10 Things To Avoid If You Want To Be Productive

Being more productive requires managing your time and your habits. To use your time and your energy more efficiently throughout the day, resist common habits that kill productivity. Here are 10 things to avoid if you want to be more productive.

10 Things To Avoid If You Want To Be Productive

1. Failing to plan

Imagine trying to get to a destination by a certain time without a map. Without having a big picture view, finding the fastest and most efficient route between your starting point and final destination would be difficult. A clear plan acts as a map for your day. Setting a plan for your projects and tasks in advance is an important technique for managing your time, achieving your goals, and completing the tasks you set out to finish.

2. Skipping breakfast

While skipping breakfast may seem like an easy way to free up some of your time, this practice ultimately causes more harm than good. Missing the first meal of the day impacts your health, energy level, and productivity.

While we are sleeping, our blood sugar levels take a dive which is why some of us have trouble focusing and feel drained first thing in the morning. Prioritize eating a healthy breakfast to improve concentration ability, mood, and energy during the day.

3. Multitasking

Multitasking is one of the biggest threats to productivity. Research shows, multitaskers experience a 40% drop in productivity, take 50% longer to accomplish a single task, and make up to 50% more errors when compared with non-multitaskers.

To make sure you are making the most efficient use of your time each day, focus on one task at a time. Resist the urge to switch between tasks by eliminating distractions and batching similar tasks.

4. Distractions

Living in the digital age makes it increasingly difficult to concentrate. Studies show, our attention is being drawn away by smartphones. According to Deloitte, Americans check their smartphones on average of almost 50 times a day. Millennials however, check their phones more than 150 times.

Reduce distractions by silencing social media and email notifications. Designate time blocks to respond to emails and other alerts.

5. Forgetting to carve out time for breaks and rest

When we are busy and trying to make the most of every minute, it can be tempting to work while eating lunch or meals, but meals are an easy way to include planned breaks in your day. If you have been working tirelessly and are on a roll, it may seem counterintuitive to take a break, but taking a break is actually the best way to maintain your productivity.

Without breaks, your brain and your body will become tired. Your focus, effectiveness, and ability to make decisions will all be affected. To maintain peak productivity, don’t power through your work without prioritizing periods to unplug.

6. Saving challenging work for later in the day

Many people begin their days by completing the fastest and easiest tasks first. This leaves challenging tasks for later in the day. Our energy and ability to focus declines as the day progresses. Avoid fighting an uphill battle by completing challenging tasks earlier in the day when you have the necessary energy and creativity.

7. Saying yes too often

Time is our greatest commodity so we have to spend it wisely. You must know when to say no. Saying yes to everyone and every task can lead to exhaustion. Avoid scheduling unnecessary meetings or calls.

8. Doing everything yourself

If a project or task does not require your personal touch, you can save time by delegating and automating. Hand off tasks to other team members or outsource. Automate tasks you have to complete on a regular basis.

  • Create email templates.
  • Preschedule social messages
  • Use a scheduling tool for meetings

9. Rushing through tasks

Rushing through tasks costs more time than it saves. Reduced accuracy will require you to dedicate time to correcting mistakes. Save time in the long run and make fewer mistakes by not rushing.

10.Not getting enough sleep

Not getting enough sleep is a sure path to burnout and reduced performance. Sleep deprivation impairs concentration and decision making. According to a study, after 17 to 19 hours without sleep, individuals will perform with the same or worse speed and accuracy as they would under the influence of alcohol. Rest is crucial for productivity.

Can you think of any other habits to avoid for better productivity? Let me know in the comments.


  • OREZ (ASESH)

    Great listing. Why only 10? Next is:
    1. Never miss an opportunity to be quiet. Always say less than necessary.
    2. Avoid habit to forget and embrace forgive.
    3. Never stop reading to learn.
    4. Measuring your productivity.
    5. Show your power and avoid emotions
    Thanks and regards

    • I like those suggestions. Thanks for contributing.

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