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Start Your Day Right By Avoiding These 7 Bad Habits

by Corey Malinowski

Do you feel sluggish, exhausted, and just unproductive in general more days than not?

If so, you may be doing some of these things that are sure to wreck your productivity, and more importantly, your life.

The 7 Habit “Sins”

1. Get a horrible night’s sleep

Although everyone needs a different amount of sleep to function at their optimum level each day, the recommended amount of sleep for the average man is seven and a half hours. This is because we sleep in cycles of 90 minutes. When we wake during the first half of the sleep cycle, we are waking as our bodies descend into deeper sleep, and then we feel groggy and tired. This is the perfect way to start your day out badly. One natural supplement you can use take is melatonin, which is an over-the-counter supplement that will help you fall asleep faster, sleep better, and have more restorative sleep.

2. Wake up late

The evidence is clear; early risers are more successful, happier and healthier than night-owls. So get to bed early, set the alarm for an early wake-up, and witness the benefits of waking up with the sun each day.

3. Eat Fast food

Eating fast food will make you lethargic, increase your chance of getting sick, and will not provide the nutrition or energy needed to keep your mind and body focused on your job. Instead, try these foods that are sure to keep you focused and mentally fresh all day.

4. Leave late for work

Your morning commute can be stressful enough; leaving to go to work late can increase that stress exponentially. Stop-and-go traffic, slow drivers, all become that much more of a problem when you have time working against you. Setting aside a few minutes each morning to collect yourself and plan your day would allow you to take control over how you spend your time, instead of letting your day run you.

5. Stay Seated

Sitting for extended periods of time can cause all sorts of long-term health problems. To avoid this, get up and walk at least every couple of hours to stretch your legs, straighten up and get a mental break.

6. Watch the Clock, constantly

If you constantly check the clock to see what time it is, you can be assured that time will pass more slowly. You can make each minute seem like an hour, and the longer you feel like you are at work, the worse your day will become. Instead of focusing on the clock, focus on your goals and projects.

7. Be Reactive

Focusing on only the urgent and reactive work your coworkers, boss, or clients need is the surest way to feel like you’re doing great work, while actually not getting ahead on any of your main objectives. By planning your day and only taking on important work, you’ll be more likely to advance toward your professional goals.

These are just a few ways people set themselves up for an awful day. Focus on avoiding these at all costs to make sure you’re productive, professional and achieving the career success you deserve.

The Takeaway

Preventing a bad day starts with your health, so eat right, get adequate sleep and walk around at least once every couple hours to stretch your legs and reduce back strain. After that, make sure you’re spending your time at the office focused on adding value and not just watching the clock. Otherwise, those bad days are going to turn into bad weeks, months, and years…and hey, you’re better than that!


Are Better Sleepers More Engaged Workers? A Self-regulatory Approach to Sleep Hygiene and Work Engagement. Barber L, Grawitch MJ, Munz DC. Department of Psychology, Northern Illinois University, DeKalb, IL, USA.

Originally posted November 2012 and updated August 2014

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missbeth September 12, 2012 - 9:19 am

8. Show up to work and expect to be paid just for making an appearance.

Do the bare minimum amount of work, don’t take any initiative and never volunteer to help out on any project that is not specifically within your published job tasks. Then complain when you miss out on promotions, get a minimal annual raise or don’t get new assignments.

If you show up to work feeling entitled to getting the company will offer toyou, it shows that you’re only there for the paycheck, not to improve the company nor contribute to your team (or advance yourself).

Even if you don’t get a pat on the back for doing extra work or staying past 5:01pm, someone is always noticing if you go “above and beyond”, and it will pay off in the end. Go the extra mile even when you think no one is looking… there are numerous stories of people being rewarded for going the extra mile, you just need to have faith that everything will work out in the end.

You’ll sleep better knowing that you have made a positive contribution to the world, in your own little way (see No. 1).

me December 3, 2012 - 8:29 pm

to improve the company and contribute to your team…wow, you are in for a sad awakening

pauline humphreys September 7, 2012 - 8:59 pm

I would like to know.what you mean.

Comments are closed.

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