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10 ways to lose but feel like you're winning.

The phrase "You've won the battle but not the war" and sayings like we've all heard. Here are 10 potholes in life to avoid. In a hope to save you when you believe you're the exception to the rule, all the way up to the moment you realize you just stepped into it.

    1. Hustle and Grind

    Working all day and all night, for months or years on end. At some point, you'll know you've stepped into it, when you have forgotten how to relax. You've lost friends, moments, and things that all the sages of the ages say that they wished they had more of.

    Smarter not harder, but seriously work just as hard at being smart about it.

    2. Meetings for Meetings

    I'd wager to guess that at least once in your life you've had a meeting for a meeting. This has been spoken about from a dozen or 10 different angles in productivity and business books. The point is you'll know you have stepped into it, when you look back at the time you spent planning and it exceeds the time you spent executing.

    Iterate and Improve. Improvise at least, before you "meet" your demise.

    3. Lists

    Now don't go shooting the messenger here. I see the irony of this one. However, there is a difference between the exercise of creation, and the act of creating checklists, to-do lists, or task lists. You'll know you've stepped into it when you start to have more anxiety about the lists than you do the tasks.

    Understand the difference between procrastination and production.

    4. Social Media

    I'm tweeting because it's important to remain relevant, to be seen as one who is known to be relevant, blah blah blah-beety-blah. I'll just scroll for another 10 minutes before I do the thing. You know where I'm going with this, you can spend an eternity on the platforms. You'll know you've stepped in it when you ponder for even a second, about why THAT post got 10 likes and another got zero.

    I'm not denying the power of Social Media, but make the mindful decision or observation, if you're doing it for "Social" reasons, or are measured for marketing purposes. I think we're all smart enough to know what I mean here, and we're all equally subject to its gravity.

    5. Emails

    There are some great email clients out there, some say they are even "Super". I used to feel and even boast that I could crush on an average of 1000 emails a day. Now talk about really feeling like you are winning when you're losing. No one is, or in my opinion, should even be, so important that they have the obligation to respond to 1000 emails in a day. You might get some echo-chambered accolade but it's the same dopamine cartel that social media get their stash from. You know you've stepped into it, when you brag about how many emails you get or crush.

    Delegate or Die.

    6. App Notifications

    Are you the type of person that sees those little red numbers on a user's iPhone app icon and cringes, or worse yet when it's your own phone? No? Well good for you. Me, if I'm being honest, yes. Notifications are great, if I didn't have them, in my case (doctors or other medical crap) I'd possibly find a fate not wished. However, do yourself a favor and review those notification settings every month. Consider if they are important or not. Oh, and you'll know you've stepped into it when you feel the compulsion to clear those red numbers and the good news is once you notice yourself doing it, you'll be well on your way to relief.

    7. Binge Streaming

    This is one I'm surely guilty of. May take some actual cognitive behavioral therapy to fix too. It's that of binging on a streaming service's latest hit. I'm "Succeeding" at one very show at this very moment. One often will feel left out, like they aren't up on a show when talking with friends, family, or feeds.

    8. No Pain No Gain

    Much, if not all, of what I wrote above could be viewed as an offshoot of this title. In some ways, you do have to endure, but it's not required, and sure as heck not sustainable. A "representative" calling to kindly offer me solutions to the bill, while going WAY over the line here, friended me on a social platform. We went very deep into the philosophy of life, and while his job was to collect, he said one thing that stuck. I said it's required that we must have the negative in order to enjoy the positive. It's a law of physics, and mathematics, it's just the way nature is. It's balance. He replied, do you enjoy cake? I replied confused but said yes. He said do you take a sip of vinegar before I bite of cake? I replied, "No." He asked the same question a few different ways, with me answering the same.

    He then asked then why must you suffer in or to have pleasure? While I still don't have a good response, the statement stuck with me.

    9. Speed Limits

    Speeding doesn't always get you to the destination faster. It just gets you a speeding ticket.

    Research the Pomodoro Technique. I use an app on all my computers, it locks me out every 25 min (for 5 minutes) 5 times, and then on the 6th, it locks me out for 10 minutes and then starts over. The point is to work in sprints, in 25 min increments, then take a quick break, then get back into it.

    The results are astounding.I get so much more (good work) done when I'm using it.

    10. Apologies and Excuses

    I'm sorry I have things to do, I don't have time to write the 10th.

    You don't always have to apologizes, and you don't always need an excuse.

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