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10 Habits You Need To Give Up If You Want To Be Productive

10 Habits You Need To Give Up If You Want To Be Productive

When we are productive, we efficiently finish various tasks and achieve better results. However, there are many bad habits that are killing our productivity, yet we don’t recognize them at all. In order to improve your productivity, you have to give up these 10 bad habits.

1. Watching TV before going to bed

After a busy working day, everyone tends to sit in front of the TV, then move to the bedroom and continue watching TV. Many people think it relaxes them. However, it just makes them more tired. Sometimes, you don’t even realize how much time has passed when watching TV shows, and you end up falling asleep very late at night instead of falling asleep immediately. Get the TV out of your bedroom and soon you’ll notice that you sleep better and longer, and you feel fresh when you wake up. Moreover, being positive and fresh in the morning will certainly boost your productivity at work. Instead of watching TV shows, use the time before you fall asleep to evaluate your day and have intimate conversation with your partner. You can also focus on self-improvement by signing up to an online college where you can improve yourself and learn how to become more productive and efficient in your field of work. Turn off TV, bring education and intimacy in your home.

2. Spending a lot of time on social networks

Social networks are great for staying in touch with family and friends. However, when chatting, posting, sharing, and looking at various funny photos, we lose the sense of time and waste hours just scrolling through pages. Usually, before we fall asleep, we decide to check if there is something new in the news feed and end up falling asleep very late at night. You then feel tired in the morning and incapable of doing anything that demands focus and hard work.

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Also, while working, we get interrupted all the time by the notifications that someone posted something or commented on our status update. You look at the notification and, instead of working, you get lost in the world of social networks. You become less focused on work and less productive. When at work, turn off the notifications and don’t log in. Instead of spending your free time on social networks, if you have something to share and want to do something productive you can learn how you can create a blog and escape your daily routine, while providing entertainment and information to others at the same time.

3. Not working out

People neglect physical activity because of their busy schedules, but let’s face it – we all have 20 minutes per day to spend working out. Before you go to work or when you get back, you can go hiking or jogging for 20 minutes. It is not much, but your body and mind will definitely benefit from it. If there is no place for jogging around your home, you can do simple exercises in your living room. If you have more time, you can take some yoga classes, which will help you not only to be physically active and fit, but also to become more productive and focused. When working out, you won’t feel any back pain caused by stress and sitting all day. You will definitely feel better and healthier, which will contribute to being more productive during the whole day.

4. Multitasking

We are all proud when we say that we are multitasking, and some even consider it a necessary skill of successful people. However, it is not a virtue and is slowly killing your productivity. When you multitask, you may be concentrated and focused, but that doesn’t mean that you are focused on every task equally. Moreover, not every task will be finished on time, and the results won’t be so good.

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Getting fully focused on one task at a time will certainly bring you better results, because you will be able to perform them without distractions. If you are used to multitasking, try organizing yourself and doing one task at a time, and then compare the results. You might be surprised.

5. Striving for perfection

A person who is dedicated to their work always strives for perfection. However, some people are never satisfied with their work, which leaves them with unfinished work and a lot of stress. When striving for perfection, you may start over-analyzing things and focusing on tiny details. Being detail-oriented is a virtue, but if you are paying attention to every little detail, you are losing a lot of time on unimportant little tasks. In this way, your productivity decreases and you become exhausted. Put effort into the task and be detail-oriented, but don’t waste time, talent, and effort on the things that don’t affect the outcome of the task.

6. Going with the flow

Spontaneity should be present in our lives and not everything should be predictable. But when it comes to work management, we should organize our time well. When you are going with the flow, the work just keeps piling up. A chaotic schedule can lead only to decreased productivity, which usually results in failure.

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Learn how to organize your time and make a good working plan in order to improve productivity and the chances of success. Moreover, the key to success and being productive is to determine both short-term and long-term goals.

7. Trying to be productive during the whole day

It is impossible to be productive and focused all day. The times when someone will be productive depend on the individual. Some people are productive in the morning, some in the afternoon and some are night owls. Find out when you are most productive and organize your schedule accordingly.

8. Doing every task by yourself

Many people think that they can save a lot of money by doing everything themselves, but they are wrong. They are losing money and time: instead of working on demanding tasks, they get lost in doing unimportant things that only waste their time. Smaller tasks should be outsourced, since there is no need for you to put effort into completing them. Outsourcing will pay off, and you will be able to finish important tasks successfully and on time.

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9. Giving yourself more time to finish some tasks

Since we all want to complete some tasks successfully, we tend to postpone finishing them, because we need some time to think about how to get the best results. This always leads to procrastination, which leads to decreased productivity. If you want to be productive, you should trust your instincts, talent, and knowledge, and don’t question your success. Don’t let your virtue, to achieve the best possible results, destroy you.

10. Being negative and stressed out all the time

Learn how to deal with stressful situations, because they are negatively affecting your health, mood, and productivity. Negative feelings evoke the unwillingness to perform certain tasks, and you end up doing them unsuccessfully. The recipe is simple – just be happy. Avoid stressful situations and learn how to cope with them. Find a way to get rid of negative emotions and stress and gain some positive energy. When you are happy, you can do everything with little effort. You will notice that you don’t get exhausted after every task. Behind every successful job stands happiness and a positive attitude.

