The online lists of good habits to adopt are long and easy to find. The lists of bad habits that you need to quit are longer and even easier to find. Yes I do mean everyone having their own opinion on what exactly a bad habit is. However there is an unspoken land of habits that is not often talked about and that land is called normalized bad habits. The habits that since everyone is doing them they are no longer considered bad habits while they very much still are. It’s time we take a look at these normalized bad habits so we can take the normal part out of them.
- 11 Normalized Bad Habits That Aren’t So Normal
11 Normalized Bad Habits That Aren’t So Normal
It’s safe to say that comfort has gone up a few notches on our priority list this year. We usually get comfortable and then get busy with basically any and everything, for some even while ironing. I might have a scar to prove it, I said I might! Anyways all this working while being comfortable has normalized the bad habit of slouching.
Before we continue I have a serious question to ask you. Have you ever stopped and thought about how you sit at your desk at work or on the couch while scrolling all the apps? I bet you haven’t and I bet that once you do you will discover that we will place ourselves in some pretty awkward positions and call them highly comfortable. Sometimes even without noticing.
They might feel highly comfortable but oftentimes these are positions in which our body is all slouched and are thus quite frankly terrible for the body. Continuous pressure is being asserted on body parts that should be relieved every so often, but we don’t because of comfort.
The worst thing about this is the fact that we don’t really notice the damage that we are doing to our bodies by straining our muscles and joints while slouching. Noticing the damage comes way later, perhaps even years later which is why this bad habit needs to be stopped now before it is irreversible.
Wiggle a little when you are sitting for a long amounts of time. Switch positions as I just know that you have more than one comfy one. Perhaps create a switching routine?
2. Over Using Your Phone
First we were in a trend where the phones kept getting smaller and smaller, then it was as flat as possible and now as powerful as possible, which is great except it is helping us normalize the bad habit of being on our phones for any and everything.
Of course the amount of things you can do on your phone has greatly to do with the type of phone you have and with the apps that you then can use. The problem is there’s an app for basically everything so even if we completely leave scrolling social media out of the equation there are still multiple things that you can do for hours on end, even productive things.
Let me give you an example of something I have been catching myself to lately. I will now turn off my laptop, prepare to start winding down for the day and then pick up my phone and continue doing most of the things I was doing on my laptop. Mind you, I do not have any social media downloaded on my phone or my laptop for that matter. I’m busy running My Story Of I or Let’s Write which I can from just my phone.
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It’s time to put the phone down. I know I am not the only one giving you this advice, but it is one that is important. The fact that our phones are becoming more powerful with each new release means that we can do more while we should be doing less on out phones. The message to take home: Don’t use your phone as you do your laptop!
3. Postponing Anything You Can
With our current emphasis on planning everything it is also really easy to postpone things even when you are literally planning every moment of your days. See the dangers that come with planning cannot be ignored.
The first danger is overplanning. Yes even when you are a great planner you can still overplan when you don’t take fluctuations of the day into account. It’s there that the postponing comes into play for some. Logical because when you plan more things to do in a day then there are hours available to do them something has got to give. The danger in ‘’something has gotta give’’ is you realizing that not doing something doesn’t quite wreck your life as you previously might have thought it would. Thus then when the time comes to revise the planning that item can be pushed back basically indefinitely.
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4. Snoozing Your Alarm Daily
This one is widely known but I still wanted to include it as I know many people do a version of this but call it by a different name. Yes, if you’re wondering I am one of those people sometimes! I’m not perfect in any sense.
The type of snoozing I mean is not your everyday snoozing. So setting your alarm at the hour that you have to wake up but as soon as it alerts you, you hit snooze. Of course that is a bad habit in and of its own but not really one that we have normalized. The bad habit that we have normalized is setting several alarms to accommodate our snoozing.
Let’s say you have to get up at 7.00AM, in order to accommodate your snooze time, or as many call it a little bit of allowed extra time to sleep, you set your alarm for 06.30AM and maybe also 06.45AM. This is a very shy example of how people do it. I have been told that there is a pool of people who take it back all the way to an hour and set the alarm every 5 min. Yikes!
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The dangers of snoozing your alarm daily in this matter is that you still run the same risks as if you were to snooze at 7AM. You can still be late. Essentially what you are doing with this snoozing life hack is startling yourself awake multiple times. Now let’s be honest, that really surpasses the purposes now does it? Hence the yikes when thinking of the people having an alarm go off every 5 min.
