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10 Things People Do Every Day Which Make Them Unproductive

10 Things People Do Every Day Which Make Them Unproductive
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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

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Casey Imafidon

Specialized in motivation and personal growth, providing advice to make readers fulfilled and spurred on to achieve all that they desire in life.

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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)
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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.

More on Building Habits

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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Reference

[1] Getting Things Done: Trusted System

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