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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

Amy is a writer who blogs about relationships and lifestyle advice.

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Last Updated on March 23, 2021

Manage Your Energy so You Can Manage Your Time

Manage Your Energy so You Can Manage Your Time

One of the greatest ironies of this age is that while various gadgets like smartphones and netbooks allow you to multitask, it seems that you never manage to get things done. You are caught in the busyness trap. There’s just too much work to do in one day that sometimes you end up exhausted with half-finished tasks.

The problem lies in how to keep our energy level high to ensure that you finish at least one of your most important tasks for the day. There’s just not enough hours in a day and it’s not possible to be productive the whole time.

You need more than time management. You need energy management

1. Dispel the idea that you need to be a “morning person” to be productive

How many times have you heard (or read) this advice – wake up early so that you can do all the tasks at hand. There’s nothing wrong with that advice. It’s actually reeks of good common sense – start early, finish early. The thing is that technique alone won’t work with everyone. Especially not with people who are not morning larks.

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I should know because I was once deluded with the idea that I will be more productive if I get out of bed by 6 a.m. Like most of you Lifehackers, I’m always on the lookout for productivity hacks because I have a lot of things in my plate. I’m working full time as an editor for a news agency, while at the same time tending to my side business as a content marketing strategist. I’m also a travel blogger and oh yeah, I forgot, I also have a life.

I read a lot of productivity books and blogs looking for ways to make the most of my 24 hours. Most stories on productivity stress waking up early. So I did – and I was a major failure in that department – both in waking up early and finishing early.

2. Determine your “peak hours”

Energy management begins with looking for your most productive hours in a day. Getting attuned to your body clock won’t happen instantly but there’s a way around it.

Monitor your working habits for one week and list down the time when you managed to do the most work. Take note also of what you feel during those hours – do you feel energized or lethargic? Monitor this and you will find a pattern later on.

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My experiment with being a morning lark proved that ignoring my body clock and just doing it by disciplining myself to wake up before 8 a.m. will push me to be more productive. I thought that by writing blog posts and other reports in the morning that I would be finished by noon and use my lunch break for a quick gym session. That never happened. I was sleepy, distracted and couldn’t write jack before 10 a.m.

In fact that was one experiment that I shouldn’t have tried because I should know better. After all, I’ve been writing for a living for the last 15 years, and I have observed time and again that I write more –and better – in the afternoon and in evenings after supper. I’m a night owl. I might as well, accept it and work around it.

Just recently, I was so fired up by a certain idea that – even if I’m back home tired from work – I took out my netbook, wrote and published a 600-word blog post by 11 p.m. This is a bit extreme and one of my rare outbursts of energy, but it works for me.

3. Block those high-energy hours

Once you have a sense of that high-energy time, you can then mold your schedule so that your other less important tasks will be scheduled either before or after this designated productive time.

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Block them out in your calendar and use the high-energy hours for your high priority tasks – especially those that require more of your mental energy and focus. You also need to use these hours to any task that will bring you closer to you life’s goal.

If you are a morning person, you might want to schedule most business meetings before lunch time as it’s important to keep your mind sharp and focused. But nothing is set in stone. Sometimes you have to sacrifice those productive hours to attend to other personal stuff – like if you or your family members are sick or if you have to attend your son’s graduation.

That said, just remember to keep those productive times on your calendar. You may allow for some exemptions but stick to that schedule as much as possible.

There’s no right or wrong way of using this energy management technique because everything depends on your own personal circumstances. What you need to remember is that you have to accept what works for you – and not what other productivity gurus say you should do.

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Understanding your own body clock is the key to time management. Without it, you end up exhausted chasing a never-ending cycle of tasks and frustrations.

Featured photo credit: Collin Hardy via unsplash.com

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