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5 Dumb Habits You Must Quit To Be Insanely Productive

5 Dumb Habits You Must Quit To Be Insanely Productive

Do you want to be a more productive person? Most of us strive to be more productive both at home and at work but struggle to do so. However, many people have bad habits that they don’t even realize are draining their productivity. Check out these dumb habits you should drop if you are looking to boost your productivity.

1. Making Up Plans As You Go

When you were younger, it was probably easier for you to pass tests and exams without studying, but this attitude is much harder to pull off as an adult. Cramming won’t cut it anymore if you want to be productive, so it’s time to start planning in advance.

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Plan out your week and your day before they start, so you already know what you need to do and how long it will take. You will notice that you are accomplishing more each day, without much extra effort, simply because you don’t have to plan as you go — the plan has already been made.

2. Working Longer Hours To Make Up For Yesterday

There will be days and nights where you have a heavier workload and need to work longer hours. However, if you find yourself working longer to make up for putting off work yesterday, you may find that you’re struggling to be productive.

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Your mind produces it’s best work when you first start — the more you work, the more tired your mind will become. You will produce better work in two sets of 6 hours rather than in one 12-hour session. Try to break your work up, and don’t put it off if you want to be more productive.

3. Writing A To-Do List And Deciding All Of Your Tasks Are Equally Important

Every day there are different tasks for you to complete, but no doubt they vary in importance. Finishing a project at work is more important than buying tomato sauce, and if you class them as equally important, you are more likely to do the easier tasks and put off the important ones.

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Decide which task is your most important every day and work on completing that task first. This means your day will definitely be productive. You will be motivated by finishing the most important job, spurring you on to complete the rest of your tasks.

4. Saying Yes To Unreasonable Demands

Lazy people and productive people both have 24 hours in their day – it is how they spend these hours that makes the difference. Doing favors for others isn’t always a bad thing, but if it gets in the way of your own work, it may not be a good idea. If you worry about seeming rude, just remember that every time you say yes to one activity, you also automatically say no to another.

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5. Being Distracted Easily

The single most important part of being productive is being able to focus. If you are easily distracted, it is important to take away all of the distractions so that you can focus on your work. If you struggle with social media, download an app that allows you to block Facebook during the hours that you are at work. If you’re distracted by talking to your friend on the phone, put your phone on silent mode while you work. The best way to stop getting distracted is to remove all of the possible distractions so that you can focus 100 per cent on your work.

What do you think? Do you struggle with distractions or saying yes to others? What else might you add to this list? Share it with your productive friends to see what they think!

Featured photo credit: Stokpic via stokpic.com

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Amy Johnson

Freelance writer, editor and social media manager.

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Last Updated on September 17, 2018

How to Stop Multitasking and Become Way More Productive

How to Stop Multitasking and Become Way More Productive

Today we are expected to work in highly disruptive environments. We sit down at our desks, turn on our computer and immediately we are hit with hundreds of emails all vying for our attention.

Our phones are beeping and pinging with new alerts to messages, likes and comments and our colleagues are complaining about the latest company initiative is designed to get us to do more work and spend less time at home.

All these distractions result in us multitasking where our attention is switching between one crisis and the next.

Multitasking is a problem. But how to stop multitasking?

How bad really is multitasking?

It dilutes your focus and attention so even the easiest of tasks become much harder and take longer to complete.

Studies have shown that while you think you are multitasking, you are in fact task switching, which means your attention is switching between two or more pieces of work and that depletes the energy resources you have to do your work.

This is why, even though you may have done little to no physical activity, you arrive home at the end of the day feeling exhausted and not in the mood to do anything.

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We know it is not a good way to get quality work done, but the demands for out attention persist and rather than reduce, are likely to increase as the years go by.

So what to do about it?

Ways to stop multitasking and increase productivity

Now, forget about how to multitask!

Here are a few strategies on how to stop multitasking so you can get better quality and more work done in the time you have each working day:

1. Get enough rest

When you are tired, your brain has less strength to resist even the tiniest attention seeker. This is why when you find your mind wandering, it is a sign your brain is tired and time to take a break.

This does not just mean taking breaks throughout the day, it also means making sure you get enough sleep every day.

When you are well rested and take short regular breaks throughout the day your brain is fully refuelled and ready to focus in on the work that is important.

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2. Plan your day

When you don’t have a plan for the day, the day will create a plan for you. When you allow outside influences to take control of your day, it is very hard not to be dragged off in all directions.

When you have a plan for the day, when you arrive at work your brain knows exactly what it is you want to accomplish and will subconsciously have prepared itself for a sustained period of focused work.

Your resistance to distractions and other work will be high and you will focus much better on the work that needs doing.

3. Remove everything from your desk and screen except for the work you are doing

I learned this one a long time ago. In my previous work, I worked in a law office and I had case files to deal with. If I had more than one case file on my desk at any one time, I would find my eyes wandering over the other case files on my desk when I had something difficult to do.

I was looking for something easier. This meant often I was working on three or four cases at one time and that always led to mistakes and slower completion.

Now when I am working on something, I am in full-screen mode where all I can see is the work I am working on right now.

4. When at your desk, do work

We are creatures of habit. If we do our online shopping and news reading at our desks as well as our work, we will always have the temptation to be doing stuff that we should not be doing at that moment.

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Do your online shopping from another place—your home or from your phone when you are having a break—and only do your work when at your desk. This conditions your brain to focus in on your work and not other distractions.

5. Learn to say no

Whenever you hear the phrase “learn to say no,” it does not mean going about being rude to everyone. What it does mean is delay saying yes.

Most problems occur when we say “yes” immediately. We then have to spend an inordinate amount of energy thinking of ways to get ourselves out of the commitment we made.

By saying “let me think about it” or “can I let you know later” gives you time to evaluate the offer and allows you to get back to what you were doing quicker.

6. Turn off notifications on your computer

For most of us, we still use computers to do our work. When you have email alert pop-ups and other notifications turned on, they will distract you no matter how strong you feel.

Turn them off and schedule email reviewing for times between doing your focused work. Doing this will give you a lot of time back because you will be able to remain focused on the work in front of you.

7. Find a quiet place to do your most important work

Most workplaces have meeting rooms that are vacant. If you do have important work to get done, ask if you can use one of those rooms and do your work there.

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You can close the door, put on your headphones and just focus on what is important. This is a great way to remove all the other, non-important, tasks demanding your attention and just focus on one piece of work.

The bottom line

Focusing on one piece of work at a time can be hard but the benefits to the amount of work you get done are worth it. You will make fewer mistakes, you will get more done and will feel a lot less tired at the end of the day.

Make a list of the four or five things you want to get done the next day before you finish your work for the day and when you start the day, begin at the top of the list with the first item.

Don’t start anything else until you have finished the first one and then move on to the second one. This one trick will help you to become way more productive.

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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