On this episode of The Mark Struczewski Podcast, seven destructive habits you need to ditch in 2023. And let me just go on the record here and say you don't have to wait to January 1, 2023 to start ditching these habits. Whenever you're listening to this episode, feel free to go ahead and give these habits the old heave ho.
Being productive means identifying and eliminating, or at least reducing bad habits. Now you may not be able to completely eliminate these but you need to do your very best to reduce these as much as possible. Bad habits are not conducive to you being productive or, or living the life you want to live. So here are seven habits I encourage you to begin ditching out of your life. Again, don't wait until January 1, it's just a date on a calendar, start reducing these habits in your life right now. You will be happier and more productive.
Number one, the habit of living reactively. This means responding to whatever happens. It's just going with the flow. What you want to do instead is plan your tomorrow intentionally, at the end of every day. Every day, even on weekends, even on holidays, even on vacations, I want you to live intentionally.
So here's what I recommend you do. First, determine how many hours you're going to work tomorrow. Second, subtract what's already on your calendar. Third, fill in the difference.
So let me give you an example so you can put the pieces of the puzzle together. Let's suppose you're going to work eight hours tomorrow. And you already have five hours allocated on your calendar. Well, simple math, eight hours minus five hours, give you three hours you need to plan. So what should go on your calendar?
Here's a better question, What needs to get done? Now if you have goals, and I'm a big proponent of goals, planning your time is a lot easier because you will go hmmm, What do I need to do tomorrow that is going to pull me toward my goals? See if you don't have goals, then what do you put on your calendar? So if you don't have goals, go get you some goals and then come back and then you can be a more effective planner. You need to spend 80% of your day working on things that are going to pull you towards your goals. This could be reading a book, or attending a webinar, or watching some videos on YouTube to learn a skill. But 80% of your day should be spent on needle moving activities.
Habit number two you need to ditch is blaming others. I can't think of anyone that's productive or successful, who got to where they are by blaming others. There's probably some people out there maybe, thinking of news and political pundits, but they are rare. If you want to go to a level of your life that you never thought was possible, you've got to start taking responsibility for everything. Yes, everything. I love how Gary Vaynerchuk said it on one his short videos recently. He says he is the CEO of VaynerMedia. So if some employee makes a mistake, he takes responsibility for that because he may not have hired that employee but he probably hired one of the managers along the way. And here's the thing: when you take full responsibility, it makes things so much easier. There's no blame game. There's no investigation. You just go, Look, I take responsibility and then you can get on with the solution. So another habit you need to ditch right now is blaming others.
Number three, negative self talk. Did you know that your subconscious mind hears everything you say? So when you put yourself down, when you make a mistake, you go, I'm a moron, I'm an idiot, what a schmuck, whatever words you use, schmuck? You like that? That's an old word for you. When you put yourself down, your subconscious mind, who doesn't have a filter what's real and what's not believes you and when you start putting yourself down all the time, then you start feeling kind of blah and then you're not happy, then you're not productive. And it becomes a very, very slippery slope, shall we say. Now instead, let your words be positive and edifying both for you and for others. Now, what I've been doing lately, is I've been telling people, Hey, have a positive day. Instead of having a great day, have a good day, have fun. I always say, Have a positive day. Why? I'm planting a seed in their head. So they can become positive. If you're positive, you tend to be happy, and you tend to be productive.
