Bad habits are not only detrimental to your life but they can cripple your productivity. They limit your output because most time is spent focused on them rather than on what matters the most.
The best way to increase personal productivity is to work on controlling or stopping these bad habits. This shifts your energy and focus on what is important.
As you work on increasing your productivity, it’s best to take a moment and be real. Take a pen and notepad and list all those bad habits that are holding you back.
By doing this, you get a clear picture of what needs to be amended. Just thinking of these bad habits and not taking any action won’t fix your productivity concerns.
What keeps you from being your best self? What bad habits limit your productivity at work? What can you do to change or stop them?
Social Media Distractions
Social media has made it possible to communicate in real-time with friends and family from across the world. There are a lot of interesting things going on every second.
How invested are you in your social pages and how does that affect your level of productivity? You know you have tasks to complete but spend an hour or two scrolling through Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.
It’s easy to get distracted and lose track of time once you start skipping from one social platform to the next. It’s paramount you curb this bad habit immediately. Not only do you lose track of time but you can get in trouble with the boss.
Office hours are not meant for scrolling through social media. Even if your job is social media management, the content you view needs to be aligned with the tasks at hand.
The best way to refrain from getting distracted by social media is by removing all social platform icons from your home screen. Also, turn off the notifications that keep picking your interest in what has been posted.
If you can, Turn Off your Phone
Phones at work are detrimental to your focus and productivity. It’s not only social platforms that keep distracting you. The content on your phone might interfere with how focused you are on your work.
A video pops into your head and you pick your phone to view it. An SMS comes in from a friend that starts a long chat. By the time you are done an hour or two is gone.
If you can, turn off your phone at work. Certain workspaces make it mandatory for staff to turn off their cell phones while on duty. When you keep checking your phone, it means your mind is less focused on work. This tanks your productivity and tasks remain undone or poorly done as a result.
No matter how urgent or delayed a project is, never skip your breaks. Breaks are there to give your mind a moment to relax and step away from the tasks at hand.
Use this time to unwind and come back with a fresh mind after the break. Most people view skipping lunch as a way of increasing their productivity. It’s not true. Skipping your lunch break works against you by reducing your productivity level.
You might be forced to have lunch at work but don’t do it in the office or work station. Step away and find a common area to sit and eat. Most office buildings have lounges or cafeterias.
Make it a point to not have tea or lunch at your desk. Not only can it get messy but you won’t get a chance to relax and refocus.
Most corporations encourage multitasking as a way of increasing productivity but research proves otherwise. Clifford Nass, a researcher from Stanford University in 2009 concluded that multitasking can reduce an individual’s productivity by up to 40%. That is a significant amount considering how vital productivity is at the office and on a personal level.
The results of this research were surprising considering many people believe multitasking contributes to increased productivity. The truth is when you multitask your mind is not focused on any one task.
Focus is split between all that you should do. The energy spent trying to get it all done doesn’t match with the output received. It’s best to focus on one task at a time for the best outcome.
Poor Sleeping Patterns
You need a good night’s sleep to be more productive in life and at the office. When you don’t get enough sleep for one reason or another, it’s hard to focus. Eventually, this tanks your level of productivity.
Sleep deprivation is serious and should be handled immediately. Why are you not sleeping? Do you make it a habit to scroll through social media at bedtime? Is there a deeper issue that needs medical assistance?
Matthew Carter who is a PhD holder from Wiliams College addressed this matter when discussing the sleep crisis in the US. He emphasized that the only way to be more productive at work is after you get a good night’s sleep.
If you allow yourself to get distracted and lose valuable sleep time, this will be evident in your output at work. Make it a habit of going to bed on time during workdays. You can watch that movie on your day off.
Doing the Tough Tasks Last
If you make it a habit to handle the tough tasks last then know you won’t be as productive. It’s best to handle high-priority tasks first thing in the morning than the other way around.
This way you give it all your focus while still fresh. As the day wears on at the office, it’s easy to lose focus and not perform at 100%. You are not only tired but start losing focus on the office and think of getting home or what comes next after work.
It’s common for afternoons to be the least productive hour in the office. There is little to distract you in the morning because even your colleagues are busy with their tasks. Make it a habit to make this the most productive time where you get high priority tasks done.
Bad habits hamper productivity which is a fact you must contend with. As you work to increase how productive you are, learn to stop or control bad habits.