Everyone wants to be productive, but a lot of people struggle to achieve it. What is it that makes productivity so elusive for some, while it comes so naturally for others? While there is no universal answer, it turns out many of us who struggle share a few bad habits that those with highly productive output do not.
It isn’t a fix all, as there are many factors that contribute to productivity levels, or lack thereof. However, dropping these habits can make a big difference.
1. Step Away from the Smartphone
A smart phone can be a huge productivity booster when used wisely. Many of us don’t use it wisely, though. The biggest smart phone productivity buster is using it in bed. Just put it down. If you are doing something that is necessary get up and do it, then put it down and get back in bed. Turn off notifications, put it down, and leave it.
Using your phone in bed messes with your brain’s ability to wind down and let you sleep. It also encourages you to stay awake, because you just have to have one more scroll through Facebook, or you think of just one more thing you need to search. Lack of sleep equals lack of productivity. If you don’t sleep, you cannot function. If you cannot function, it will hurt your business.
Another big productivity killer is checking your phone while you are talking to others. Not only is this rude, but it keeps you from being totally engaged with them and with whatever is on the phone. Finish your conversation, then see what you missed.
2. Stop Letting Your Notifications Dictate Your Time
While it may seem clearing notifications immediately is highly productive, it is actually just the opposite. If you are constantly bouncing between work and various notifications, you are never really getting into the zone known as the “flow.”
This is where you are into a project and getting it done. This is the epitome of productivity, and it can take up to 15 minutes to get there. If you constantly break it up due to notifications, you are constantly restarting trying to get to flow, and killing your productivity.
The better option is to work steadily with set times to check in on emails and social media. This assures nothing is missed, and allows you to get more work done at flow productivity levels.
3. Stop Impulse Surfing
The internet has a powerful draw. It is something that isn’t work, but it can look like it. This makes it easy to hop over and do or read or watch something entertaining in the midst of work.
However, it also means it is easy to not do work. While you think you may spend only a few seconds checking something out, it can turn into 5, 15, or 30 minutes if not more. Doing this multiple times a day is obviously going to stifle productivity, and again, keep you from getting to your “flow.”
A great way help yourself stop this is to work for a set amount of time, and then reward yourself with some internet time. Make certain you get back to work in a reasonable amount of time by setting a timer.
There are many productive hacks out there. Tons are articles are devoted to becoming more productive. Sometimes however, it is as simple as recognizing bad habits in how you spend your time. Once you know they are there, you can get busy getting rid of them. You are likely to see your productivity in many areas rise once you do.