🌻4 Bad Habits You Must Break To Improve Your Productivity


They make it difficult to get any work done

A few years ago, I was delusional.


I listened to advice from cliché productivity gurus like a sheep. Baaa. They constantly preached the importance of implementing positive habits like cold showers, meditation, and reading.

However, the productivity gurus conveniently forgot to mention that you should spend time working on bad habits, in addition to good ones. John Rampton said it best:

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“Bad habits are called bad for a reason. They kill our productivity and creativity. They slow us down. They hold us back from achieving our goals.”

Read also: The 12 habits of the most productive people I know

These bad habits are sabotaging your productivity:

1) Always Thinking About The Outcome

It’s a terrible idea.

I know that from personal experience. Before writing an article, I always spent several minutes thinking about the outcome.

“I want the perfect title and thumbnail.”

“Every word, sentence, and paragraph needs to be perfect.”

“This article needs to go viral, so I can make thousands of dollars.”

Trust me — Focusing on the outcome is often a recipe for disaster. You’ll always be intimidated by the false allure of perfection.

What you can do:

Remember that a little bit of daily progress is better than none. That’s why Steven Pressfield said, “The most important thing about art is to work. Nothing else matters except sitting down every day and trying.”

Continually put one foot in front of the other, and you’ll eventually reach your destination.

2) Not getting enough sleep

“I need to hustle 24/7. Sleep is for the weak.” That’s what I told myself a few years ago. I thought avoiding sleep would enable me to focus on my work for more time each day.

I was lying to myself.

Research shows that sleep deprivation hurts cognitive function. So, avoiding the natural urge to sleep 7–9 hours per night made it difficult to focus on my work. Quoting WebMD:

“Scientists measuring sleepiness have found that sleep deprivation leads to lower alertness and concentration. It’s more difficult to focus and pay attention, so you’re more easily confused. This hampers your ability to perform tasks that require logical reasoning or complex thought.”

What you can do:

Avoid the habits of my former self and stick to a sleep schedule. Switch off the lights in your bedroom. Turn down the thermostat. It’s also a good idea to avoid caffeinated beverages several hours before going to bed.

Little things like that can have a big impact on your sleep and ability to stay productive throughout the day.

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3) Scheduling too many tasks

In his book Essentialism, Greg McKeown discusses the importance of prioritizing things that matter. He also recommends completing tasks that will help you make tangible progress towards your goals instead of doing things just to feel busy.

“Essentialism is not about how to get more things done,” Greg writes. “It’s about how to get the right things done. It doesn’t mean just doing less for the sake of less, either. It is about making the wisest possible investment of your time and energy in order to operate at our highest point of contribution by doing only what is essential.”

Whenever I add things to my to-do list, I think of Greg’s advice. It forces me to be mindful of what I can actually accomplish. And now, I don’t feel overwhelmed whenever I work for several hours.

What you can do:

Avoid the urge to schedule lots of tasks. Then, prioritize a couple of things that you can do to make progress towards your goals.

You’ll probably find it’s much easier to get work done, as you won’t be adding random things to your to-do list just to feel busy.

Read also: How to make succes guaranteed (check this out)

4) Saying yes too much

“There are innumerable reasons why we make ourselves so readily available to do things that we don’t want to do,” writes Molly Cain in Forbes. “We want to be agreeable and liked. We don’t want to appear selfish. We don’t want to disappoint anyone. We want something done our way or no way. We don’t want to miss out on a poorly timed opportunity.”

I used to say “yes” all the time. It was my default response. Whenever a friend or co-worker asked me to do something, I automatically agreed without even thinking about my own priorities.

It started with small errands. “Absolutely, I can do that!” But, over time, I said yes to things more frequently. Honestly, it was easier than saying no because I hated conflict and wanted to avoid awkward situations.

Now, I recognize that saying no (politely) is great for productivity. Instead of wasting time and energy doing things that don’t matter, it’s much easier for me to focus on the things that do.

“We have a limited amount of time, a limited amount of energy,” said Tyler Kleeberger during an interview with NBC News. “We have to decide which things we are going to commit to, and understand that there will be certain things that we won’t be able to commit to as a result.”

What you can do:

Enjoy yourself. Spend time with loved ones. But you should also prioritize your own happiness by setting boundaries and saying “no” when necessary.

A recap of habits to avoid if you want to be more productive:

Always thinking about the outcome.
Not getting enough sleep.
Scheduling too many tasks.
Saying yes too much.
I’ve found it much easier to focus on my work since I began avoiding the aforementioned bad habits. And once you do the same, you’ll probably notice a significant increase in your productivity, as well.

CONTRIBUTED BY Matt Lillywhite

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