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10 Things People Do Every Day Which Make Them Unproductive

10 Things People Do Every Day Which Make Them Unproductive

How do you define success? What distinguishes the successful and the unsuccessful may be that thin line of getting more done in less time. Successful people are more productive and do not do these things daily.

1.Not getting enough sleep

Sleep is essential to your well being. Sometimes people tend to take this for granted. They think the less sleep you have the more time you have to work. However, when you sleep between 7-9 hours a night, you are more energized to complete your work during the day. You are focused and energized as you optimize your sleep.

2.Multitasking

The brain can only focus on one thing at a time. When you try to do two things at once, you alter your productivity. Some may feel doing so much at once could prove efficiency and get more done, but studies on multitasking reveal that such reduces your efficiency and performance. Even when you might be able to proceed on many fronts at once, it is still a slow and an error-prone way of working. It is better for you to focus solely on one task which will get you all the work done much faster.

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3.Having a negative mindset

No matter how productive you want your day to be, if you do not possess a positive mindset, nothing will seem to work. Negative opinions or negative thoughts of how things will turn out will limit what you can achieve so try and encourage yourself to possess only positive thoughts. Change your mindset, believe in what you can achieve daily.

4.Noise

Noise can be devastating. Some people think that noise can make you improve and the pressure determines how much work you can accomplish. It is understandable that certain noise is part of our lives. But we can get thrown off by the slightest commotion like swinging doors, frequent phone calls, or street noise. Productivity can be altered by such disruptions so it is better we do well to reduce the noise around us. If it is within our control, make sure you fight them off with some noise reduction methods. Perhaps you need to switch off the TV, or get yourself noise canceling headphones, try to reduce the noise around you.

5.Trying to be perfect

In a bid to try to reach perfection we spend so much time fixing every little detail of a task that we do not have enough time for more important tasks. When you try to perfect things you deter yourself from getting more done in less time. Perfection is a dreaded unicorn and doesn’t lead us anywhere but in circles. It is better you understand your limitations and offer the best you can and move on to the next task.

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6.Not prioritizing

Prioritizing means getting the most important things done first. Yet what is urgent may not be important and what is important may not be urgent. Trying to make a balance between what is important and urgent allows you to delegate tasks and pay attention to what should be done immediately.

7.Social networking

We all want to be on top of what is going on within our social circles. We feel it is an obligation or mandatory to get plugged into Facebook, Twitter or Instagram at least once a day. But the sorry news is that these social media sites are designed to cut down on the much work you can get done during your day.

8.A cluttered workspace

It is easy to judge a productive person or not by the workspace he works from. According to a survey by OfficeMax many Americans believe clutter has a negative impact on their lives and work. Workplace clutter damages productivity and hurts your professional image. Try to clean up your workspace at least once a week to improve your productivity daily.

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9.Not asking for help

Asking for help doesn’t make you stupid or less smart. Rather it does make you productive and efficient. There is no shame in needing help with something. It only signals your limitations. Rather than beating yourself in confusion, seek help and direction, and you will get more done in less time.

10.Setting too many goals

There are only a number of goals we can reach within a set time. Yet people chase after quantity. Being productive however should focus on quality over quantity. This means being realistic and more purposeful in your approach to hit goals. Setting too many goals doesn’t get more done rather it leaves you divided. Set fewer goals that are attainable within the time frame allotted for them.

Reach maximum efficiency, be more productive and do not do any of these things.

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Featured photo credit: hikabu via flickr.com

More by this author

Casey Imafidon

Founder of Caseyimafidon.com which provides actionable articles to make readers fulfilled and spurred on to achieve all that they desire in life.

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Last Updated on September 20, 2018

8 Ways to Train Your Brain to Learn Faster and Remember More

8 Ways to Train Your Brain to Learn Faster and Remember More

You go to the gym to train your muscles. You run outside or go for hikes to train your endurance. Or, maybe you do neither of those, but still wish you exercised more.

Well, here is how to train one of the most important parts of your body: your brain.

When you train your brain, you will:

  • Avoid embarrassing situations. You remember his face, but what was his name?
  • Be a faster learner in all sorts of different skills. No problem for you to pick up a new language or new management skill.
  • Avoid diseases that hit as you get older. Alzheimer’s will not be affecting you.

So how to train your brain and improve your cognitive skills?

1. Work your memory

Twyla Tharp, a NYC-based renowned choreographer has come up with the following memory workout:

When she watches one of her performances, she tries to remember the first twelve to fourteen corrections she wants to discuss with her cast without writing them down.

If you think this is anything less than a feat, then think again. In her book The Creative Habit she says that most people cannot remember more than three.

