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Are you frustrated by how little you’ve accomplished in the time you had? It’s natural to feel that way but unnatural to not do something about it. After all, it kills your productivity and hampers your growth.
There is something that you do that kills your productivity. This could slow you down and take you away from your goals. Research shows that 74% of people feel unaccomplished after they leave the office every day.
Once you understand what causes these pitfalls you keep on having, all you gotta do is avoid it. Here are 8 such productivity killers.
8 Red Flags That Kill Your Productivity
1. Your Smartphone
Wasn’t this expected! The No 1 reason why most people don’t get anything done is because of their precious phones.
Being on Netflix or texting your friends or browsing on Instagram or posting on Facebook or even checking out the news on an app (most people spend too much time on news apps and call it productive – unless they’re reporters or anyone whose work depends on the latest news).
When I work, I make sure my phone is not in my eyesight, sometimes when I do need my phone for work, I keep it next to me. Put your phone on silent if that’s what it takes for you to not touch it. I put off my notification sounds and keep my call volume loud. If there is something super urgent to discuss, people always call nobody texts.
Delete those amazing social media apps (not naming it cause you already know it), set specific time slots to check your messages and your emails.
Once in two hours seems good for checking on your social life (10 min max). The work that used to take you 5 hours will now take you 4 hours, it’s the magic of social media and smartphones!
2. Bad Sleep
Luckily sleep has never been an issue for me. Sure I’ve slept a little less for 1 – 2 days a week, but I usually get 7 hours of sleep if not more. Sleep is super important to you if you want to be productive and accomplish your goals.
Sleep improves cognition, performance, concentration, problem-solving skills among many other things. It also helps in weight loss and many other diseases.
Yes, Sleep is the best medicine, maybe after laughter but it is equally important. If you’re a millennial or above the age of 30, getting at least 6 hours of sleep is mandatory. Try hitting 8 hours if you can.
3. You compare yourself with others
We have all grown up being compared to our friends. They get more marks in the exam or when they play a sport well and we don’t. Our parents, teachers and even our close friends compare us with each other all the time.
That’s why comparing is such a normal thing today, but the fact is that you aren’t like the person you’re being compared to nor is that person like you, so Why Compare? The minute you compare yourself with that girl/boy from the other neighbourhood, your self-esteem declared a loss.
Each of us is unique and have different ways to get work done. One person may be good at anything while you might be good at another. Just because someone does something faster than you doesn’t mean he is more productive than you or smarter than you, it just means he is fast.
Even though I am fast, what I’ve observed is that when I speed up things, I tend to make a lot of mistakes which I then redo. So now I try to lower my speed and focus on doing things slowly but properly. Can you relate?
4. Your Friends
Can I ask you something? Are you a people pleaser? Of course, you are, everyone is a people pleaser. We all try to please others at the cost of our productivity. It’s hard to say no but if you want to see yourself growing, saying no to your friends when they plan a party or a small trip is the right choice most of the time.
One thing many successful people have in common is the ability to say “no” and not feel guilty about it. Doesn’t matter how important that friend is to you, if you have important work to do, you do that first, then help or chill with those friends.
Sometimes you have to say “No” for your sake, learn to be selfish. All you need to think is – Will this take me closer to my goal? If yes, go ahead and spend time with your friends, if no, you know what to tell them (hint – NO)
5. Working all the time
You’re working all day, really busy attending phone calls, getting sales, doing data entry, not taking breaks; while that might seem like the most sensible – it’s not. Not taking small breaks can hamper your productivity on a large scale.
You’re a human, not a vaccine that can work all day non-stop without a break, even machines take breaks or else they heat up too much. One study has also shown that taking smaller breaks in between work hours has proved to improve performance and thinking.
You need time to relax, think about life, this not only gives you the break you deserve but also prepares you to get going.
I know when I used to work for long hours without breaks, I used to get stressed out, my creative thinking wasn’t so creative anymore. That’s when I knew taking breaks is the best way to keep up my productivity level to 99%.
6. Your Surroundings
You have a deadline tomorrow at 3 pm. You need to rush your adrenaline, fire up your brain and get working. Even though you’re all energized to work, you feel lazy, somewhat dull, thoughts of watching your favourite series on Netflix pops up, slowly procrastination hits you and Bam – You’re not working anymore!
This is because of your surroundings, where are you sitting right now? What is near you? A game controller, tv remote, headphones, your phone, comics? Do you have fun elements or quotes? Is there noise in the room?
That’s probably why you’re not efficient. Your surroundings need to speak the “Work Language”, only then you’ll listen and act accordingly. You can’t focus on a place where your parents are watching Netflix and your brother is playing GTA 5.
Shift to another room, make sure there’s complete silence, put up some motivational quotes at eye distance, one on your desk (if needed), do simple breathing exercises before you begin your work.
This may be the best way to get work done right? Wrong! When you work on two different things simultaneously, you are thinking, “Wow, I’m getting so much done!” But in reality, you’re getting some work done with no focus on any of the two tasks; you do complete the tasks but you don’t do it properly.
Don’t believe me, try multitasking yourself, do two tasks at a time and see the results, I’m sure you’ll understand what I’m trying to say. Multitasking means you shift your mind from one task to another and then back to the first task and then back to the second task over and over and over again.
Even though our brain is strong, it gets exhausted and confused as to what’s more important, the first task or the second. Thus it focuses more on one task properly and neglects the second.
The more you keep shifting tasks, the more the chances for you to make mistakes, and then redo the work. Why fall into all this hassle.
The key to amplifying productivity is to do one task at a time, try finishing it fast while focusing completely on it then shift to the next task and complete it.
8. Not knowing if you’re ‘MB’ or ‘NO’
Are you an MB or an NO? MB stands for Morning Bird and NO stands for Night Owl. Most people say that getting up early in the morning is the best way to be super productive the entire day.
This isn’t true as I know a lot of people who work more efficiently in the night and mornings are boring for them. They are unproductive in the morning and prefer working late at night.
I’m a morning bird, I like to get up in the morning and sleep early at night. Right now you may be getting up early, try getting up late and sleeping late or if you’re sleeping late, try getting up early and sleeping early.
Do this for a week or two and compare between the two. When are you more productive? If it’s at night, then you know that you need to sleep late and get up late and if it’s in the morning, then you know that you need to get up early and sleep early.
While the tips in this article won’t solve all of your productivity problems, it will make you better and more capable of dealing with such a problem in the future.
Share your tips to not fall prey to laziness in the comments! I’ll keep adding to this list.
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