- Productivity is a combination of certain skills and abilities that everyone needs, without exceptions. Whether you're a business owner, an average office worker or a celebrity, productivity is your way of getting things done.
- Increasing one's productivity is a challenging task because of various reasons and bad habits, such as procrastination, distractions, not enough focus, sleeping too much, and so on and so forth.
- So if you are looking for tips to follow and habits to get rid of in order to boost your own productivity and succeed, then just keep on reading.
Did you know that your unconscious mind controls 90% of your thoughts, decisions and behaviour? It’s also the home for all of your bad habits, and if you allow bad habits to run your life, you’ll find your productivity is not very high.
One of the biggest killers of productivity are bad habits. Unless you are aware of the habits you have, and you remove them at the root, they can stop you from achieving many things in your life. The sad thing is, you may not even notice the damage they are doing, let alone what they are actually costing you.
Bad habits affect the speed you work at, can lower your accuracy, make you less attentive and really knock your performance levels. Taking control of the habits you have and eliminating them is vital if you want to get the life you desire and deserve.
Some habits are worse than others and below I’ve listed the top 7 offenders. Freeing yourself of these habits will make a massive difference in your productivity levels and will allow you to have a more positive outlook on life. This comes naturally when your mind is clear and you have the self-control.
Whatever your reason for it, procrastination can be the most devastating affliction. It can really hold you back from doing the most important things that must be done, and it can affect you in so many areas of your life. Whether it’s because you think you are not good enough, talented enough, or whatever thought you have that’s stopping you from doing what you MUST do, if you do not deal with this one, it could destroy your life.
The procrastination you have can have a major affect on your business as well. If you have tasks you know that you need to do for your business’s survival, and you allow this habit to be in control, then these could impact badly. By not taking the action you need to take, your business could suffer and even fail.
2. Endlessly surfing the Internet
Studies show it can take you 15 minutes to fully focus on a task before you are fully engaged. Once you are engaged fully, this is known as an euphoric state called FLOW. People in a flow state are five times more productive than they would normally be.
When you allow your phone, or the “Ding” of Facebook messenger to drag you away from what you are doing, you lose that flow, or worse, may never get to it in the first place.
Having a sudden urge to check the news, or remembering something you had to do and allowing yourself to flit from thing to thing, means you’ll achieve much less in the same time frame than if you were fully in FLOW.
It also means that you’d have to go through another full 15 minutes to get back into flow. Do this enough times in your day, and you can go through an entire day without achieving very much at all.
Meetings take up so much time and energy. Especially if the agenda is not strictly adhered to. The most productive people I know avoid meetings as much as they can. They know that a meeting will take much longer than typing a quick memo about the subject, and it could really drag on much longer if they allowed it to.
Sometimes meetings cannot be avoided. If you do have to go to the meeting, then ensure that there is a very strict schedule and make sure all parties know that this MUST be adhered to. That way the meeting attendees know that there are clear limits and that motivates everyone to be more focused and more outcome orientated.
4. Being perfect
Writers, bloggers, article writers and anyone who creates something can spend countless hours brainstorming ideas, characters and plots, and they can even write page after page that will never end up in the finished product.
They can read and reread what they’ve done and consistently make changes along the way. They can even go as far as destroying what they’ve created, all because they are wanting it to be perfect.
They can do this simply because they have the limiting belief that what they produce is not good enough. I myself have suffered from this many times, but not anymore. I now know that what I produce is good work, and even if it’s not “perfect,” I submit anyway.
Many people who have talents in these areas, are often afraid to even start their projects. They doubt their ability and their ideas, and they are afraid that what they produce won’t be any good. This is also where procrastination can rear it’s ugly head.
How can you create something amazing if you don’t start, and allow it to grow into what it will be?
Do you think I have any idea what I will write when I look at the title I’ve been given? Usually not, and I still start.
5. Answering emails as they arrive
People who are productive allow certain times in their day to answer emails. They don’t allow them to be constant interruptions. In addition to checking their emails on a schedule they use features in their email programs, which automatically prioritise their emails.
This means it takes them less time to sift through what they have to deal with. At a glance they can tell what is the most important, and work on that first. They have alerts or tags for the most important emails and their top customers and some even set up an autoresponder, letting their emailers know when they will be checking them again.
They don’t allow their mail programs to alert them to what’s come in, and that allows them to focus on the task at hand without having the constant distractions.
Then, if their schedule allows, they have time to look at the other, not so important emails. This can also be left for the end of the day, or the stopping point of their work when they have time to look at what’s left.
6. Sleeping for longer than you need
This is by far one of the biggest wastes of time there is. When you “hit the snooze button” repeatedly, you lose vital time when you are at your sharpest and most alert, first thing in the morning. If you are not sharp and alert first thing in the morning, then this is definitely something to address.
Do you find yourself always waking up just before your alarm clock goes off? Personally, I don’t have an alarm, and I don’t miss it either. I wake up when I am finished sleeping, as my body knows what it needs, and I am instantly up and taking action on my day. The work I can achieve in these first hours of the morning is incredible. I get up, exercise my body, then focus on an hour of power to set my day up for complete success.
When you hit the snooze button and fall back asleep, you lose that alertness and can wake up tired and groggy. This does not set end you to having a productive day. Worst of all, it can take hours for the grogginess to wear off, so not matter how tired you think you are when you wake, get up, step up, and start on your day.
If you think you are good at multitasking, you may very well be mistaken.
Researchers at Stanford have compared groups of people based on their ability to multitask and their thoughts that it helps their productivity. They found that the people who were regularly working on several things at once and who thought this boosted their performance, were actually worse at multitasking than people who focused on one thing at a time. The constant multitaskers actually performed worse because they had more things to think about, and therefore, it was more difficult for them to organise their thoughts and get rid of unnecessary information.
People who were dealing with different streams at once, like different forms of electrical information could not pay attention, remember info, and didn’t switch from one task to the other as effectively as people who focused on one thing at a time.
Your brain does not have the ability to work on more than one thing at a time successfully. Yes, you can do it, however, tackling one at a time would be much more productive.
Above are 7 of the top habits to remove to be more productive. With a clear mind, self-control to put a few things in place, and plan your day, you can achieve so much more than simply flitting from thing to thing. If you struggle to implement any of the above, then do yourself a favour and look into the reasons as to why that is. If you find you have limiting beliefs that are holding you back and stopping you from achieving greatness, then NOW is the time to get those sorted so you can clear your mind and simply do more.