The practice of both remembering events or things and then discussing them with others has actually been supported by brain fitness studies.

Memory activities that engage all levels of brain operation—receiving, remembering and thinking—help to improve the function of the brain.

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Now, you may not have dancers to correct, but you may be required to give feedback on a presentation, or your friends may ask you what interesting things you saw at the museum. These are great opportunities to practically train your brain by flexing your memory muscles.

What is the simplest way to help yourself remember what you see? Repetition.

For example, say you just met someone new:

“Hi, my name is George”

Don’t just respond with, “Nice to meet you”. Instead, say, “Nice to meet you George.”

Got it? Good.

2. Do something different repeatedly

By actually doing something new over and over again, your brain wires new pathways that help you do this new thing better and faster.

Think back to when you were three years old. You surely were strong enough to hold a knife and a fork just fine. Yet, when you were eating all by yourself, you were creating a mess.

It was not a matter of strength, you see. It was a matter of cultivating more and better neural pathways that would help you eat by yourself just like an adult does.

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And guess what? With enough repetition you made that happen!

But how does this apply to your life right now?

Say you are a procrastinator. The more you don’t procrastinate, the more you teach your brain not to wait for the last minute to make things happen.

Now, you might be thinking “Duh, if only not procrastinating could be that easy!”

Well, it can be. By doing something really small, that you wouldn’t normally do, but is in the direction of getting that task done, you will start creating those new precious neural pathways.

So if you have been postponing organizing your desk, just take one paper and put in its right place. Or, you can go even smaller. Look at one piece of paper and decide where to put it: Trash? Right cabinet? Another room? Give it to someone?

You don’t actually need to clean up that paper; you only need to decide what you need to do with it.

That’s how small you can start. And yet, those neural pathways are still being built. Gradually, you will transform yourself from a procrastinator to an in-the-moment action taker.

3. Learn something new

It might sound obvious, but the more you use your brain, the better its going to perform for you.

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For example, learning a new instrument improves your skill of translating something you see (sheet music) to something you actually do (playing the instrument).

Learning a new language exposes your brain to a different way of thinking, a different way of expressing yourself.

You can even literally take it a step further, and learn how to dance. Studies indicate that learning to dance helps seniors avoid Alzheimer’s. Not bad, huh?

4. Follow a brain training program

The Internet world can help you improve your brain function while lazily sitting on your couch. A clinically proven program like BrainHQ can help you improve your memory, or think faster, by just following their brain training exercises.

5. Work your body

You knew this one was coming didn’t you? Yes indeed, exercise does not just work your body; it also improves the fitness of your brain.

Even briefly exercising for 20 minutes facilitates information processing and memory functions. But it’s not just that–exercise actually helps your brain create those new neural connections faster. You will learn faster, your alertness level will increase, and you get all that by moving your body.

Now, if you are not already a regular exerciser, and already feel guilty that you are not helping your brain by exercising more, try a brain training exercise program like Exercise Bliss.

Remember, just like we discussed in #2, by training your brain to do something new repeatedly, you are actually changing yourself permanently.

6. Spend time with your loved ones

If you want optimal cognitive abilities, then you’ve got to have meaningful relationships in your life.  Talking with others and engaging with your loved ones helps you think more clearly, and it can also lift your mood.

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If you are an extrovert, this holds even more weight for you. At a class at Stanford University, I learned that extroverts actually use talking to other people as a way to understand and process their own thoughts.

I remember that the teacher told us that after a personality test said she was an extrovert, she was surprised. She had always thought of herself as an introvert. But then, she realized how much talking to others helped her frame her own thoughts, so she accepted her new-found status as an extrovert.

7. Avoid crossword puzzles

Many of us, when we think of brain fitness, think of crossword puzzles. And it’s true–crossword puzzles do improve our fluency, yet studies show they are not enough by themselves.

Are they fun? Yes. Do they sharpen your brain? Not really.

Of course, if you are doing this for fun, then by all means go ahead. If you are doing it for brain fitness, then you might want to choose another activity

8. Eat right – and make sure dark chocolate is included

Foods like fish, fruits, and vegetables help your brain perform optimally. Yet, you might not know that dark chocolate gives your brain a good boost as well.

When you eat chocolate, your brain produces dopamine. And dopamine helps you learn faster and remember better. Not to mention, chocolate contains flavonols, antioxidants, which also improve your brain functions.

So next time you have something difficult to do, make sure you grab a bite or two of dark chocolate!

The bottom line

Now that you know how to train your brain, it’s actually time to start doing.

Don’t just consume this content and then go on with your life as if nothing has changed. Put this knowledge into action and become smarter than ever!

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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