The better option would be to set the alarm indeed earlier but then have something calm and easy for you to do to wake you up. Many a guru recommends working out but I personally need to be fully awake if I want my first appointment of the day not to be at the hospital. To each their own. Maybe make yourself a lovely tea, meditate, watch a video in bed, basically anything that makes sure you don’t fall asleep again. Also, you still need that 7AM alarm to alert you when your leisure time is up.
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5. Being Busy VS. Being Productive
Being busy has on its own become a marker for success. But not only for success but also for your social status. Having no time to socialize because you are so busy is seen as a great thing. However it is very much not for a multitude of reasons.
The most important one is the difference between being busy and being productive. I could write a stand-alone post about this to be honest. Being very busy does not automatically mean that you are very productive and are also getting a lot of things done. It might seem that way when looking simply at the highlight reel of things but highlight reels are a far cry from the truth.
Being productive means actually getting things done. Those two are the same. It means you are actually working on the things you should be and things are getting accomplished. However our current society is more obsessed with being busy which seems to include any and everything you have to do. So you could be busy scrolling the socials and still confuse that with being productive as you were doing so while sitting in front of your laptop with your work open.
Unfortunately that’s not how it works but it is what has been normalized. Scrolling the socials can honestly be replaced with any meaningless activity that keeps you occupied. When working with deadlines eventually you will be properly busy as during the time you were ‘’busy’’ working on the project nothing productive got done which now does have to happen.
In normalizing being busy we have kind of also normalized not being productive.
6. Overworking yourself
Overworking yourself can be a stand alone problem but can also be an extension of looking busy and not being productive while being busy. Read that again.
Let’s discuss the latter one first. As I said before, being busy and being productive is not the same thing. When you have been busy for a long time without actually getting things done it is basically unpreventable that there will come a time where you will have to roll up your sleeves and finally get the work done. Now depending on what it is you didn’t do and how close you are to it needing to be finished, it might mean that you will have to give up on other things in order to get it done.
We have a very affectionate word for when the above situation happens to us; ‘’crunch time’’. It has become normalized in a positive as well as in a negative way. A positive way it has become normalized is during the final minutes of a sports match. Now why is it not problematic there? Because there is a definite time limit to how long the crunch time lasts. In other areas such as in the example above that is not the case. But you said a deadline was in place? Yes I did. However I also said people give up things in order to get maximum time to finally work meaning their crunch time doesn’t have a proper end and start. Something we as humans do need if you value sleeping and eating. You should value those things!
As you can see not only has the bad habit of overworking yourself been triggered but it brought friends. The bad habits of skipping sleep and meals. Also habits that have been normalized for crunch time moments.
Next to overworking due to not having been productive there is simply overworking due to overworking. Our society has become much more demanding and overworking has become the way to keep up with demand. Overworking is either expected via your job or sometimes even demanded. Before we continue I want to say that even though overworking is a bad habit I do understand why it happens in this case.
Getting a job can be really difficult thus making some amends that aren’t always the best is sometimes needed even when not desired. I understand that fully but still want to highlight that overworking is a normalized habit that is not okay whether it be expected in order to keep your job or demanded both are not okay. Yes there are circumstances to this, but this is truly a case of just because it has become normalized doesn’t mean that it is okay and therefore should continue.
I recognize that there is broader conversation to be had about this.
Overworking also happens with people who work as sole proprietors. When you are wearing many hats it almost seems logical that you are overworking yourself. It’s there where the clue is, sole proprietors are overworking themselves. It is an issue of having boundaries set between you and you. But I have to say that I get it. You want the best for your company so you give it all you got. Normal behavior, however the bad habit is not knowing how to best give it all you got. Having boundaries between you and you is a good thing and will not automatically mean that your company will fail!
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7. No sleep or irregular sleep
I don’t know whether this one is the worst one on the list but it definitely is up there. The social status that comes with, in my eyes, boasting about not having slept but still made it through your day has to stop being normalized. Not sleeping is not something to joke about. It is not something that we should be normalizing in any way or form.
Your body needs sleep. Your brain needs sleep. You need sleep in order to function at the high level people claim to function at when they are sleep deprived. Not sleeping enough literally is chipping away at your health one night at a time. Not sleeping enough is not healthy for you at all. It is not something that we, as a society, should put a badge of honor on in any way or form. The fact that we have normalized this literally means that there are a lot of people risking their health consciously.
Now don’t get me wrong we’ve all consciously pulled an all nighter here or there. For example for school or because we went out partying. Here or there is okay, no one is perfect and sometimes circumstances just don’t allow another way. That’s all perfectly fine. Here or there is absolutely no problem. The problems arise with the normalization of it. The fact that we have made it into a habit with a badge of honor on it, that is problematic. It’s a bad habit that everyone needs to quit yesterday.
