If you want to be more productive at work, say goodbye to these 8 habits

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There’s nothing quite as frustrating as sitting at your desk, watching the tasks pile up, yet feeling like you’re sinking below the weight of your to-do list. 

No matter how many timers you set, no matter how many 5 shot lattes you down, no matter how many inspirational quotes you read…

It just ain’t happening.

Sometimes, it’s not even that you’re overloaded.

You know that you can accomplish all your tasks, and accomplish them well…

You just can’t seem to shed a certain set of habits which are at present pulling down your productivity.

So, are you ready to level up your productivity levels?

Get ready to bid these time-wasting habits goodbye!

1) Multitasking no-more

Although some of us claim to be champions at multitasking, the truth is that juggling 5 tasks at once often means that none of the tasks get the attention they deserve.

Plus, your mind ends up cluttered and frantic, trying to switch attention rapidly between completely different projects.

And let’s be honest – that person on the other end of your Zoom call can tell when you’re slyly trying to type up an email or text someone back mid-meeting. 

Multitasking fragments your attention and leaves you with a heap of unfinished tasks and a mind full of clutter.

Being productive should be about quality, not quantity.

And if you’re finding your attention span frazzled and your mind wandering, it’s time to wave multitasking goodbye

Divide up your projects, organize by importance, and conquer!

2) You live in your inbox 

First thing in the morning, you wake up and take a biiiig stretch…

Then straight to the inbox you go!

Frantically, you flit through the spam mail and newsletters, trying to find those urgent work emails you know are waiting.

Throughout the rest of the day, you return to your inbox again and again. Refreshing eagerly, awaiting the next email worthy of a response.

But here’s the killer: most emails aren’t urgent, and responding to them immediately only interrupts your workflow and eats up your valuable time.

Plus, as we covered above, constantly monitoring your inbox is just another form of multitasking which inevitably gets in the way of focusing on projects that need your time and attention.

To remedy an inbox-addiction, set boundaries.

Allocate specific times of the day for checking and responding to emails. 

And trust me: the world won’t end if you don’t immediately reply to that email.

3) Not enough breaks

I’m not talking full weeks off.

Rather, getting so caught up in an important project and forgetting to grab lunch. To take a quick stroll in the park and breathe some fresh air. To catch up with your partner after a long day.

Breaks can be short and sparse, but they are crucial for letting your mind decompress and refresh.

Plus, you never know what creative idea you might stumble upon whilst nipping out for a quick lunchtime jog. 

4) Poor task prioritization

Not all tasks are created equal.

So if you’re tackling the first thing on your to-do list each time, you’re likely having a negative impact on your productivity – perhaps even without knowing it.

Instead, begin (or end) each day by reviewing your tasks and organizing them according to importance – be it timeliness or value. 

Because if you’re spending your time on low-value tasks while your high-value tasks are piling up and gathering dust, you’re wasting a whole load of precious time and efficiency.

Prioritizing and organizing is a key component of productivity. So if you’re not already doing so, it’s time to start!

5) Distractions are getting in the way of your focus

You’re mid reading this article, learning about the habits holding your productivity back…

PING!

An Instagram notification sends you into a 10 minute scroll through some reels. 

Then you get sidetracked and end up scrolling eBay for some new candles. 

Next thing you know, you’re 4-hours-deep into researching the environmental implications of household candles…

Whether procrastination dressed up, or an easily-distracted mind, these types of reroutes can have a huge impact on your productivity levels.

To combat losing your focus, consider:

  • Setting your phone on silent when working on tasks
  • Finding quiet and calm spaces to work
  • Using noise-canceling headphones
  • Keeping office chit chat to a minimum

Productivity is all about maintaining focus. 

If you’re constantly being derailed by distractions, it’s time to take control and create an environment that allows you to concentrate and do your best work.

6) Physical health is on the backburner

Your body and mind are incredibly interlinked. 

When one suffers (or thrives), so does the other.

In terms of productivity, if you start busting out work and living off energy drinks, caffeine, and slouching away at your desk, you’ll suffer for it.

Cue sluggishness, trouble concentrating, and even simple tasks feeling like monumental tasks.

Neglecting your physical health and thinking it’ll boost your productivity, will only end up making your performance suffer. 

So if your productivity levels have taken a hit, take a step back and prioritize the following:

If you’re not taking care of yourself, this is the wake up call you need to start.

7) Unclear goals, clouded vision

We’ve covered prioritizing and organizing your to-do lists…

But what about the bigger goals?

You can work all day at tackling your daily tasks, but are they getting you any closer to the next level?

Setting clear goals for each day (even personal ones such as reading a few pages of a book or working on a new skill) can help you focus and fill you up with motivation. 

Plus, the more detailed the vision you have for what you want out of life, the easier it’ll be to put in the right work to make that a reality.

So if your day-to-day feels like you’re stumbling through quicksand and getting nowhere, it’s time to start setting those bigger goals. 

Productivity thrives on clarity and purpose, so close your eyes and start envisioning where you want to be.

8) You’re not celebrating the little wins

When was the last time you gave yourself a pat on the back for getting the little things done?

Even the tasks as small as submitting a project, folding laundry, or watering your houseplants?

The latter at least, is easily forgotten and worth a small celebratory cheer.

Personally, I have always focused on the next task, the next goal. So caught up in the hustle, I forgot to celebrate the little victories that were nudging me towards my goals.

But here’s the key: productivity isn’t just about ticking things off a list.

It’s also about recognizing and appreciating the efforts that go into those accomplishments, and celebrating the fruits of your labor.

Celebrating your victories is empowering, too. It boosts your confidence, motivates you to keep going, and reminds you of how far you’ve come.

So next time you achieve even a minor goal or task, reward yourself. 

Treat yourself to a little time off, a sweet snack, a brief browse through your favorite channels. 

At the end of the day, productivity is as much about the journey as it is about the destination. 

Final words

If you’re recognizing these habits in your daily work routine, don’t panic. 

We all have productivity pitfalls. The important thing is that we’re aware of them and willing to make changes.

Start by taking small steps. 

Remember, productivity isn’t about working harder; it’s about working smarter. It’s about making the most of your time and energy. 

And who knows? 

By saying goodbye to these unproductive habits, you might just find a more efficient, productive, and satisfied version of yourself.

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