We all have certain habits that we know are bad, but we aren’t sure how to change.
Whether it’s that chocolate glazed donut that calls your name from the bakery box that your coworker left in the break room or continually hitting the snooze button on the alarm clock, you know you shouldn’t be indulging these habits, but you just can’t seem to help yourself.
However, the key to swapping out bad habits for better ones is to keep the new habits small. The less time it takes to incorporate good habits, the easier it will be to keep them up. Here’s a list of five small habits that can make your life better, both in and out of your office.
1. Update your to-do list
If you have a master to-do list that contains both your daily tasks and long-term items, it can seem overwhelming to see your list grow and grow as more items are added.
One way to make it more manageable is to separate out your most import daily tasks from the master list. Breaking your to-do list into smaller pieces can make it more manageable and easier for you to make progress in paring down tasks.
2. Learning to say no
Feeling as though you can’t say no can be a hard habit to break. There are only so many hours in a day, so learning to manage your time better can help you be more productive. Something as simple as reducing the amount of time you spend on social media during work hours, or setting aside specific times of the day to read and answer emails adds up to save you time that you can use for other projects.
3. Sort through your reading material
There comes a point at which you realize that it is time to sort through your professional reading material. Fortunately, the advent of the digital age has made this much easier to clear out newspapers, magazines and journals. Online subscriptions can help you clear out all the paper copies of your reading material at home. This is also a great time to update the reading material in your waiting room.
4. Stop snoozing
The temptation to hit the snooze button on your alarm clock is strong. While sleeping another five minutes may not seem to be a big deal, it can add up if you hit the snooze bar more than once. Instead, think of it as though you are making a promise.
Tell yourself every night that you are going to get up at a certain time in the morning and keep that promise when that alarm goes off in the morning. Of course, you will have the added bonus of more hours in the day to get things done.
5. Center yourself
As a DC, you give so much of yourself to your patients that you may find yourself depleted and low on energy at the end of the day. Getting in the habit of a quick, daily yoga or meditation practice can help you center yourself for the start of a busy day. Even taking five or 10 minutes to run through a set of sun salutations can put you in the right frame of mind for a full day of seeing patients.
It may seem an insurmountable task to break yourself of bad habits. The truth is that if you can find ways to make good changes, little by little, you will start to see benefits, which will inspire you to stick to those better habits, as well as inspire you to look for even more ways to improve yourself.