productivity over health, and always working towards a goal are three common toxic self-improvement habits.
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