Daily Practices that Sabotage Your Influence

Most of the things you do are done without thinking. That doesn’t mean you’re not purposeful about your life. We simply make too many decisions each day to think about them all.

Habits are a necessary way to automate routine behaviors such as getting your morning coffee or checking the mail.

The problem is that you may have developed negative habits without realizing it. Because you no longer think about these behaviors, you’re unlikely to notice how they sap your energy and undermine your leadership.

Here are five habits every leader needs to break.

  1. Complaining

Few people notice how often negative words escape their lips. If you have a tendency to complain, it simply seems like a normal reaction to frustrating or stressful circumstances. It’s not.

Complaining reinforces the idea that you are helpless, always at the mercy of other people’s decisions. It takes the wind out of your sails, and it’s like a stomach punch to those around you.

Replace complaints with positive speech. Don’t talk about what’s wrong but what you can do to make it better.

  1. Responding to Online Notifications

These include social media messages, email, text messages, and the dozens of pop ups from the apps on your smartphone. Though each one takes only a second or two to process, the aggregate effect is monumental. These notices break your concentration, interrupt your conversations, and fragment your blocks of creative time into tiny slivers.

Turn off all notifications and check email, phone, and social media messages at predetermined times each day.

  1. Having Standing Meetings

Not to be confused with a stand-up meeting, these permanently scheduled meetings take on a habit-like quality in your workweek. You find yourself sloughing through the same staff agenda, reviewing the same reports, and going over the same calendar items week after week.

Pointless meetings drain your time and your staff’s. Worse, they communicate that no one has anything better to do. Cancel any meeting that does not have an action item on the agenda.

  1. Scheduling Lunch Meetings

An occasional lunch meeting can be a good for meeting with a client or spending one-on-one time with a team member. However, routinely scheduling meetings over lunch erodes both your productivity and your daily downtime, so vital for keeping fresh.

  1. Binge Watching Videos

Replace passive habits like TV watching with something more active, like exercise, reading, or a good hobby.

Replace these less-than-healthy habits with positive practices, and you’ll feel better and get more done!

What positive habits do you build into your day? I’d love to hear your answer on Facebook or Twitter!