Everyday comes with new challenges you are expected to overcome and tasks you are supposed to accomplish by the end of the working day. And guess what, it never ends.There is always something to do. And the more you take on, the more there is to do. Your productivity may be suffering in the process and you may not even know it.
It’s about time you paid attention to the habits that could be hindering your progress. These are a few habits that are virtually killing your productivity.
1. Multi-tasking. Stop multi-tasking, seriously stop. Of all the bad habits, multitasking is among the worst and most common. Multi-tasking does not necessarily make you more productive as you may think. You can actually achieve more in less time when you single task and focus on getting one thing done well.
It takes about 23 minutes and 15 seconds to fully return to a task after interruption, according to Gloria Mark, Professor at UC Irvine, in Fast Company. So you may be wasting a lot more time than you think.
2. Working from your inbox: How many times have you checked your email today? Too many of us spend most of our day in our inbox: reading and answering emails instead of getting real work done. The more emails you send, the more you seem to get. Set boundaries by checking email only only for a particular number of times and stick to that.
3. You’re Constantly in meetings : Are your meetings truly worthwhile? Spend one day a week taking meetings, then forget about all other meetings. Only the most important meetings should get your attentions. People just too much in meetings when they should be behind their desks working on tasks. Meet less to achieve more.
4. Not delegating: Trying to do everything hurts you and your business. You don’t have do everything yourself, get help and outsource if you can and concentrate on what you are good at doing in the day.
5. Not knowing how to say No: As Warren Buffett put it, “You can’t let other people set your agenda in life.” Saying “no” means you have time to focus on your own needs, rather than constantly serving other people.
6. Not tracking results: Use an app, there are hundreds of productivity apps out there to keep track of what you’re doing each day. These products help you identify areas where you’re not at your most efficient and make changes.
7. Working for too long…without breaks. Sometimes you just need a break. Listen to your body and allow yourself to recover from tiredness. You can only focus on tasks for a certain amount of time.(said to be a maximum of 90 minutes). Split your tasks into small chunks and take (10-15 minute) breaks in between.
8. Working without routines. A work routine is essential to getting your mind into productive gear. Without one, you will always be wasting time on getting started when you should be doing actual work.
9. Filling to-do list with too many tasks. Don’t be overzealous and fill your to-do list with dozens or more tasks. You will most likely be unable to complete them all by close of the working day and you will be depressed and think you are not being productive enough. And once the overwhelm felling starts to kick in, you’re in for some trouble: stress is just one of them.
10. Your super connected habit. If you can be reached via smartphone, email, Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn, you’re way too available and all these outlets are possible connections that can distract you from your purpose. Disconnect and watch as your productivity sores.
Your smartphone might be the biggest productivity killer of all time. Most people just can’t put the phone away. If your phone is connected online, the temptation to stay updated about almost everything is very high. If you can, put down that phone (or power it off) for a while when in the office. See the effect that it has.
11. The news reading habit. Reserve time slot for reading or watching news. Use critical mind set and think what you see. Use quality media. Stop clicking headlines and reading short news – read quality news articles instead or even blogs of experts you have chosen. Don’t stop your work or day with quick peeks to newspapers or news sites. You don’t need to be up to date every second.
12. The indecision. The usual problem is that people have long to-do lists, but no idea what they intend to tackle after that extensive meeting. Prioritise on what needs to be accomplished for the day and get to it as soon as possible.