Thursday 16 August 2018

7 Bad Habits That Are Killing Your Productivity.

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Somerset Maugham once quoted, “The unfortunate thing about this world is that good habits are so much easier to give up than bad ones.” This is perhaps because the proclivity of bad habits to jeopardize your every effort is so profound that accomplishing your goals becomes an impossible task in the end. In the process of living with bad habits, your physical and mental health also get compromised along with wasting your time and energy.
In general, habits are difficult to break because they are deeply wired due to constant repetition into your brains. The real problem arises when you attach pleasure to them like drugs, alcohol, junk food, smoking, gambling etc. Therefore, it is clear that bad habits are patterns of behaviour and it is the breaking of patterns that are the key to breaking bad habits themselves.
Today, productivity is required in every sphere of life be it professional or personal. Sitting at your workplace and compulsively doing things (or not doing things at all for that matter) that prevent you from giving your best is certainly a productivity killing spree. Similarly, indulging in activities that give you nothing but momentarily pleasure at the expense of your personal relationships is a productivity killing bad habit for sure.
Hence it is important for you to beware of the following bad habits that can hamper your productivity.

Failing to Prioritize
Prioritizing your tasks and attempting them accordingly by strictly sticking to the plan is the shortest route to productivity. However, this is hardly ever done. You must be clear of your priorities and goals. Many people have a notion that having multiple goals is more pragmatic way of ensuring success. In other words, if one idea doesn’t work, so what! There are more in reserve. The fact is goal setting is not a trial and error practice, it needs conviction. The more you will waver in your conviction, the more unproductive you will become. In order for you to become productive in every sphere in your life, you must have a clear vision for it.
One of the biggest killers of productivity is procrastination. By definition, procrastination is simply delaying or postponing something important. Not only that, it is the practice of doing less urgent tasks in preference to more urgent ones. So choosing to procrastinate is suicidal when it comes to productivity. Procrastination usually results in sorrowful regrets because when work gets piled up it creates a lot of stress, which in turn is a huge hindrance in being productive. Procrastination sets off a vicious cycle – you fail to meet deadlines, which create unbearable stress and impacting your productivity severely; then you again come to the situation when you have to but procrastinate. Thus, to eliminate procrastination, you need to ask a few questions to yourself:
  • What are your urgent tasks that need to be done?
  • Why are you doing something that you shouldn’t?
  • What are the possible consequences of lack of performance?
If you believe multitasking makes you more productive then you are grossly wrong. On the contrary, it drains your productivity. Many people try to perform multiple tasks at one time feeling as though it is a superhuman effort. But the truth is attempting all those tasks simultaneously increases the possibility of performing all of them poorly because of your divided attention. According to a research, only 2 percent of people can multitask effectively, while the remaining 98 percent of people are hampering their productivity without even realizing it. The problem with multitasking is you partially focus on a single task, while giving majority of your focus on switching all these tasks. So it is better to finish one thing at a time and move on to the next one.

Substance Abuse
Substance abuse is one of the most unsavoury menaces of the society and the continuance of this addiction can have serious repercussions in personal as well as professional life. When it comes to workplace, drug or alcohol abuse profoundly impact both productivity and safety. Substance abuse often leads to poor concentration, a lack of focus, carelessness, and errors in judgment. According to NCADD data, substance abuse can lower your business’s productivity by one-third and cause 2.5 times more absenteeism. Plus, workers who abuse alcohol are 2.7 times more likely than other workers to have injury-related absences. Therefore, addiction should be tackled as early as possible before it impacts every aspect of your life. Considering the importance of your productivity and performance at the workplace, you should be aware of most addictive substances and keep distance from them as much as possible.

Not Avoiding Distractions
Failing to avoid distractions can directly have a negative impact on your productivity and efficiency. Distractions drag you away from your work even if they last for a short period of time, and if you keep distracting every now and then, your performance gets badly affected. Although it is not easy to always stay on task when you need to work for hours, but staying laser-focused can do the trick for you. So, how to keep distractions at bay? Well, social media is the biggest culprit of all, followed by emails, messages, and smartphones. According to a research conducted by University of California, Irvine, it takes an average of 23 minutes and 15 seconds to get back to a task after being interrupted. So, stopping notifications, staying away from social media, and using your smartphone less often can help you eliminate distractions.

Improper Routine
Following an improper routine is a habit that stays with you for a long time and if unchecked, seeps all of your energy away. For example, bad sleeping habits, skipping exercise, snoozing unnecessarily, eating too much junk food, etc. If for some reason you are following a routine of doing whatever you feel like, you are not going to get anywhere. A healthy and proper work routine is essential to getting your mind into productive gear. Instead of rushing around not sure what to do next or what needs to be done, how about setting a up a system to keep track of everything? Setting up a solid daily routine is a little bit art and a little bit science. The science is figuring out what you need to get done; the art is figuring out when to do it.

No Breaks
It can be tempting for you to keep working and working until a big job is done, but that might not be the best way to go about it. As a matter of fact, too much work tires your body and mind, and you start feeling difficulty in concentrating on anything. Recent studies show that those who give in to some kind of diversion or distraction once an hour perform better than those who just keep at it without a break. After awhile, our brains numb out a bit to the constant stimulation, and we become unable to continuously treat the task as important. Taking a break allows us to come back to the job at hand with renewed energy and sense of purpose. Taking regular breaks from work should not be interpreted as being lazy; rather it maintains your enthusiasm and always puts you in your productivity zone.
Nothing sabotages your productivity quite like bad habits. They are insidious, creeping up on you slowly until you don’t even notice the damage they’re causing. All of us have bad habits; some have too many, while some have just a few. Some bad habits cause more trouble than others, and some are the worst offenders. Are you willing to mend them or let yourself crush under them? The choice is yours – choose to become productive or prepare for a sorrowful regret. Shedding these habits will increase your productivity and allow you to enjoy the positive mood that comes with increased self-control.

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