The more unconscious habits you have—checking Facebook, email, texts, news, etc.—the less time and focus you have to kick ass with and to live the life you love. That was definitely true in my case.
A year into my self-improvement journey, I couldn't have accomplished 5 percent of the things I do now. That’s because I still had a dozen disempowering habits that I hadn’t eliminated yet. All my writing and personal goals were competing with the instant gratification of social media.
I was still living with my parents despite making money as a writer, and I knew I could do better. So, I brainstormed all the habits that were holding me back from the results that I wanted—email, texting, social media, and TV all had to go.
Within six months I’d upped my game (and income) enough to move out and be my own man. It wasn’t magic, either—it was math. If I cut out this amount of time-wasting habits I'd have that much more time to work toward my goals, thus achieving them that much faster. Simple.
So, decide today which habits you’ll eliminate completely and which you’ll limit strictly. Facebook is my bane, so I recommend cutting it out entirely throughout the week. Texting also sends me into a K-hole, so I recommend turning off your phone until after dinner and only checking it once when it's on.
Remember that news isn’t really news: The world is always ending, terrorists are always terrorizing—so cut that out, too. Choose one trustworthy source where you can get your daily digest, catch up once a day at a time that doesn't cut into your productivity, and recognize that FOMO is a waste of time. (You’ll be amazed at how much happier, lighter, and more productive you are without sacrificing any amount of global awareness.) And TV—I believe there is a special spot in hell reserved for this device, given how many lives it has ruined. Quit it if you can.
Let me share an anecdote with you:
Last month I had a huge writing project that required daily morning emails. Not a big deal—I crushed the assignment. But I kept checking my email first thing in the morning, even after the assignment ended; then I’d check Facebook and my texts—to the exclusion of my success routines. Not even two weeks had passed before I’d been drained of all my confidence. So, I decided to quit Facebook and texting for a month, cold turkey, and do only one email check a day in the evening. The subsequent days and weeks were the most productive of my life.