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Katarina Milovanovic

Creative Writer

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Last Updated on July 21, 2021

The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work)

The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work)

No matter how well you set up your todo list and calendar, you aren’t going to get things done unless you have a reliable way of reminding yourself to actually do them.

Anyone who’s spent an hour writing up the perfect grocery list only to realize at the store that they forgot to bring the list understands the importance of reminders.

Reminders of some sort or another are what turn a collection of paper goods or web services into what David Allen calls a “trusted system.”[1]

A lot of people resist getting better organized. No matter what kind of chaotic mess, their lives are on a day-to-day basis because they know themselves well enough to know that there’s after all that work they’ll probably forget to take their lists with them when it matters most.

Fortunately, there are ways to make sure we remember to check our lists — and to remember to do the things we need to do, whether they’re on a list or not.

In most cases, we need a lot of pushing at first, for example by making a reminder, but eventually we build up enough momentum that doing what needs doing becomes a habit — not an exception.

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From Creating Reminders to Building Habits

A habit is any act we engage in automatically without thinking about it.

For example, when you brush your teeth, you don’t have to think about every single step from start to finish; once you stagger up to the sink, habit takes over (and, really, habit got you to the sink in the first place) and you find yourself putting toothpaste on your toothbrush, putting the toothbrush in your mouth (and never your ear!), spitting, rinsing, and so on without any conscious effort at all.

This is a good thing because if you’re anything like me, you’re not even capable of conscious thought when you’re brushing your teeth.

The good news is you already have a whole set of productivity habits you’ve built up over the course of your life. The bad news is, a lot of them aren’t very good habits.

That quick game Frogger to “loosen you up” before you get working, that always ends up being 6 hours of Frogger –– that’s a habit. And as you know, habits like that can be hard to break — which is one of the reasons why habits are so important in the first place.

Once you’ve replaced an unproductive habit with a more productive one, the new habit will be just as hard to break as the old one was. Getting there, though, can be a chore!

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The old saw about anything you do for 21 days becoming a habit has been pretty much discredited, but there is a kernel of truth there — anything you do long enough becomes an ingrained behavior, a habit. Some people pick up habits quickly, others over a longer time span, but eventually, the behaviors become automatic.

Building productive habits, then, is a matter of repeating a desired behavior over a long enough period of time that you start doing it without thinking.

But how do you remember to do that? And what about the things that don’t need to be habits — the one-off events, like taking your paycheck stubs to your mortgage banker or making a particular phone call?

The trick to reminding yourself often enough for something to become a habit, or just that one time that you need to do something, is to interrupt yourself in some way in a way that triggers the desired behavior.

The Wonderful Thing About Triggers — Reminders

A trigger is anything that you put “in your way” to remind you to do something. The best triggers are related in some way to the behavior you want to produce.

For instance, if you want to remember to take something to work that you wouldn’t normally take, you might place it in front of the door so you have to pick it up to get out of your house.

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But anything that catches your attention and reminds you to do something can be a trigger. An alarm clock or kitchen timer is a perfect example — when the bell rings, you know to wake up or take the quiche out of the oven. (Hopefully you remember which trigger goes with which behavior!)

If you want to instill a habit, the thing to do is to place a trigger in your path to remind you to do whatever it is you’re trying to make into a habit — and keep it there until you realize that you’ve already done the thing it’s supposed to remind you of.

For instance, a post-it saying “count your calories” placed on the refrigerator door (or maybe on your favorite sugary snack itself)  can help you remember that you’re supposed to be cutting back — until one day you realize that you don’t need to be reminded anymore.

These triggers all require a lot of forethought, though — you have to remember that you need to remember something in the first place.

For a lot of tasks, the best reminder is one that’s completely automated — you set it up and then forget about it, trusting the trigger to pop up when you need it.

How to Make a Reminder Works for You

Computers and ubiquity of mobile Internet-connected devices make it possible to set up automatic triggers for just about anything.

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Desktop software like Outlook will pop up reminders on your desktop screen, and most online services go an extra step and send reminders via email or SMS text message — just the thing to keep you on track. Sandy, for example, just does automatic reminders.

Automated reminders can help you build habits — but it can also help you remember things that are too important to be trusted even to habit. Diabetics who need to take their insulin, HIV patients whose medication must be taken at an exact time in a precise order, phone calls that have to be made exactly on time, and other crucial events require triggers even when the habit is already in place.

My advice is to set reminders for just about everything — have them sent to your mobile phone in some way (either through a built-in calendar or an online service that sends updates) so you never have to think about it — and never have to worry about forgetting.

Your weekly review is a good time to enter new reminders for the coming weeks or months. I simply don’t want to think about what I’m supposed to be doing; I want to be reminded so I can think just about actually doing it.

I tend to use my calendar for reminders, mostly, though I do like Sandy quite a bit.

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Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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Reference

[1] Getting Things Done: Trusted System

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