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Quit Already: 7 Ways To Know When It's Time To Cut Your Losses

Extra effort without extra results

Once you have reached a certain point in a project, in life, or in any activity for that matter, doing more does not necessarily bring your better results. 

If you want to boil some water, you need to heat it up to exactly 100° C. Anything past that won’t make the water “more boiled”, it is just a waste of time, heat and energy.

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Quit Already: 7 Ways To Know When It's Time To Cut Your Losses

Quit Already: 7 Ways To Know When It's Time To Cut Your Losses

http://blog.highperformancelifestyle.net/quit-already/

blog.highperformancelifestyle.net

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Key Ideas

Why you are afraid of quitting

The sunk cost fallacy is one of the primary reasons you are so afraid to quit anything. It occurs when you tell yourself that you can’t quit because of all the time or money you have already spent. The idea of all of that going to waste is what is keeping you at bay, paralyzed at the idea of quitting.

Overcome the fear of quitting

Sunk cost is about the past. Opportunity cost is about the future.

If you are scared to quit (which is absolutely natural), always think of the opportunity cost. Think of the brighter future, not the scary past, and often times that is enough to give you that extra push to make the right decision.

Long-term cost outweighs short-term benefits

When you finally succeed, but you don’t have the health or someone to share the success with, the project might prove not be be worth it. 

Take 5 minutes at the end of the week and reflect on what you have achieved versus what you had to give up to achieve it so you don’t end up giving up too much without even realizing it.  Make this a habit

When there is no future

Entrepreneurs are especially guilty of this one. You work and you work and fail to take the time and validate your idea first and see if it truly has a potential. Or maybe you are climbing the corporate ladder, but you’ve reached an impasse. 

It helps to take a step back to view the big picture. Talk to someone outside of your usual social circle who can give you an honest opinion about how realistic you are being about the future.

Changed priorities

Things change and you should change with them. 

Follow your instincts. You know what’s best for you so don’t let the circumstances dictate your life.

When it is not fun

Either the process is enjoyable, or you feel accomplished when you are finally done or you have reached a milestone. 

On the flip side, there are situations or projects that you dread starting, you hate the process, and when you are finally done, you wish you never did it. If there is no benefit of doing it and you hate everything about it, doing more of it won’t help. 5 times 0 is still 0.

Extra effort without extra results

Once you have reached a certain point in a project, in life, or in any activity for that matter, doing more does not necessarily bring your better results. 

If you want to boil some water, you need to heat it up to exactly 100° C. Anything past that won’t make the water “more boiled”, it is just a waste of time, heat and energy.

Going it for the wrong reasons

Everything that you do should have a reason that matters and makes sense to you and you should always be in synch with it.

The moment the reason is no longer there, or is no longer valid, it is time to move on.

Immune to the red flags

If your body is aching, if you friends and family are begging you to stop or at least to slow down, if the results are not there, the fun is not there, but you keep on going, it could be because you’ve become immune to the red flags. You’ve learned to tune out the pain and the negative and concentrate on the end goal.

Take a step back and examine the red flags. 

SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

Quit When...
  • You're consistently experiencing more frustration than reward.
  • You can't envision a possible solution or continuing this way.
  • Spending time on this keeps you from more rewardin...
Before You Call It Quits
  • Make sure you've identified the real causes of your unhappiness. Keep a diary of events and problems.
  • Give it a chance. Many things, like diets, require time to work out.
  • Try many other solutions.
  • Have a backup plan. Know what you're going to do if you quit and what you need to do to prepare for that.

"When you quit with intention, you free up more time, money and energy for the things that really matter to your l..."

Thomas Oppong
Quitting is underrated

Successful people quit (or proactively adjust) a lot more often than people who aren’t successful. They stay flexible and open to new ideas or opportunities or ways of getting things done.

But never quit something with great long-term potential just because you can’t deal with the stress at the moment

“Instead of continually trying to force yourself to do things you don’t want to do, let them go. Without the emotional weight and mental clutter of keeping things on your agenda that don’t absolutely need to be there, you’re much freer to rapidly move forward on what you really do want and need to get done.”

“Instead of continually trying to force yourself to do things you don’t want to do, let them go. Without the emotional weight and mental clutter of keeping things on your agenda that don’t absolutely need to be there, you’re much freer to rapidly move forward on what you really do want and need to get done.”

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The Commitment Muscle

Sticking through things longer builds resilience. But sticking through on a bad idea, project or effort can lose you years of your life.

The goal is to increase your ability to susta...

Quitting Points

They are pre-specified periods of time, effort or stress that you decide you’re willing to endure before you step back and re-evaluate.

Pick Your Quitting Point
  • Set shorter lengths of projects: set projects that are short enough that committing to them all the way is easy enough to do or break into chunks th bigger ones.
  • Set re-evaluation points for ongoing habits and goals.
  • Based on impact to other areas of your life. You can choose metrics like: time and how those things impact your life.
Your brain is the biggest obstacle.
There are lazy people, slackers, and folks who don’t step up, but generally, human beings are hardwired to hang in, not to leave or quit. 

