Quit These 6 Bad Habits To Become The Master Of Productivity
Ever wondered what the culprit is on those days where you just don’t feel like doing anything – even when you’ve got LOTS to do?
We all do.
If you really want to know what wrecks your productivity like this, I have the answer for you. A sneaky little monster – or a gang of them – called bad habits.
Some are worse than others, so I’ve come up with a list of the six most detrimental ones. Kick these six bad habits to become the master of productivity:
- Mindlessly browsing the web
Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, you name it – it’s ruining your productivity every single day. When you’re working, turn your phone on silent (or off) and put it out of your field of vision. If you work from home, put it on your bed. This is without a doubt one of the biggest time-consumers for self-employed or remote workers.
- Eating sugary snacks
Surprisingly, this one has something in common with the last one. We know that sugary food wrecks your concentration and attention span by damaging your brain cells Where most people fall victim to this bad habit is when they have these foods easily in reach or in their field of vision.
Those who work from home will know this all too well. You go to the kitchen for something during a bout of procrastination and come back with a chocolate bar. Those of you who work in an office will struggle in the same way. You take a trip to the vending machine only to find unhealthy snacks in there. But you’re really hungry!
Preparation is key. If you fail to prepare, you prepare to fail! You need to do something slightly different than to just put the bad food in a different cupboard or a drawer. Instead, put something IN your field of vision. Healthy snacks. If you work from home, before you even start, set aside a bowl of fruit or nuts and you’ll find yourself digging into that rather than the naughty cupboard.
- Checking your phone before bed
Don’t. You’re just telling your brain to stay awake. Research has found that exposure to blue and white light prevents our brains from releasing melatonin, the chemical that tells your body it’s bed time.
Checking your phone won’t just take you longer to fall asleep, the quality of your sleep will be poorer too. Why wake up feeling like crap just for the sake of a cat meme on Facebook?
If you’re self-employed this is especially important, as working from home late and staring at a computer screen brings the same problem. Shut it off an hour or two before bed.
This will surprise many of you. Researchers at Stanford University have found that multitasking is actually less productive than doing one thing at a time. They also found that those who thought they were gifted at multitasking were actually less productive, slower at switching between tasks, and worse at organising their thoughts. So start focusing on one thing at a time.
- Decision fatigue
Decision fatigue is when our mental energy is at its lowest by the end of the day, draining our ability to make decisions and get things done. It’s always tempting to put off difficult tasks until later in the day because we’re intimated by them. But this is also a sure-fire way to hurt your productivity.
Give this bad habit the middle finger by tackling the hard stuff first thing in the morning. You’ll thank yourself when the easy stuff is left for when you’re at your worse during the afternoon slump.
- Regularly checking your email
How many times do you think you check your email every day? Really think about it. I bet you don’t know.
Constantly switching tasks to do this is stressful because it’s interrupting you.
Schedule several points in the day, just two if you can – once in the morning and the afternoon – to check your inbox. You can even set an autoresponder to let senders know when you’ll check your inbox if you’re worried about delaying important emails.
The final word
It’s the little things that add up in the end. Seemingly minor bad habits can be sabotaging your performance, so cut them out and discover what it’s really like to be productive.
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