In this hyper-connected age of unending distraction and juggling tasks, inattentiveness and lack of focus in what you’re doing or what you should do is a major problem. We love to multitask – doing multiple things at the same time and giving lesser attention to each of them. But multitasking is the wrong way of doing things. While you think you may be doing everything at once and thus getting a lot done, nothing is done well. Only when you give your total attention to what you’re currently doing, the job will be done best.
Giving your total, undivided attention to something is not easy these days. Your super-connected phone is always there ready to distract you, and the pull of other distractions is hard to resist. The mind needs some time to effectively switch between tasks, and when you don’t give that time, you don’t have focus. According to some researches, multitasking can reduce productivity by as much as 40 percent. Sure, us humans are good at certain types of multitasking, those that don’t require much brain-power. Like you can walk and chew gum at the same time. But when it comes to tasks that require attention, multitasking falls apart.
There are some ways you can ditch the multitasking habit and learn to focus. Start focusing on one task for moderate periods of time, instead of trying long stretches. Gradually build your capacity. Meditation helps build focus, too. Do things one at a time. With total attention.
2. Drugs Addiction
The ‘badness’ of a drug habit cannot be debated. While all addictions are bad habits, addictions larger in severity than bad habits. But the thing is, every addiction starts as a habit. Drug abuse is a very real problem in our society today. The number of drug addicts grows every day. And addictions are habits which are as difficult to quit as they are easy to start. People addicted on the most common types of drugs are heavily dependent upon them, and the dependence is both physical and mental. Many people start the habit as a form of recreation, but are trapped in a vicious circle because later they must consume their object of addiction just to feel normal and avoid its withdrawal effects.
Drug addiction creates a lot of problems for the person in question, the society and everyone around him or her. Addicts need huge amounts of money to feed their addiction, and when that’s not available they turn to crime. The detrimental effects of abused substances upon the health of the abuser is extremely serious. Drug addiction is a problem that needs to be solved, and a habit that should not be started. If you already are an addict, seek professional help for quitting.
Yes, this tops the list. Procrastination is the single most common bad habit that we all have. Its the practice of carrying out less urgent and easy tasks in preference to ones that are more important and maybe more difficult. Everyone procrastinates now and then, but when you procrastinate on everything and anything, that becomes a real problem. When you put off every important task to the last minute and miss all the deadlines every time, that’s chronic procrastination.
Procrastination is a consequence of our brains also that evolution has hard-wired us to prefer short-term gains rather than accepting some tedium now for a long-term benefit. We seek to spend the least possible amount of energy now, even if that may mean doing more later. But procrastination, in most cases, is not so overpowering and compulsive that it is impossible to deal with. You have to be aware of the habit and face it when the tendency occurs. Say to yourself, “Ill have to do this assignment now, I will not have the time later. Lets finish the boring work before the exciting ones.” Its the way with beating every bad habit. You have to be conscious and you have to avoid it.
So that’s it. There are a lot more very common bad habits than those listed here, but you know, bad habits aren’t meant to be just listed. They’re meant to be recognized, accepted, and gradually removed. Bad habits permeate our lives and dictate a lot of our behaviour, bad habits make us what we wish not to become. But habits are not dark wells you can’t escape from, its not like you’re trapped forever. With patience, with willpower, with self-belief and self-confidence, you can beat these bad habits. Gradually. Because habits don’t break or form in a day. You can’t change habits overnight. You have to gradually progress from mindlessly following your habit to gradually controlling it and getting rid of it altogether.
Break the bad habits, but one at a time. Set the good ones, also one at a time.