Quit is such a strong word. We normally only use it when we are emphatic about stopping a negative habit like smoking, eating the wrong foods or if we stop reporting to a job or sports team. For 2013, I believe that there are some work and life habits we need to be just as passionate about quitting if we are to get the results we are really hungry for.
1) Quit multitasking. More and more research is showing that our best work is not accomplished by working (physically or mentally) on 4 or 5 tasks at once. As much as possible, fully focus on one task; complete it, and then move on to the next one. If you frequently find yourself mentally or physically switching tasks, identify the reasons, and address the underlying issues. Being busy and being productive is not the same thing.
2) Quit thinking you can get it all done. When we fool ourselves into thinking there will be enough time for everything, we weaken our resolve to prioritize tasks and make the best choices of how to spend our time. Instead, look at time as your most limited resource. Invest each minute in such a way as to get maximum return on investment.
3) Quit expecting others to always be sensitive to your situation. If you are overwhelmed at work, don’t wait for someone to notice. Let your supervisor or manager know in a professional way that you want to deliver the best results, and seek their input on how to prioritize your current workload so you don’t drown or deliver mediocre performance. Take a similar tact with your family. Before you verbally snap at them for no reason, seek their guidance on how they can help with your sense of being overwhelmed. Let them take some tasks or responsibilities you normally handle. In another season, you will do the same for them.
4) Quit beating yourself up about what isn’t getting done. Remember as a child when you were so excited about showing a parent something you had done on your own. You expected to be praised, but instead they told you what was wrong with your efforts? We inflict that same type of distress on ourselves when we focus on the tasks that aren’t being accomplished. If we are correctly prioritizing our life and work activities, the things that aren’t getting done really are not that important anyway.
5) Quit being electronically available 24/7. Reflection and time to ponder have been buried in the onslaught of smartphones, tablets and social media. We desperately need these moments of sacred idleness to stay in touch with our deepest thoughts and plans. Living life on the surface rarely yields ideas or insights we can use to improve our current situation. Resist the urge to use electronic device just because you have a couple minutes of time on your hands. Instead take some deep cleansing breaths and think beyond the present moment. Like stopping any bad habit or leaving a job, quitting any of these five things won’t be easy. Take small steps and celebrate your progress-often. Soon you may find that in these cases, quitting was the best thing you ever did for yourself.
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