If you’re anything like me, the slightest beep on your phone can easily turn into a 36 minute waste of time switching from application to application as you procrastinate your way away from your success. As a creative individual, I have some of the most bizarre and self sabotaging habits that are borderline narcissistic, but I’ve learned to love and accept them because they are the ingredients that make me uniquely me. As productive and focused as I may think I am, I always feel there’s room for improvement and I enjoy challenging myself into creating a better version of myself.
Here are 12 things I changed about my usual habits and how they benefited my life for the better.
This Past Week I…
Eliminated The Useless Conversation
It’s actually not difficult to fall into the vicious trap of bitchy, gossipy conversations revolving around negativity and the lives of other people. In reality, what is the point of dissecting someone else’s life choices over a coffee? There is no point and it’s a blatant waste of your time and energy. Lately I’ve been very weary of the value people bring into my life and where our conversations lead to. There are people that I know who make me feel drained after we part and continue on with our lives and there are many others who lift my vibration and make me feel anything is possible without doubting my ability. This past week I have eliminated the useless conversation and yes, often at times it is difficult to avoid these types of conversations especially if they live with you but I’ve set a rule where these kinds of people have no more than 5 minutes of my time, with less contribution on my behalf. Less shit talk, more AK time.
Put My Mobile on Airplane Mode While I Slept
I’ve got no idea why I didn’t start doing this a long time ago. In the past week I have switched my phone to Airplane mode an hour before I fall asleep and do not allow myself to check or browse any applications until the next day. Not only does this allow me to slowly zen out and focus on getting myself to sleep without mobile distractions but for a change, I’m not relying on my phone to tire me and put me to sleep which in itself is a big No-No and health hazard. Plus, there’s no longer any access to a potential late night booty call.
Didn’t Check my Mobile First Thing in The Morning
In the past, my alarm would go off on my mobile, as I was turning it off or putting it on snooze, I’d check all the messages I’d accumulated while I was asleep, check Instagram, then my Facebook feed, send birthday messages and before I knew it, 30-40 minutes had already passed. What a waste of time and I still hadn’t even gotten out of bed yet! There were even mornings where from one email, I didn’t even want to face the day, how ridiculous is that!? This week I made the conscious decision to not check my phone first thing in the morning but to keep it in Airplane mode until I had showered, put clothes on, made my tea and sat at my desk. At that point, I was ready for anything.
Got Ready For Work in The Morning
As I am self employed, my office is anywhere I want it to be and fortunately I am able to work from the comfort of my own home. Traditionally this means, I am more than likely going to get my work done in some comfortable attire such as a tracksuit or my pyjamas. I have whipped up some magic in my pyjamas in the past! However, over the past week, I have purposely gotten ready and changed as though I were going to a normal office job. This meaning, hair and make up done, a smart casual outfit and leather shoes. I treated every day as though I were heading into big meetings that would change my life and in return received a real emotional boost of confidence and discipline towards my work. Another little thing I did and I read about it first on Gala Darling was to wear lipstick while working. She noted it was her way of boosting her confidence and getting her into “Girl Boss Work Mode.” Worked for me too!
I also have this strange thing where I can’t function unless I’m wearing a bra, does anyone else have this strange habit?
Did Not Drink Coffee
London is full of amazing things and coffee is certainly one of them, if you know where to go. In my early-mid twenties I had a major caffeine problem and would drink a few coffees plus a couple of energy drinks a day just to get by. In the last year I’ve noticed my desire for a coffee is not so strong anymore and I probably have one a week, if even that. I stick to my tea and plenty of water to stay hydrated now and have found I’m not wide awake after 12am and buzzing from my caffeine fix earlier in the day.
Wrote in My 5 Minute Journal
I’ve continually bombarded my readers with the importance of gratitude and the benefits it has had in my own life. I have a firm belief that it’s impossible to move forward without being grateful for everything you currently have access to in your waking life. To keep myself accountable, each morning and evening I set aside a couple of minutes and write in my Five Minute Journal which has been carefully put together by gratitude gurus Alex Ikonn and Uj Ramdas. Not only do I consider this as a form of meditation, it is also the perfect way I remain mindful of the blessings in my life.
Put Aside a Few Hours to Read Each Day
About 5 years ago, I used to read a new book every week but then life happened and I got busy, dismissing my favourite pastime. This week I decided to get myself into a little routine by setting aside 2 hours a day to read a book, any book with a highlighter pen by my side. Do you do that too? I’m currently back into The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin which was given to me by my former boss two years ago but much more relevant to my life now. Sometimes if I’m at my desk and not feeling too inspired, I’ll pick up the book, put my phone on Airplane mode and just read. I’ll be done with the book soon so I’m open to any recommendations on what I should read next….
