10 Dumb Habits That Are Keeping You From Earning More Money
It seems like there's a constant competition within us to both work and build something that other people can use and benefit from (and ultimately make us money) or to spend our time in systems that people have already established. (See also: 11 Easy Ways to Make Money Online)
A good comparison would be this simple dilemma: Do I start a Facebook page for my business or spend time skulking around on my personal Facebook account?
One is you creating something, while the other is you wasting time in an arena that somebody else created.
There are plenty of worlds created by others that we spend time in that rob us of our ability to produce and ultimately increase wealth. It has also created habits in us that rob from that goal as well.
Here are 10 of the worst habits standing between you and earning more money.
1. Social Media Unrelated to Work
We've already touched on it, but social media is by far one of the most distracting things we have at our fingertips, with the average user spending over 15 hours per month on Facebook alone. That means on average people are losing over three hours of productivity per week due to Facebook, before we even factor in Pinterest, Twitter, and Google Plus. (See also: How to Break Your Social Media Habit)
So instead of spending 15 hours a week as a user, spend it as a page admin and work on building up a social media following for your business, whether that be a store, website, blog, or whatever else you're working on.
Make it something that allows you to produce with your time instead of just consume it. (See also: Ways to Use Social Media in Business)
2. Constantly "Checking" Your Favorite Websites
The Internet allows to consume information in a live, as-it-happens manner. We don't need to wait for the paper to show up at 7:30 a.m. Instead, we're able check for the latest information available, which means a rolling pursuit of information and constantly checking the websites that provide it.
Whether it be sports, news, or our collection of RSS feeds, checking a site five or six times a day can burn away the clock, so discipline yourself to only check those sites when you're not working on other things.
3. Listening to Music While Trying to Focus
While it can help you finish boring tasks faster, listening to music while learning something new or trying to build something (writing an article, developing HTML, or designing something in architecture) can actually hamper your progress and make it more difficult to concentrate. (See also: How to Stay Focused)
4. Taking Long Lunches
Unless your work isn't time sensitive or you don't get paid by the hour, taking a two-hour lunch is incredibly unproductive. Instead, pack a lunch and take 15 minutes to relax and fuel up. Not only will you be able to recoup the hour, but you'll also have an easier time "getting back into the swing of things" with the shorter break.
5. Waiting for the "Perfect Job"
While there's nothing wrong with having a job you like and doing something that suits you, don't wait to buckle down until you find the perfect gig. Often the jobs that seem less than ideal can act as stepping stones that push you towards that eventual dream job. Don't turn your nose up at those opportunities because they're essential pieces of the puzzle when it comes to your ultimate career goals.
6. Communicating Poorly
Even disregarding simple aspects of communication like smiling and making eye contact can compromise your ability to network and make connections in the workplace or any kind of professional environment. (See also: 25 Ways to Communicate Better)
If you're a poor communicator or if you make a habit of avoiding situations where you have to speak and make conversation, it's possible that you're unknowingly hurting your earning potential.
7. Waiting for the Right Moment to Ask for a Raise
There's probably never going to be a situation where you feel comfortable asking for a raise.
That ideal scenario where it just kind of "comes up" in conversation with your boss isn't likely to occur, so it's going to be something that you need to initiate. Just be sure that you've got some talking points to discuss why you deserve the raise. You can even approach it from an angle of wanting to be worth more to the company or asking your boss what you can do to potentially increase your pay rate.
However you do it, just make sure you don't keep putting it off.
8. Sleeping In
One simple thing you can do to earn more, or at least increase your earning potential, is get up early. (See also: Benefits of Being a Morning Person)
For most people, thoughts and ideas are clearer and more easily communicated in the morning. If that's not true for you and you work better after five, stay later and get that extra hour and half in between 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. if you have to.
The rule is still the same in that you're going the extra mile and simply putting more time into your job.
9. Thinking You're Smarter Than Everyone Else
We've all seen people who do this. They're always carrying around some form of righteous indignation because they could do better at everyone else's job, except their own.
Don't be that person.
Be an expert in what you're supposed to be an expert in and let everyone else you work with do their job the way they know how. You'll be more likeable, more respected and, in the long run, more promotable. (See also: How to Be More Likeable at Work)
10. Not Having Attainable Goals
Far too many people just think, "I want to build and accumulate a lot of wealth." At the same time, they don't put the time into defining or thinking about any of the steps that are required to actually achieve that goal.
Set attainable goals for yourself and don't worry so much about whether or not the money is gushing in. Chances are it won't for a long time and that's fine. Instead, just focus on the small and attainable goals as your progress through your yearly to-do lists.
Earning Money Will Come
For those who work both hard and smart, the money and the financial stability will come.
The trick is to be more concerned with the work and less concerned with the bottom line. It's alright to spend your energy improving your worth and creating things that are valuable to people, even if you don't see the income right away.
If you're able to sustain that rhythm for a few years, you'll find yourself in a comfortable spot quicker than you ever thought possible.
What habits have you noticed that slow earning? Please share in comments!