What’s hard for human beings is letting go...

The most common biases
  • You’re focused on the time and energy you’ve already invested, or the sunk cost fallacy.
  • Your eyes are trained on positive cues -being overly optimistic and loss averse. Always trying harder and for longer.
  • When we realize we’re likely to fail at a job or other endeavor, we begin to see that goal as even more valuable than it was initially.
  • FOMO—and the fear of making a mistake.
Do this if you want to quit
  • Get a bead on your emotions. Don’t set yourself up for a “straw-that-broke-the-camel’s back” moment.
  • Motivate yourself. Quitting isn’t an end in and of itself; it’s a pathway to a new destination.

  • Make a plan that not only sets your new goal but anticipates possible setbacks and pitfalls along the way.

  • Prepare for the stress of transition. The best defence is knowing ahead of time how you’re likely to react.

Feeling better

A common symptom of quitting the news is an improvement in mood.

We don't get a sample of what is really happening in the world. TV selections exploit our negativity bias. They select what’s...

You're not losing anything

A month after you’ve quit the news, it’s hard to name anything useful that’s been lost. It becomes clear that those years of news-watching amounted to virtually nothing in terms of improvement to your quality of life, lasting knowledge, or your ability to help others.

You were never actually accomplishing anything or get informed by watching the news.

Conversations with no real meaning

There is an extraordinary gulf between having a functional understanding of an issue, and the cursory glance you get from the news.

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Following protocol

Schedule a time with your supervisor to break the news. Be aware that sharing the news with the office grapevine might cause the news to leak prematurely before you formally give notice.

It's...

Your future-focused "why"

Your supervisor will probably ask you why you are leaving.

Make sure your reason for leaving is opportunity-focused and aspirational and not because you are running away from something. Reasons may be taking on a more prominent role, learning new skills, working in a new industry or relocation.

Weighting counteroffers

Research found that while 58% of employers extend counteroffers, the average employee who accepts them stays less than two years in a company.

Keep the focus on your new opportunities and suggest that you remain in touch and explore the chance to return at a future time.

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You Dread Going to Work

While it’s normal to have qualms about the work day, if you truly, deeply dread those eight hours at the office, it is time to move on.

You’re Procrastinating
And  you do it more than your actual job. If there’s nothing you find engaging about your day-to-day work, you should consider if your current position is really a good fit for you.
It’s Taking a Toll on Your Health
  • Are your sick days adding up, out of the blue? 
  • Are you taking as much time off as you can possibly get?
  • Are you resorting to a few (or many) glasses of wine each night to get over a bad day at work? 
  • Are you working so many hours you have no time to exercise, eat healthily or get enough sleep? 

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We see ‘change’ as the magical answer to everything in life
  • “I just need a change of scenery.”
  • “A new home will make us happier.”
  • “A new relationship will make me feel whole again.”
  • “I feel stuck in my job. I should get a ne...
Change is great, but not if you don’t get better from it

If you can’t think of a good outcome, stop trying to change. Because change is only good for one reason: Improvement.

Keep yourself accountable

Making a commitment to yourself helps keep you accountable. 

Write your goals down, keep a to-do list with you, and create reminders on your phone and on your calendar.

Make yourself accountable to others
  • Tell everyone what you plan to do and talk about your goals. Tell friends, employees, and employers your intentions and you won’t want to let them down. 
  • Start documenting and sharing your journey. A blog or vlog where you share the projects you’re working on and your progress will encourage you to get things done. 
Cut out temptations

If you’re a chronic procrastinator and simply can’t resist the temptations of things like Facebook and Youtube, it might be time to cut out temptations.

There are tools such as Rescue Time, SelfControl and Focus that will temporarily block access to distracting websites like Facebook. Less aggressive tools such as Facebook Newsfeed Eradicator and Distraction Free Youtube will allow you to have access to Facebook and Youtube but block the distracting parts of these websites (such as the newsfeed).

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Cognitive biases
Cognitive biases

...are common thinking errors that harm our rational decision-making.

We don't always see things as they are. We don't simply glean information through the senses and act on it; inste...

Optimism Bias

Is our tendency to overestimate the odds of our own success compared to other people's. 

Overly optimistic predictions can be dangerous, leading us to waste time and resources pursuing unrealistic goals. In the real world of business, things don't always work out for the best, and it serves us well to know when conditions are not on our side.

How to control the optimism bias
  • Be skeptical of your own rosy expectations for your work. 
  • Assume projects will be more difficult and more expensive than you initially think they will. 
  • Don't trust your good ideas to manifest through positive thinking - be ready to fight for them.
  • Trust the numbers. Numbers are firm but fair, and getting intimate with your business's cash flow can help you make more rational decisions.

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