9 Habits Successful People Don’t Waste Their Time On (And Nor Should You)

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It’s worth noting that success means different things to different people. Yet, despite this, there are some universal habits that will hold you back from whatever success looks like to you.

Maximizing your time and creating a happy, healthy environment isn’t as tricky as it seems – here are some all-too-common time-wasting behaviors that successful people let go of…

1. Checking Social Media

Endlessly, and mindlessly, scrolling through Facebook and Instagram wastes far more time than you’d imagine.

While this is a pretty normal habit these days, it’s not really making the most of your time.

It can be so easy to sit and look at other people’s lives and random videos, and it’s often pretty entertaining. In order to be successful, however, you should be using your time wisely and making sensible choices about when to work and when to play.

Whatever you want to do with your life, getting sucked into the virtual world of social media can pose a challenge.

You sit down for five minutes and find yourself still glued to your phone two hours later, three years deep into your ex’s new girlfriend’s Instagram. We’ve all been there.

Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram can be great ways of keeping in touch with people, as well as sharing your own news. They can also take up a lot of time that should really be spent on work, revision, or sleep!

Try and cut back on how often you use social media – you’ll be surprised at how much more you get done.

2. Comparing Themselves To Others

In the world we live in, it’s no wonder that half of us have daily identity crises.

As mentioned, social media can be amazing, but it can also be really detrimental. The more edited and altered images we see online, the more likely we are to compare ourselves to them, nearly always in a negative way.

Despite having a vague awareness of Photoshop and filters, we often forget that the pictures we see aren’t representative of real life.

The way we see our lives suddenly shifts, and we’re no longer good enough. The standards and ways that we measure our lives become skewed due to the things we see on social media.

The food we eat, the way our hair looks, and, of course, our bodies become measuring posts for our lives, and it’s hard to square the real-life versions of ourselves to the heavily-edited virtual versions of others.

These constant comparisons and warped expectations will not help at all in terms of being successful.

Your confidence may take a huge knock, and you may start doubting yourself and your abilities after a little online-time. This will hugely affect your motivation and drive, which in turn affects how successful you’ll be.

Worse still, it may alter your definition of success, and what would have satisfied you before now feels inadequate.

3. Stressing About Other’s Opinions

While it pays to be compassionate, a bad habit to get into is caring too much about other people’s opinions.

Being successful means something different to everyone, but it tends to point to the confidence and ability to have, and chase, aspirations. This can be hard to do when you’re constantly worrying about what other people think of you.

It’s so important to learn whose opinions really matter, and to know when to just let things go.

Some outside influence is always going to be helpful and appreciated, but other people may just be trying to drag you down.

One way to be successful is to pursue what you want to do, and not worry about outsiders’ judgement or negative opinions.

Easier said than done, of course, but well worth trying.

4. Gossiping

This is another way that precious time is often wasted! Idle chat and gossip might seem fun at the time, but there’s not really much point to it.

For one, what other people choose to do, who they choose to date etc., is none of your business. Time spent gossiping is better spent working or revising or moving toward achieving your goals.

Being successful is about doing what you set out to do, be it practicing yoga, completing a work task, or hitting the gym.

Stop wasting time with mindless gossip and start spending it actually doing whatever it is that you want to be doing.

You’ll also find that the way you view people and situations will massively change when you stop gossiping.

Remind yourself not to be judgmental and to be as compassionate as possible – this will serve you well in every aspect of your life.

What better way to measure success than by enjoying your own happiness and having a positive outlook on life?

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5. Surrounding Themselves With Toxic People

These days, the internet is plastered with messages about letting go of things that no longer serve you, and this advice is so very wise.

Success isn’t just work-related, it can also be about your mental health and personal growth.

You won’t find successful people hanging around with those who belittle them, and you’ll notice that their close friends are likely to be just as motivated and driven as they are.

It can be tricky to let go of people sometimes, but you need to be selfish and put your own needs first. You’ll be amazed at how much your mindset shifts, how open you’ll be to new ideas, and how much more focused and positive you’ll be.

6. Staying In Negative Environments

Again, this is all about letting go of negativity by surrounding yourself with people who nourish and inspire you, and who create a positive environment.

Successful people are those who acknowledge what they deserve, and aren’t ashamed to chase it.

You are allowed to leave a situation that doesn’t benefit you at all, be that a job or living space. You need space to grow, be creative, and explore yourself and your abilities.

Being successful comes from setting yourself up for success, so do it!

7. Faffing!

There are so many ways to waste your time (trust me, I’ve experimented!) and faffing around is definitely one of the most common.

Time that could be spent being productive, planning, and getting things done is often spent doing pointless things.

Instead, try to plan ahead so that you can get things done as quickly and as efficiently as possible.

Set yourself up in advance – prep your meals, choose what you want to wear the day before work or an event, and stick to your plans!

You’ll be surprised by how much more quickly you get things done if you just take a few minutes to sit and make a plan. This will free up extra time to get some work done, do some more research, or actively take time to rest and recharge.

8. Blending In And Conforming

It can be hard, but it’s important not to stress about standing out!

When you’re growing up, fitting in can feel like one of the biggest goals to aim for. Yet, part of being successful is being happy and comfortable in your own, authentic skin, and that comes from within, not from conforming.

There’s no point desperately trying to fit into a mold that you just don’t want to be in. Use your energy in a positive way and embrace the things about yourself that you don’t like, or at least work toward improving them.

This works in relation to your appearance, your mindset, and your general abilities.

You might not be great with numbers, and you might find this frustrating. Either take courses and use resources to better your skills in this area, or just accept that it’s not for you and focus on something else instead.

It can be tricky when everyone around you is training toward being a doctor, or working hard as a teacher, but you don’t need to be doing any of this if you don’t want to be.

Accept that you’re not the same as your friends and fill your life with what works best for you!

We’re all different and that is something to be embraced and to be proud of, not to be hidden away in shame. After all, life would be pretty boring if we were all the same…

9. Focusing On Past Mistakes

Learning to move on and let go of the past is something that most of us could benefit from.

It’s very easy to let ourselves be held back by mistakes we’ve made and the fear of repeating them. Being successful often means moving forward, adapting, and improving.

Leaving part of ourselves in the past is never going to allow us to fully move on, which is detrimental to success in every way – emotional, physical, financial, and occupational.

About The Author

Lucy is a travel and wellness writer currently based in Gili Air, a tiny Indonesian island. After over a year of traveling, she’s settled in paradise and spends her days wandering around barefoot, practicing yoga and exploring new ways to work on her wellbeing.