THE INC. LIFE

10 Bad Habits That Are Actually Good for You

Good news: Some of your bad habits may not be bad at all.

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BY Lolly Daskal - 11 Sep 2017

PHOTO CREDIT: Getty Images

We tend to group habits into two clear groups: good and bad.

It sounds like common sense, but the line isn't always so clear. Some habits that we think of as bad can actually be good for you in the right situation.

Here are some habits you may want to reconsider:

1. Procrastination. In a culture where we're constantly running at full speed, multitasking and distracted, we don't always realize how tired and stressed we are. Sometimes the best thing you can do for yourself is to put things off and remember that everything doesn't always have to be so urgent.

2. Boredom. Most people disapprove of boredom, sometimes because they believe it reflects a lack of inner resources. But being bored can be an important conduit for creative thinking. It can give you the space you need to turn old problems into innovative solutions or find new areas of thought and imagination.

3. Saying no. We've been taught that saying no is a selfish act. But the alternative--saying yes to everything--can lead to overwork, scattered energy and resentment. Learning how to graciously say no to things that don't matter will free up the time you need to focus on the things that are most important.

4. Doing less. Today's work culture tells us we should always be doing more, more, more. It leaves us feeling like we're falling farther and farther behind no matter how hard we work. So take some stuff off your plate. Delegate. Keep projects in bounds when they threaten to grow out of control.


5. Tuning out. Even if you're saying no, procrastinating, and doing less, you can't recharge your batteries if you're still internally plugged into your to-do list. To truly revive yourself means disconnecting entirely. Play some music or paint or meditate or read a book or go for a hike in the woods. Getting lost in a different world for a while can be hugely energizing.


6. Losing your temper. We're taught that we should never lose our temper, that we should manage our emotions in every situation. But there are times when it's OK, even necessary, to let go and vent. It's much healthier to lose your temper here and there instead of holding everything in until you explode and do real damage--or keep it bottled and do psychic harm to yourself.


7. Daydreaming. Many people think of daydreaming as a form of laziness, but allowing your mind to wander is one of the best things you can do for yourself. Daydreaming actually helps boost your problem-solving abilities. So while it may increase the time it takes to complete the task in front of you, it can help you be effective in understanding and solving bigger issues.


8. Messiness. Some studies have found that a messy environment can be good for productivity, especially if your work requires creative thought. Neat rooms may be pleasant and calming, but untidiness lends itself well to solutions from off the beaten path.


9. Fidgeting. You may have been told that an inability to sit still is a bad habit. But researchers have found that that wiggling in your seat, tapping your foot, jiggling your legs or even drumming your fingers can increase your metabolism and may play a positive role in overall fitness.

10. Sleeping late. Many people think those who sleep are lazy and unmotivated. In actuality, many people are not getting enough sleep during the week and are trying to make up for it over the weekend. But insufficient sleep is associated with a wide range of health problems, from stroke risk to weight gain. So don't begrudge your body what it needs. Don't sleep all day, but don't feel bad when you hit the snooze alarm a few extra times.

Now, go enjoy some of the habits you used to feel bad about!