Bad Habits that Kill Productivity and How to Avoid Them

Most people have the desire to be more productive in their daily lives, but have difficulty figuring out how to do so. Sometimes, the trouble is that we do not realize that we may be getting in our own way. It is easy to develop little habits that, when combined, can be very detrimental to our productivity.

Here are some of the most common traps that we fall into and some easy ways to reverse the habits to maximize everyday productivity.

  1. Hitting the snooze button. Hitting that snooze button can be an unconscious impulse for some of us. We may not even realize that we’re doing it until we look at the clock and notice that we’ve snoozed ourselves into being late for work! The thing is… those nine minute increments of extra sleep can feel like a piece of heaven at the time, but it ends up causing more damage than good. You can’t get restorative sleep in that amount of time, so you end up feeling worse than you would have had you gotten up on that first alarm and you’ve wasted valuable time! Try putting your phone or alarm clock across the room so you have to get up to turn it off!


  1. Not prioritizing. When you fail to prioritize, you end up getting swamped with too much at once. It’s all too easy to get overwhelmed with information overload each day and consume your time with busy work. By prioritizing your tasks, you can make sure that you are accomplishing tasks in order of importance.


  1. Multitasking. A lot of people pride themselves on their ability to multitask. Multitasking is not always a good thing. In fact, it can be a huge productivity killer. Trying to do too much at once detracts your attention from quality. It is under this circumstance that the old adage, “quality, not quantity”, rings especially true. Instead, focus all of your attention on one task at a time so you can perform at your best. You will make less mistakes and produce higher quality work.


  1. Procrastinating. Procrastinating is one of the biggest productivity killers of all. Putting things off only causes you to stress about them until you get to them, which also causes you to give divided attention to other projects you’re working on in the meantime. To avoid procrastinating, tackle your most important and most challenging tasks first thing in the morning.


  1. Failing to make a plan. Starting your day without a plan is a great way to get less accomplished. Without a game plan, you have no way to keep yourself on track or hold yourself accountable. Start each day with a plan and a few goals to keep yourself on the right path.


  1. Perfectionism. While perfectionism can certainly cause us to hold ourselves to a higher standard, is is simply impossible to live up to our own expectations when we’ve become that critical of ourselves and our work. Being a perfectionist can cause us to get hung up on every minute detail, which results in the inability to move on from minor problems and setbacks. To avoid the pitfalls of perfectionism, take some pressure off yourself and accept the fact the there will be some bumps in the road. Learn to accept your failures as long as your learn from them and chalk it all up for experience.


  1. Waiting for the right time. If we all waited for the “right” time to do things, we’d be waiting a lifetime to accomplish anything. The fact of the matter is, there is never going to be a perfect time. You will always be able to find a reason for why the time isn’t “right”. Stop waiting around and start doing. You’ll be glad you did!


In today’s busy world, there are so many distractions that can easily put a damper on our productivity. In addition to outside distractions, we can become our own worst enemies, as well! Luckily, by making a few simple, but effective adjustments we can kick up our productivity and send our bad habits packing for good.

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