Wednesday, January 7, 2015

The 7 Habits of Highly Dysfunctional People

Recently someone mentioned The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey, and while they were talking I was thinking, "It would be great if I could write a book like that, but I don't really have the expertise."

So I figured I'd take the advice of my high school English teacher and write what I know. 

Today I started working on a draft for a new book called The 7 Habits of Highly Dysfunctional People, where I share all my tried-and-true tips for making your life as difficult as possible.

Here's a sneak peek of my outline, for those who are interested:

The 7 Habits of Highly Dysfunctional People -- Inspired by Stephen Covey, my new book The 7 Habits of Highly Dysfunctional People shares all my tried-and-true tips for making your life as difficult as possible.  {posted @ Unremarkable Files}

1. Don't get enough sleep. I can't emphasize enough how important this is. If you're serious about dysfunction, being perpetually tired is the linchpin to this entire system. Tired people have trouble concentrating on tasks, feeling happy, and making good decisions.

If you feel like going to bed at around 9 or 10 PM, don't give in. Push past the exhaustion, and after 30 minutes or so you'll get a second wind that will carry you well past midnight.

2. Take care of the least important stuff first. Make sure you spend the most critical hours of your day cleaning your house, crossing minor items off your to-do list, and browsing aimlessly on Facebook so you run out of time to pray, read your scriptures, or spend time with your family.

If you have children at home, a good way to judge your success is by counting the number of times a day you say "Just a minute, Mommy's busy."

3. Pretend not to know your limitations. Regardless of how much you think you can actually handle, say "yes" to everything you think you should say yes to. Overcommit and overschedule, then feel like a failure when you drop the ball.

During this process, it's important to appear to have everything absolutely under control. If this proves difficult, just keep smiling until you're alone and then you can lock yourself in the bathroom and scream.

4. Only think about yourself. Helping others tends to put your own problems in perspective, so avoid it whenever you can. A proper perspective will only impede your goal of becoming completely dysfunctional.

Don't get out and do stuff for other people. Better yet, try not to get out at all  even if it's only a trip to the post office, fresh air often has the undesirable side effect of making you feel rejuvenated.

5. Keep extremely busy at all times. Downtime either leads to relaxation or healthy introspection. By constantly keeping busy, you'll avoid both of these pitfalls. You'll also elevate your anxiety level, which could possibly contribute to insomnia (see Habit #1!)

Once you've mastered the art of working hard and never taking a break, take your dysfunction to the next level by spending time each day feeling guilty because you're no fun to be around.

6. Always be mentally elsewhere. Living in the moment, or "stopping to smell the roses," is a slippery slope leading to contentment and stability. Part of the art of dysfunction is always keeping yourself distracted.

For example, when your kids are telling you about their day, only listen partway while you're doing something unimportant like going through the spam folder in your inbox. Also, text as much as possible when in the company of others so as to avoid meaningful interaction with them.

7. Compare yourself to others often. Lower self-esteem is proven to help you become more dysfunctional, so identify your strengths and then compare yourself to someone who's way better at them.

Better yet, compare yourself to someone who excels at something you really stink at. If you don't know where to start, try Pinterest.

* * *

Assuming my pitch for this book is successful when I start visiting publishers (and I don't see how it couldn't be,) I'm planning on following it up with a sequel, Embracing the Guilt Within: A Mother's Guide.

Feel free to leave a comment with any ideas you'd like to see included in the book!

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Megan said...

Ha ha ha this is awesome!!

Anonymous said...

Very clever :) Thank you for giving a whole new meaning to dysfunction. You've rescued the baby boomers who have been carrying around their dysfunction as a result of being parented by Dr.Spock and his misguided ways of how to raise children.

Unknown said...

Brilliant post Jenny! I just love the fact that you've managed to mix in a healthy dose of humour (humor?) to a great tongue in cheek guide to what not to do which actually acts as a pretty effective wake up call to a number of behaviour patterns I think we can all be guilty off at times! Thanks so much for linking up to #thetruthabout

Jenny Evans said...

Brits welcome here, I could use a few extra 'u's in my life.

mothers shadow said...

SO funny and so on target! Another terrific post my friend. Carrie, A Mother's Shadow

Anonymous said...

Jenny, I'm buying my preview copy as we speak. Where will you have the first book signing? I need to make my plane reservations.

Unknown said...

I think scrolling through Facebook at 3:20 a.m. qualifies me to fit in your list! I think I'll give to sleep now .

Anonymous said...

What , you think you know me ?;lol just because you do ?