10 things highly productive people never waste their time on

Just imagine for a moment that you’ve got it all together. You’re knocking out your to-do list like a boss, your productivity is through the roof, and you’re feeling on top of the world.

It’s not just a dream. Highly productive people live in this realm every day!

And the secret? Well, it’s not so much about what they do, but rather what they DON’T do.

So if you’re ready to revamp your routine and live your most productive life, keep reading.

Below are 10 things that highly productive people never waste their time on.

1. Too many meetings

You know those never-ending meetings that feel like they’re sucking the life out of your day? Well, super-productive people avoid them like the plague.

They know that most meetings could easily be replaced by an email or a quick phone call.

In fact, research has found that an average office worker spends over 31 hours per month in meetings and 50% of that time is considered unproductive. Imagine what you could do with all that extra time!

When super-productive people do have to attend a meeting, they make sure it’s short, focused, and has a clear agenda. That way, they can get back to their work as quickly as possible.

When you’re invited to a meeting, ask yourself: is this really necessary? Could the same result be achieved with a quick email or call? If the answer is yes, you might want to reconsider that meeting. Time is precious, don’t waste it!

2. Doing lots at once

Here’s a myth we need to bust right now: multitasking is not a superpower. In fact, it’s quite the opposite.

People who appear to be doing many things at once are often less productive than those who focus on one task at a time.

Super-productive people understand this. They know that our brains aren’t designed to handle multiple tasks at once. When we try to juggle too many things, we end up doing all of them poorly.

Instead, they prioritize their tasks and tackle them one at a time.

They give each task their undivided attention, which leads to higher-quality work and less stress. It’s all about working smarter, not harder.

When you find yourself trying to do a million things at once, remember: it’s better to do one thing well than a bunch of things poorly. Take a breath, pick one task, and give it all you’ve got!

3. Waiting until later

Procrastination – we’ve all been there. I remember a time when I had a big project looming over me, and I kept telling myself, “I’ll start tomorrow.”

Of course, tomorrow came and went, and before I knew it, the deadline was right around the corner. The stress was overwhelming, and the quality of my work definitely suffered as a result.

Super-productive people don’t play that game. They know that “later” often turns into “never” or a last-minute scramble.

Instead of putting things off, they tackle tasks head-on as soon as they can.

They break big projects down into manageable chunks and make steady progress each day.

The result? Less stress, better work, and the satisfaction of knowing they’re on top of things. Now, I try to live by this principle.

Sure, it’s tempting to put things off until later, but I’ve learned the hard way that it’s better to just get started. 

When you’re tempted to procrastinate, remember: the sooner you start, the sooner you’ll be done!

4. Negativity

Did you know that negativity can literally drain your energy?

Spending just 10 minutes around a negative person can significantly drain your energy. But spending 10 minutes around a positive person has the opposite effect, giving you an energy boost!

Super-productive people are well aware of this fact. They go out of their way to avoid negativity and surround themselves with positive influences instead.

They know that a positive mindset leads to better problem-solving, more creativity, and ultimately, higher productivity.

If you’re struggling with negativity in your life, it might be time for a change. Seek out positive influences, focus on the good, and watch how your productivity levels soar!

5. Chasing perfection

Perfection – it’s a trap that many of us fall into. We strive to make everything perfect, believing that only then will our work be worthy.

But here’s the thing: perfection is an illusion. It’s unattainable, and the pursuit of it can often lead to stress, burnout, and even failure.

Super-productive people understand this. They know that chasing perfection is like running on a treadmill – you’re working hard, but you’re not actually getting anywhere.

Instead of striving for perfection, they aim for excellence. They do their best, learn from their mistakes, and keep moving forward.

There’s a certain beauty in imperfection. It shows that you’re human, that you’re trying, and most importantly, that you’re growing.

So the next time you find yourself obsessing over making something perfect, remember: done is better than perfect. Give it your best shot, let it go, and watch how much more you achieve.

6. Being messy

I used to be the kind of person who would have piles of papers on their desk and a to-do list that was all over the place.

I thought it was just part of being creative. But then, I realized something: my messiness was costing me time and causing me stress.

Super-productive people understand the power of organization. They know that a cluttered workspace can lead to a cluttered mind. They keep their desks tidy and their schedules well-planned.

This way, they can easily find what they need and know exactly what they should be working on.

After I realized this, I made a conscious effort to keep my workspace clean and my schedule organized.

And you know what? It made a huge difference! I was able to focus better, work more efficiently, and I felt less stressed.

If your desk is currently buried under mountains of papers or your schedule is just a jumbled mess, take some time to get organized. Trust me, it’s worth it!

7. Endless social media scrolling

Social media can be a massive time-sucker. One minute, you’re checking a quick notification. The next, you’re deep into your cousin’s friend’s sister’s vacation photos from 2012 – and you don’t even know how you got there!

Super-productive people know this all too well. They understand that while social media isn’t inherently bad, it becomes a problem when it starts eating into time that could be spent on more productive tasks.

That’s why they set boundaries. They limit their social media use to certain times of the day or use it as a reward for completing their tasks.

Look, I get it. The pull of social media is strong, and FOMO is real. But at the end of the day, those hours spent mindlessly scrolling are hours you’re not getting back.

When you reach for your phone, maybe ask yourself: is this the best use of my time right now?

8. Listening to nasty comments

Receiving negative feedback can significantly impair our problem-solving abilities and creativity. Negative comments aren’t just hurtful; they can actually hinder our performance!

Super-productive people know this. They’ve learned to filter out unnecessary and unconstructive criticism.

That doesn’t mean they ignore all criticism – far from it. They value constructive feedback and use it as a tool for growth and improvement.

But those mean, hurtful comments that serve no purpose other than to bring them down? They don’t give them a second thought.

Not all criticism is created equal. Learn to distinguish between what’s helpful and what’s not. Your productivity will thank you for it!

9. Ignoring their health

I have to admit, I used to be one of those people who would sacrifice sleep just to get more done. I thought I was being productive, but in reality, I was just running myself into the ground.

I’d end up feeling tired, and unfocused, and my work suffered as a result.

Super-productive people know that taking care of their health isn’t optional; it’s a necessary part of being productive.

They understand that a healthy body fuels a productive mind. That’s why they make time for regular exercise, eat balanced meals, and ensure they get enough sleep.

Since I’ve started prioritizing my health, I’ve noticed a huge difference in my productivity levels. I have more energy, my focus has improved, and I get more done in less time.

If you’re skimping on sleep or living on junk food in the name of productivity, it might be time for a change. Take care of your body and your productivity will follow. 

10. Not prioritizing

This was a hard lesson for me to learn. I used to tackle my to-do list without any real plan. I’d jump from task to task, thinking I was getting loads done. The truth? I was just spinning my wheels.

Super-productive people know better. They understand the power of prioritizing. They identify the tasks that will have the biggest impact and tackle those first. The less important stuff? It can wait.

Once I started prioritizing, I realized that not everything on my to-do list was a must-do. Some tasks were more important than others. By focusing on these tasks, I was able to make real progress and boost my productivity.

So, if you’re feeling overwhelmed by your to-do list, take a step back. What tasks really matter? Focus on those and let the rest fall into place.

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Lachlan Brown

I’m Lachlan Brown, the founder, and editor of Hack Spirit. I love writing practical articles that help others live a mindful and better life. I have a graduate degree in Psychology and I’ve spent the last 15 years reading and studying all I can about human psychology and practical ways to hack our mindsets. Check out my latest book on the Hidden Secrets of Buddhism and How it Saved My Life. If you want to get in touch with me, hit me up on Facebook or Twitter.

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