My Own Worst Enemy

There are a lot of things in my life that I don’t do even though I know they will make my life better. I know I’m not alone in this, but it’s something that has been really bugging me recently. There are very specific things that I know if I do them, I will be more productive, or healthier, or just better in general. And yet, I don’t do them.

A good example of this behavior is productivity. I’ve been using the Pomodoro technique off and on for the last year or so (more about it here). I know that when I use it I’m more productive, my time is easier track and I’m able to get past the drag of procrastination a lot easier. There is little downside to this technique as well, it’s not difficult or time consuming to start at timer, I’m going to be doing that task regardless of whether the timer is running or not. So why do I have such a hard time starting one and continuing to use this very helpful technique?

Another example would be eating. There are certain foods that I have a weakness for, but that I know have a adverse impact on my health. There are also foods that are considerably more healthy that I also enjoy. So given a choice between the two, why wouldn’t I choose the healthier option? Why do I chose something that I know will end up hurting me in the long run? Especially when there is such a good alternative?

I know a lot of this is just human nature. But why are we so often our worst enemy? There are definitely activities that will improve our lives that are hard to do, such as working out consistently, or reading more. I can see the hurdle to getting those types of activities integrated into our lives. But there are also a lot of activities that are easy to implement that we also don’t do. We can see the benefits clearly, there is little to no additional effort involved, and yet we choose to not do the thing that will improve our lives.

I believe a lot of it does come down to habits and discipline. Training myself to do the right thing. It’s difficult at first, even with simple things, but once I have that habit in place and I’ve put in the required amount of discipline, it becomes second nature.

What are you not doing that you should be doing?