The fourth habit you need to ditches procrastination. You won't want to do everything you need to do. That's a fact of life. Nobody on this planet loves to do everything they have to do. And people tend to procrastinate doing things they don't like to do. That's, that makes sense, right? I mean, why would you procrastinate on something you love to do? I love doing podcasts episodes. I love doing live training for my monthly members. I don't procrastinate on those things. But the admin stuff, I'll put that stuff off because I don't want to do it. But here's an idea. I have this exercise, I always send my clients through what's called the ODAE method. All it stands for is outsource, delegate, automate and eliminate. So when you come to something that you don't want to do, I want you to put it through this filter. Could this thing be outsourced? Typically, outsourcing is to another company, maybe a VA, or a third party. Delegation is someone within your company. Automation, well we live in the age of automation now. Can this task be automated, so you don't have to do it, even though it needs to be done? And the final thing is, I love elimination. Because a lot of people are doing things, they come to me as clients, and I'm like, Why are you doing this? And they're like, I don't know, I thought I always had to do it. So if you have something you don't want to do, run it through this filter. Can it be outsourced? Can it be delegated? Can it be automated? Or can it be eliminated?
The fifth habit you need to ditch is spending too much time doing activities that don't move the needle toward your goals. This is really important. What do I mean by this? Well, when you're scrolling through TikTok, or Instagram, or YouTube, and you're just looking at cat videos, or comedian videos, or your favorite superstar or movie star, whatever, is that needle moving? Now there is a point, if you have a business and brand that you should be on social media, posting and engaging with your followers. This is not what I'm talking about. You know what you need to be doing every day. If you are an entrepreneur, if you're a solopreneur, if you're in business, you know what you should be doing every day. Remember, we talked about goals earlier? So you have your goals, are you working on things that are going to get you what you want? I can't answer that question for you. You need to decide yourself, Am I really working on what's going to pull me forward or not? Stop spending time doing things that are not going to move the needle towards your goals. Again, if you don't have goals, go get you some goals. Okay? You need to have goals in order to be productive, because goals give you a target. If you don't have goals, you don't have a target, then what are you doing during the day? And guess what your goals will change but you need to have goals.
The sixth habit you need to ditch, trying to be someone else. I am a firm believer that there are no mistakes. Everyone is on this planet that is alive today is here for a reason. You may not know what that is. And don't let that scare you. I was 47 or 48 years old, if I remember correctly, when I discovered what I was put here for. So if you don't know, that's okay. But I still want you to be 100% you. Be who you are.
For example, when people asked me to describe The Mark Struczewski Podcast, I tell them I'm sort of like a clean version of the Joe Rogan podcast, just without the 100 million dollar Spotify contract, and without 100 million downloads a month. Okay? I just want to have fascinating conversations, although there is no conversation on this solo episode, and I want to help you, the listener, as much as I can. But I'm being myself. So I don't allow any swearing on my show because that's not who I am. If you like to swear, then swear. If you don't like to swear, then don't swear. Don't be a chameleon. Don't change who you are depending on who you are. Be the same person where ever you are.
And the seventh habit you need to ditch right away is thinking you have it all figured out. I'm a firm believer that Pareto Principle is alive and well. And if you're not familiar with Pareto's Principle, he's the 80/20, guy 80% versus 20% guy. So I believe 20% of people in the world have things figured out, they're successful, they're running all cylinders, they're really rocketed. 80% are trying to figure out their purpose, and what they should be doing daily. So if you're in the 80%, well join the crowd, you're not alone. And I think that people need to realize that there's nothing wrong with being in the 80%. I think it makes life more interesting. And I'll be honest with you, even the people who are doing really well, they still struggle too. Nobody's got this thing called life figured out 100%. Nobody. So what I want you to do is I want you to own where you are. if you're in the 20% own it, if you're in 80%, own it. What I don't want you to do is peacocking. You know peacocking is? Strutting, got it all figured out. I'm the man, I'm the woman, I can do whatever I want, just bow down and worship me. You don't want to do that. What you want to do instead is have an open mind. Be willing to try new and different things, experiment. That's what I think makes life so interesting is you experiment. Some things will work, others won't. And that's okay. That is what makes life worth living in my opinion.
So I hope this episode helps you think about habits you need to ditch in 2023. Obviously, you could add to this list. But I think the seven habits are pretty powerful that you need to ditch like, not just in 2023, like right now when you're listening to this episode.