Stop These “Good” Bad Habits Today

published Jan 30, 2015
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(Image credit: Monique Larroux)

You’re just minding your own business, reading Apartment Therapy when boom! I come along and tell you that even the things you think are good habits are actually bad! But give it a minute. I think you’ll find that letting go of some of these ideas will make it easier, not harder, to be virtuous.

Over-cleaning your home/body

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Tidy is one thing, but germ-free? That’s not gonna happen anytime soon so why are we so worried about disinfecting everything? Our bodies have evolved to deal with the germs and bacteria in our world, and some of it even helps us (everyone taking their probiotics?) so there’s no need for a bubble-boy style safe room. As for your long hot showers, hate to break it to you, but as long as we have this drying winter weather going on, your hair and skin could probably use a little break, too.

→ Come Over, Mom: It’s Clean Enough


You might not be as good as you think you are at doing several things at once. Turns out, our brains are actually switching between tasks very quickly and that means we’re not doing anything particularly well. Some research says that multitasking may even decrease productivity by up to 40%. Plus, it’s stressful to keep track of multiple irons in the fire. Rather than trying to do it all, write it all down (to get it out of your head) then try tackling each task individually. You may be surprised how much more you actually accomplish.

Pinching every penny

The cheapest version of something is rarely the best and, although price doesn’t always equal quality, spending the research time and extra money to get something that will last always pays off. Another bonus: every budget has room for a little splurge now and then, even if it’s only to give you the mental fortitude to stick to the plan longterm.

Skipping breaks

Don’t let yourself head toward a burnout. Take a break! It may seem more productive to power through when you’re really slammed, but martyrs don’t get a lot done either. A break will refresh your mind and body and will probably make you more productive all day. Bonus: that problem you just can’t seem to solve? Chances are you’ll find a solution while doing something relaxing.

Brutal honesty

C’mon, everyone needs a little padding on the cold, hard truth. By all means, be honest and real, but also consider how best to frame your not-so-great news. If it feels mean-spirited, it certainly is going to feel that way to the other person. That being said, let’s also take responsibility for not putting someone between a rock and hard place with our loaded questions. Let’s call it: Don’t ask questions you don’t want the answer to. If you think you might not like the answer and you know it won’t change your mind, trust yourself more and don’t even bother to ask! Boom! Relationships solved! You’re welcome.