When you think about what it means to be productive, you might equate it to getting as much as you can done in a short period of time.
This might mean taking on extra projects at work while juggling other commitments, thus filling up every second of your day with important tasks.
But being busy and being productive are not the same thing.
Being productive is about working smarter, not harder. It’s about making the most of every single day. And in order to this, you need to stop sabotaging yourself with bad habits that are only getting in the way of your success.
So in order to be your most productive self, we recommend eliminating these 10 habits from of your everyday routine.
Stop Saying “Yes” to Everything
You might think that saying yes to every task or project sent your way will help succeed you in your career. If you can handle taking on extra work and assignments then all the praise to you. But the truth is, when you take on more work you no longer have time to focus on your most important tasks. You’ll eventually burn out or become overwhelmed from taking on too much.
In order to stay organized and maximize your day, you might think that meticulously planning out every hour of the day will actually help you be more productive. But it’s only normal for things to not go as planned, and a meeting might get pushed, or a deadline could change, which will completely throw you off your schedule. Instead, plan to be more organized in the morning and allow for more flexibility in the afternoon incase plans change.
Stop Checking Social Media Every Hour
Social media takes up a big chunk of our lives, there’s no denying that. But there needs to be a time and a place to check your Twitter or Instagram when you’re at work. You might think you’re just going to spend a few minutes checking your updates, but that can easily snowball into you wasting 30-45 minutes reading through your timelines. Check your social media on your commute to work or during your lunch break. If it doesn’t apply to work, don’t waste your time on it.
Stop Checking Your Emails Constantly
While having constant access to the internet can make certain things at work easier, it also allows us to spend more time checking emails. And each time you open your email you could end up easily spending a half an hour, which takes away time from the rest of your work. Try to allot a specific amount of time in the morning, afternoon and at the end of the day to check emails in order to maximize productivity.
Stop Saying “I can’t”
When you second guess yourself or think you can’t do something, you waste more time focusing on why you can’t instead of on why you can. Your boss wouldn’t ask you to take on a project they didn’t think you could handle. When new challenges arise, don’t question your abilities. Instead, just give it your best and learn from your mistakes.
It might seem like a good idea to check emails, while reading over an article as you are walking on the treadmill. But are you really achieving anything by trying to do so many tasks at once? Walking on the treadmill is not as productive as running. And you definitely won’t retain anything from the article if you’re constantly checking your emails. Put all of your energy and focus into one task at a time and you’ll be able to get much more done.
Don’t Sleep Near Your Phone
We’re all guilty of checking our phone before we fall asleep. But even spending a few minutes on your phone, laptop or tablet in bed can actually harm your sleep cycle. According to Business Insider, LED screens give off blue light, which can damage vision and suppress production of melatonin (the hormone that helps regulate the sleep cycle). Keep laptops and tablets out of the bedroom and charge your phone away from your bed if you want to have a more effective sleep.
Stop Refusing Help
When you take on too much at once, you can often end up burning yourself out. Which will result in you getting even less done. When people offer you their assistance it’s not because they don’t think you can do the work, but the power of a cohesive team is much more beneficial to one burned out employee.
When you start your work day, it’s definitely easier to get the easiest tasks out of the way first. But as your day progresses and other tasks come up, you might find that you haven’t had time to complete your more difficult work. This usually results in having to stay late after work, or (even worse) having to bring work home with you. Get the tougher assignments completed at the start of the day to make the most of your time.
Hitting the Snooze Button
We’re all guilty of hitting the snooze button every now and then, but over time this can actually do more harm than good. According to Fast Company, when you first hear your alarm in the morning, “adrenaline and cortisol shoot through your body, triggering a stress response that makes you feel immediately alert.” So when you head back to sleep for those extra few minutes, you are actually left feeling more disoriented and groggy, which can make it much harder to focus in the first few hours of work.