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Summary: Here are 5 habits that we need to do away with in order to be more productive.
Once we hit our adult years, productivity is a buzzword that we hear time and time again. Starting with studying in college, to working at a job, to simply how you spend your time on the weekends, we always strive for but struggle with being productive. Why is productivity important? Because we know our time is valuable and many people have big goals that they want to accomplish in life.
Whether you’re being more productive so you can get more work done overall or you’re being more productive so you can have more free time to invest in your family or other hobbies, there are many things we do that stand in our way of using time wisely and efficiently. Rather than let it go and simply “try harder” next time, there are easy ways to evaluate what you’re currently doing and then improve upon them.
Whatever your motivation, if you want to be more efficient with your time, here are five habits that hinder productivity that we should all do away with.
Not taking care of yourself. You might be surprised to see this first, but taking care of your body is essential to being productive, especially over a long period of time. Sure, you can pull an overnighter here and there, maybe even for a week to meet a big deadline, but it’s not sustainable.
Getting in some physical activity everyday will improve your mood, providing endorphins and getting your blood pumping to make you more alert. Eating well (skip the white sugar) also helps improve your performance and keeps your blood sugar from crashing. Sleep is absolutely essential to your brain and body function as it clears brain fog, allows your body to recharge and repair itself, and reduces stress.
Procrastination. It should be no surprise that procrastination hinders productivity, and yet we all do it. Procrastination can often stem from being afraid of doing something wrong, making the wrong choice, or simply doing something you dislike. However, remind yourself that the longer you put it off, the longer you have to spend dreading the task. Imagine how you’ll feel after it’s done! You’ll probably feel relieved and like a weight is off your shoulders. Think of that feeling and just start. Starting is the hardest part.
Multi-Tasking. We live in a multi-tasking world, that’s for sure. With all of the technology we have now and the desire to do all things, we end up doing many things at the same time, or at least trying to. When you’re in the middle of one task and your email inbox chimes or your phone lights up with a notification or you think of something else you could do really quickly, then you’re losing your flow.
Stick to one task for at least 30 minutes and close everything else out. Resist getting up to organize that file across the room that looks messed up and resist checking your phone. It can wait for a little while and you’ll be pleasantly surprised at how far you get on your main focus.
Being a creature of habit. It may seem like habits help productivity since you’ve got that habit down pat, right? But what if there’s a better way of doing things? If you never mix it up and try a new way of doing something, then you’ll never know that there might be a better way. Don’t be afraid to try new things. If the rest of the world is constantly changing to improve, why shouldn’t you?
Having no direction. If you don’t have a “why” for what you’re working on, then you’re not going to want to work on it. When you start procrastinating or struggling to focus, take a step back and ask yourself why you’re doing this project in the first place. Is it because you need to earn money to live? Is it because you love sharing what you’ve learned with the world? Whatever it is you’re doing, you’ll be far more motivated to focus on the task at hand, if you are inspired by your work and what it can generate.