After reading one of my post on Tales of Nigerians, a guy walked into my facebook inbox with a question:
Hy, Pascal, I am confused, I have followed you for a while now and felt you may have an answer to my ever bugging question. Please sir, Which common habit is the biggest waste of time?, I have tried so many things and felt I am wasting a lot of time on so many things and its now becoming a habit.
I told him I will get back to him through a public post.
Over the past few years, I’ve become OBSESSED with cracking the “code” to success and demystifying what it really takes to live a world-class life.
Along the way, I’ve interviewed 200+ Successful Entrepreneurs, millionaires, billionaires, thought leaders, and industry titans to figure out how the average person can live an extraordinary life.
One of the most common questions I ask my guests is, “What habits do you follow? Which habits do you avoid?”
Here are just a few of the habits that my respondents have recommended you AVOID at all costs (I promise, a few of them will surprise you).
1. Working Too Hard
I know this might not make immediate sense to some of you, but I promise you that this is, bar none, one of the WORST habits that most people believe is actually beneficial.
Working long hours is actually detrimental to productivity. Your brain needs time to rest and reset so that it can figure out problems and come up with unique solutions. This can only be achieved by striking a balance between work and play
After a certain point, working more is about vanity, not lifestyle. That time would be better spent with family and friends or pursuing other interests
Working too hard is bad for your health and inevitably leads to burnout and anxiety. It’s simply not sustainable in the long run. It’s better to spend 5 years working 9 hours/day 5 days/week than three years working 16 hours a day 7 days a week and then falling into severe anxiety.
Work hard! Yes.
But don’t spend so much time trying to make a living that you forget to make a life.
2. Watching the News
Let me ask you something…
When you last watched the news, how did you life change?
When you listened to NTA, Chsnnels or CNN talk about the Boko-haram and Nigerian Politics, did it impact your life directly? Were you able to make a difference in has been there since independence? Did you have any control over who wins Lagos state election or Presidential election next year?
Of course not!
Watching the news is the ultimate waste of time. You aren’t informing yourself. You’re buying into a load of hyped up bullshit designed to keep you scared and distract you from the realities in your life.
If you must stay up to date on the news, download a reliable news app on your phone and visit it once in a day.
I’ve NEVER met a successful person who watches the news on a regular basis. It’s simply not a useful way to spend your time.
3. Reading Self Help Material
You didn’t expect this one, did ya?
Well, allow me to explain what I mean.
There is a fundamental difference between reading self help material and using self help material.
Reading an endless stack of books without ever taking action on what you learn is the ultimate waste of time because it gives you the illusion of hard work and progress without requiring any real effort.
Instead, I recommend that you:
Follow the 1:3 ratio. For every one hour of consuming self help material spend 3 hours implementing it and taking action
Only read books that are hyper relevant to your current problems. Ironically, reading too many self help books can make you feel like you have more problems than you really do.
Use self help like a medication and only turn to it when you have a problem or need information to find a specific solution
Most self help books are redundant as hell. Stick to classics like Awaken the Giant Within, The Rockefeller Habits, and Way of the Superior Man, most new books provide little insight into new strategies and tactics.
Yes, you should read a LOT. But don’t allow reading to be the only form of action you take.
Education is only worth a damn if you implement it.
4. Waking Up Early
If you are one of those freaks (just kidding) who actually enjoys waking up with the sunrise and find that you naturally wake up early feeling refreshed and ready to tackle the day… Then do it.
But if you are FORCING yourself to rise earlier than your body wants just so you can wear some weird badge of honor, I’ve got news for you…
You aren’t accomplishing ANYTHING.
Many studies have shown that there is NO difference in socioeconomic standing between people who are “Morning Larks” and “Night Owls”.
It doesn’t matter what hour you wake up, only what you do with those hours.
I run a 7-figure business and manage over 15 employees at different business locations. Smiles
Guess what? I stay awake all through the night but then, a colleague of mine who owns more than I do wakes up by 09:00am and he is super successful than I am.
Wake up when you feel ready and when your body is fully recovered, you’ll perform far better than when you deprive yourself of sleep to join the 5 a.m. club.
5. Drinking Alcohol
Plain and simple.
Getting drunk is the dumbest habit you can follow.
It drains your wallet, kills your liver, and makes you act like an idiot. No hard feelings though.
I’m all for moderate alcohol consumption. But if you don’t have the success you desire and you’re getting plastered every week, you need to rethink your priorities.
Hope this helps.
I will write more on other issues that bothers young people.