Five ‘Good Habits’ You Need To Unlearn

Five ‘Good Habits’ You Need To Unlearn

Productivity is an ever-evolving study of what works and what doesn’t. The way we work can change at a rapid-fire pace and what was accepted as a best practice in years past, can now do more harm than good. The team at 99U focuses on the creative insights we didn’t get in school, which sometimes means we have to unlearn habits that were previously perceived as being “good”. Here are some tips that go against the grain of typical productivity advice.

Image remixed from Tessa.

Stop Thinking So Positively

When we visualise our goals as already achieved, it can subconsciously lull our minds into complacency. Goals are important, but make sure you are mindful of the difficulties that you will face along the way.

Stop Trying to Fill Every Hour of Your Day

Ever wonder why you get most of your ideas in the shower? It’s because the shower is among the last sacred spaces where we aren’t distracted by colleagues or technology. Our ideas need time to ferment and connect with other ideas, and being bored allows our minds to accomplish this naturally.

Stop Caring What the Internet Thinks About You

It feels good to check our blog’s traffic, Google our names or compare our Twitter follower counts, but this kind of “insecurity” work rarely helps us advance our creative pursuits. Tasks like these are intellectual empty calories, giving us the appearance of doing work. If you truly want these measurements to rise, focus on getting things done while compartmentalising these activities to specifics times during your week.

Stop Equating Rejection with Failure

Getting rejected, while painful, isn’t what can hold us back — it’s how we react to such setbacks that often determines our success. Research shows that handling rejection with an “I’ll show them” mentality can actually boost performance over those who have the easier route of acceptance.

Stop Spending More Time on Your Work

When we feel we need to get more stuff done, many of us invest more of our time and work weekends or evenings. The funny thing is, our time is finite and by overworking ourselves we can cause collateral damage to our creativity. Instead of spending more time on our work we should spend less. By embracing our bodies’ natural rhythm of “pulsing and pausing” we can sustain our energy levels.

Sean Blanda is the Associate Editor of 99U, the “think tank” of Behance. You can find him on Twitter at @SeanBlanda.


  • Where does the “pulsing and pausing” comment come from? Is there a study/book/article you can point us to? I’m not disputing it, in fact it makes sense, but I’d love to read the science behing that comment.

  • It’s amazing how the bathroom is a hotbed for ideas. In the shower, in the bath, brushing your teeth, on the toilet – it’s a power zone of innovative thinking. So next time you’re being told to hurry up in the bathroom, just tell them that you’re solving the world’s problems.

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