4 Habits From 2017 To Get Rid Of In 2018

While the rest of the world obsesses over what new habit to start for 2018 — perhaps we should be thinking about what habits we ought to eliminate entering the new year.

Here are five habits that most of us, corporate employees and entrepreneurs alike, should consider getting rid off before the new year.

1. Stop giving in to requests for unproductive appointments.

You’ll often hear me say, “Time is slippery.”

This is why, if you’re serious about achieving your goals this coming year, you have to treat your time like a commodity.

Stop giving space in your day to people and events that play no significant role in propelling you forward. If it doesn’t make you better, then don’t give it room in your calendar.

Starting right now, give your calendar exclusivity status. If people are seeking to access your time, make sure their agenda adds value to your life.

2. Stop taking your cellphone to bed.

Although there could be other contributing factors, taking your mobile device to bed could be the reason why you’re having trouble waking up in the morning.

Melatonin is the hormone our bodies need to fall asleep. As our melatonin increases, so does our desire to sleep. But what you might not have known is that the back-light glaring from your smart device can actually decrease your melatonin production, in turn, ruin your sleep cycle for that evening.

Moving forward, try disengaging from all of your mobile devices one full hour before bedtime. This will allow your body to naturally unwind and fall asleep.

3. Stop checking voicemails and emails as soon as they arrive.

Now, before anything, I totally understand that some of the voicemails and emails we receive require an immediate response. But the key word there is “some”.

If you were to calculate, off the top of your head, what percentage of the voicemails and emails that you receive fall into the “Rapid Response” bucket?

Unless you’ve purposely set yourself up as the sole decision maker in your business or workplace (please learn to delegate if you have) more than likely 90% of the voicemails and emails you receive do not require DEFCON 5 response. In fact, most of them can wait several hours.

Here’s a dynamic, all-powerful, strategically efficient method to handle this:

JUST STOP CHECKING YOUR VOICEMAILS AND EMAILS IMMEDIATELY!

If it’s not an emergency and you’re in the middle of something, then just slide the notification off your screen and carry on.

In the beginning this will require a little restraint, but the feeling of saying “NO!” to something that regularly hijacks our focus and attention is liberating.

If you want to take it one step further and go full-blown “Four Hour Work Week” on it, record your voicemail greeting to say the following:

“Hi, thanks for calling. I regularly check my voicemails at 12pm and 4pm. If this is an absolute emergency or something that requires an immediate response, please send me a text message and I will try to get back with you as soon as I can. Have a nice day!”

4. Stop letting group text messages pull your away from important work.

I’m a member of several social groups. Now, besides the great amount of connections and camaraderie that come along with these associations, one of the things that absolutely drives me up the wall are all the group text blasts that go out every…single…day.

Once that one text goes out, you can count on your phone’s battery plummeting from all of the replies.

For some of us who can’t remove ourselves from the conversation — either due to our fear of offending those in the group or because IOS doesn’t allow it — do what I do and refrain from replying to any of the texts unless it is totally necessary.

To keep myself focused on my “ONE THING”, I hide the alerts on the group text itself. After I’m done with what I was working on, I give myself a few minutes to look through my texts to see if there is anything important for me to know. If not, I move on.

So, here’s to entering 2018 without 2017’s bad habits! What do ya say?!

This story is published in The Startup, Medium’s largest entrepreneurship publication followed by 277,994+ people.

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