The 37 habits of a highly ineffective person

Aristotle: ‘We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.’

Here is what I repeatedly do:

  • I drink too much
  • I eat too much
  • I complain that I’m putting on weight and am hungover and not getting any work done
  • I vow to change my ways
  • I don’t change my ways
  • I worry, analyse and go over and over things in my head.
  • I procrastinate
  • I check Facebook
  • I check my emails
  • I check Facebook again

  • I squeeze my blackheads
  • I write to-do lists
  • I do nothing on my to-do lists
  • I re-write the to do lists, dividing them into subsections
  • I do nothing on the sub-sectioned to-do lists except for underline the headings and doodle little stars on the really important things
  • I spend four hours researching productivity and to-do list apps
  • I get overwhelmed by the choice and go back to writing things on the back of the envelope.
  • I lose the envelope
  • But it’s not my fault, I just need to buy new files and stationary – THEN I’LL BE ORGANISED.
  • I buy a new diary
  • I feel bad about spending twenty quid in Paperchase
  • I have a drink to make me feel less bad
  • I drink more. Eat more.
  • I complain about being broke
  • I complain about being single
  • I pretty much complain about anything
  • I watch Made in Chelsea
  • I go to bed and lie awake thinking of everything I’ve ever done wrong. Ever.
  • I set my alarm for 6am because I’M GOING TO BE PRODUCTIVE TOMORROW
  • I press the snooze button from till 8.30am…

Here is what I don’t do:

  • Make a plan and stick to it
  • Exercise regularly
  • Keep arrangements
  • Keep my word
  • Laundry
  • Wash my hair (Ok, well, obviously I do but usually two or three days PAST the point where it’s getting gross and greasy and itchy)

These are the 37 HABITS OF HIGHLY INEFFECTIVE PERSON. Does it have the makings of a best-seller?

I’d like to say that all of this is an exaggeration for comic effect but it’s just not.

For years fear used to drive me – fear of getting shouted at, fear of not doing a good job, fear of not being good enough, fear of being too fat etc…

This year that fear has largely gone. I’ve learnt to say F**K It to career success! F**K It to worrying about my figure! F**K it to worrying what people think etc. F**K It to getting things done.

If friends asked me if I was around for lunch, I’d kick off my work plans and join them. If there was a party on, I’d be the last woman standing. I’m living in the moment, I’d tell myself!

And it was wonderful. For a while.

But I think I might be reaching the point where saying F**K It to everything is no longer serving me. I am furious with myself for how little I’ve got done over the last few months and I’m feeling gross in my ever-growing, hungover body.  I look at the mirror and see the bloated face of a Pillsbury Doughboy. I’m not even going to tell you what my a*se looks like, except there now seems to be four of them.

I remember having this conversation with the lovely John Parkin when I was in Italy on the F**K It Retreat. I was asking him about the F**K It theory and saying how far could you push it.

Me: If I said F**K It to worrying about work, and diet and money, I’d just lie on the sofa and eat biscuits forever.
John: OK
Me: But I can’t do that
John: Why not?
Me: Well, I’d just lie there and do nothing for the rest of my life. I’d never leave the house.
John: OK and what would that be like?
Me: Lovely!
John: OK
Me: But then I’d get bored and fed up and guilty
John: OK
Me: So then I’d have to go and do something
John: There you go – you’re off to the next thing…

I’ve reached that point now. Time to get my S**T together. Get off the metaphorical (and actual) sofa.


Also, in the name of being proactive and less stupid when it comes to matters of money, I’ve signed up with Amazon affiliates. It means that if you buy the book through the links on my site I get a tiny portion of the sales, which helps me to keep the blog going.

[easyazon_link asin=”0684858398″ locale=”UK” new_window=”default” nofollow=”default” tag=”hemebl08-21″]The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People[/easyazon_link]




10 thoughts on “The 37 habits of a highly ineffective person

    1. Marianne Power Post author

      This looks good Jane, just not sure I can add another book to my pile. I’m already in danger of self-help overdose!

  1. Gemma Regalado

    Er, that top list… At what point did you watch me in my home?? It’s astonishingly like me. Even down to Made in Chelsea.

    But, that shift. That shift where you realise that you don’t want to sit around on your arse all day. That’s where the gold lies 🙂

  2. Arthur

    Ah. To-do lists. Wonderful procrastination tools.

    Good luck with that book! Sounds just like something I *should* do. Tried Zen to Done so far. Successful habits are great. It’s just forming them that seems so hard. Incidentally, a lot of stuff I procrastinate is really stuff I just do not want to do. At all. So I wait until its due date “expires” and I can happily bin it. Obviously, I am not qualified to pass out advice on being successful. At least not if we’re talking about money and goals and stuff 😉

    Looking forward to your opinion of the book.

    1. Marianne Power Post author

      Thanks Arthur – will check out Zen to Done and you’ve got a point about procrastinating about stuff you don’t really want to do.

  3. Zoë

    Well, okay, granted we haven’t spent much face-to-face time in the past (oy) 17 years, but it sounds like you’re being hard on yourself, especially in the arse department. You have always been lovely and pretty as a picture! I refuse to believe otherwise now. But as for productivity, well, yes, I do the whole couch thing a lot too. On my day off yesterday I got 6 errands done and 4 errands ignored, and hours of sitting on the couch. But it was a pretty do-able list. You’ve got some posts for me to catch up on, but my 2 little cents would be to set realistic expectations for your to-do lists, at least on a day-by-day basis, so you can feel like you accomplish things without driving yourself crazy.

    Also, I would like to please join you on the couch for a while. What’s on telly?


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