Read a Book Before Bed
I’ll admit to a pretty bad habit I’ve had in the past, I would put on Netflix or catch up on my favourite YouTubers right before I’d fall asleep. Now, not only is this bad for your eyes but also keeps you fairly wired, defeating the purpose of ever getting into bed to relax and fall asleep naturally. Over the past week, I’ve gotten into a habit of reading a book instead. I’m currently enjoying Marcus Aurelius, Meditations as his stoic teachings have me focused and a step ahead for the next day.
Absolutely NO Alcohol While working
If there was one image that could depict me as ‘Adriana The Creative Writer and Thinker,’ it would be the iconic laptop and glass of wine to my right, sitting in a chic cafe somewhere in Chelsea. In the past, I have used alcohol to boost my creativity and in some cases, it was a very useful tool but now I have replaced alcohol with tea. Not only is alcohol not really going down in my system the way it once did (who would have thought the day would come?!), I just find I’m less productive and more prone to distractions. I know you’re probably sitting there and reading this saying, “no shit Sherlock” but I was once a highly functional alcoholic. You can read more about it here.
I’ve recently adopted this technique after it was mentioned in one of Alex Beadon‘s highly informative and candid Snapchat videos. The Pomodoro Technique is a system whereby you work ferociously for a set amount of time (traditionally 25 minutes), without a single distraction and take a short break (usually 5 minutes) before getting back into your work. I use this method religiously now, putting my phone on Airplane mode and switching off any tabs and Applications on my laptop that may hinder my focus. In the past, I have used Stay-Focused to reduce the temptation of accessing Social Media while on deadlines. I do recommend the Application and believe it has evolved significantly over the last two years to suit your requirements.
Started a Conversation With Strangers
What is the point of this point you may ask? Well firstly, London in particular is full of some very interesting people and while on the outside people may look scary and immersed in their own personal worlds, I think if you look outside the bubble, you’ll notice a person who is equally as fascinated in creating a connection as you are. London is the loneliest city in the world yet one of the best, I hear second to New York- I’ll decide this after my 30th next year. What is the point of being here if you’re going to be deflecting any kind of interaction and connection with people? I’m a firm believer that there is something to learn from everyone.
The other day I was going down in my lift and it stopped inconveniently a few floors down and had me thinking, “What the fuck! When do I ever see anyone in my building?” This ended up being the opening line to a conversation that started in the lift and then down the street with one of my neighbours and new friends.
I AM ENOUGH
During the refurbishment of my overall day to day activities, I had a minor breakdown- What a lovely, well timed coincidence but I can assure you, it’s timing is relevant. Only two people knew about the finer details of this three hour anxiety attack which was reminiscent of the period before my fashion styling dreams came true several years ago back in Australia. I’m not going to blame my past issues with Upper Limit Problem because at the moment I have no fucking time to run away and hide in my shell and this was no longer an option- shit was happening. There’s no backing down now. I started getting freaked out by the response of my work and felt I wasn’t worthy of the praise and recognition I was getting.
Why was it that each time I began to enter the “click” period before the next phase, I doubted myself and my abilities? It’s a mind numbing habit that I’m certain stems back to my childhood. Anyways, as I’ve mentioned a few times on my blog- When the student is ready, the teacher will appear. Who miraculously appeared on my YouTube feed in my moment of personal crisis? Marisa Peer. The video was titled, The Biggest Disease Affecting Humanity: “I’m Not Enough.” She stressed the importance of familiarising ourselves with praise and unfamiliarising ourselves with criticism. I had a bad habit of this where if you told me you liked something I was wearing for example, I’d respond by saying “Oh, I got it on sale,” or, “It’s old.” Like any of that matters. I rejected the praise by adding a negative connotation instead of owning the compliment. The same applied for my work. There have been so many posts where I pondered if I should release out into the universe and those were the posts that always received the greatest response from all over the world. And let’s not get started on the two years it took me to begin building a YouTube community. We’ll save that for another post.
Marisa Peer emphasises the importance of a daily mantra revolving around “I am enough.” Write it on your mirror, stand it front of it every single day and tell yourself you are enough. If you’d like to take it a step further, you can also finish these affirmations (I like to write them out so I can look back on my progress)-
- I am proud that I…
- I forgive you for…
- I commit to you that…
That’s what I’ve been doing for the past week and my goodness, there is a noticeable spring in my step and brighter light around my aura these days!
What are some of your bad habits of the past and what steps have you taken to change them? Do you identify with anything on my personal list? Do you use daily affirmations? Leave your comments below, I always enjoy hearing from you.