8. Overeating Instagram foods
Another trip down the highlight reel path. There has been research done that the proportions shown online are much more than anyone would be eating normally. This ranges from Nutella on your bread to bowls of cereal to whole dinners. Meaning that overeating is right around the corner if it is not already happening silently.
Over on the gram everything has to be bigger and better because why else share it, right? Well that train of thought might translate into real life where it simply doesn’t work. It doesn’t work because in real life there are consequences. A picture on the gram is just a picture on the gram but us eating kilos of cake does have its influence. We have so normalized sharing our meals in a way that is appealing that we, very likely without even knowing, created portion sizes that look good on the gram but might not work in real life.
Another thing that has come out of research is that the things we tend to share aren’t always the healthiest as those were considered boring. This of course influences what you think you need to be eating. Even though in real life people aren’t eating quite the same as they show on the gram. Yes, even avocado toast isn’t the healthiest when you are eating it everyday in bigger portions than recommended. The normalized dissonance is problematic especially because it appears to live very much under the radar.
9. Overcommitting yourself and your time
Yes! Sure! Answers that are used far too many times by some leading to overcommitting their time. This is the polar opposite of the people who are always busy. Well, this group is always busy too but they are always busy with saying yes to so many things at once. Spreading themselves super thin.
Yes, being there for people and helping is important but stretching ourselves thin isn’t the way to go about it. You can’t pour from an empty cup as they say. This holds true even when you get joy from helping people!
Another way that we might be overcommitting our time is to combat the fear of missing out. Everyone wants to be everywhere to have experienced everything. In theory this seems amazing but in practice it really isn’t the way to go. Simply because trying to be everywhere will lead to being nowhere. There’s only one of you and the time you have to give away is directly tied to you always.
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10. Sitting a lot
Would you be surprised if I told you that sitting is the new smoking? According to research it is, but there are also many that refute the claim. So now we’re left in limbo. However what we do know for sure is that sitting for extended periods of time is not good for you. Some of the dangers have to do with your metabolic syndrome such as high blood pressure to name one according to the Mayo Clinic.
We work a lot in offices, even though due to the world circumstances that might now be the kitchen table, where we are required to sit at our desks for the grand part of our work day. These offices are usually set up in ways that are convenient. So the trash can is close by, everyone has a telephone on the desk for example. All things that make sense and probably increase productivity. However it might down life longevity. With a setup as the way above it might be that the only time you get up is to use the restroom, copy room or go home. This of course means that the day to day movement isn’t a lot.
To mend the gap it has been suggested to get up and move for two minutes, perhaps even a super quick walk, every 30 minutes. I realize the implication of that. It means breaking your concentration every 30 minutes. However I have a question as a rebuttal: do you want to live longer, healthily?
11. Jumping on every Trend
Now here is something that is a bad habit for my favourite reason. Before we get into that though I have a question. Why is every trend interesting to follow? Do you like every trend that comes out?
Now that you have thought about those questions let’s get into why following every trend is not beneficial at all. In case it wasn’t clear, the reason for it being a bad normalized habit is because you might be inviting things into your life that you don’t actually like just for the sake of fitting in or being on trend.
I am well aware that fitting in is a problem in and of its own but that is even more reason to stop and think. Because do you want to fit into things you don’t actually like? The problems with this normalized bad habit are many as you can already suspect by the one I just highlighted but they all come down to one of the pillars of My Story Of I, which is thinking for yourself. By hopping on every trend just because it is a trend you put yourself at risk completely hiding away your own opinion and desires.
You run the risk of being someone who you are not which can lead to severe dissociation and unhappiness. Stopping to think if you like the trend and then engaging in it is the way to go. It’s the way to go for most if not all things in your life. It should start with thinking by yourself for yourself if this is something you truly want to engage in.
Now I am not saying that trying it out and then forming an opinion is bad. Not at all actually. The saying goes:
‘’Curiosity killed the cat, but satisfaction brought it back’’– Ben JONSON (So i’ve been told)
When your reason to try out a trend is your curiosity about it, that is absolutely fine. We all get curious and it’s a great way to find out if something is for you. However sticking with it just because it is on trend while having discovered that you don’t like it, now that is problematic but something that unfortunately happens a lot.
So how many of these normalized bad habits are a part of your life? When are you going to start quitting them? If you need help & guidance in quitting any of them be sure to book a free discovery chat to see how you can be coached through finally quitting your bad habit.
Just because something is a normal habit, doesn’t mean that it is a good habit.
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