Table of contents:

9 habits that hurt our productivity
9 habits that hurt our productivity

While they may seem insignificant individually, they collectively have a significant impact on productivity. And most of it boils down to choosing between immediate gratification and long-term benefit.

9 habits that hurt our productivity
9 habits that hurt our productivity

If you don't want your productivity to suffer, it's time to stop:

1. Browsing the Internet

It takes us, on average, 15 minutes to concentrate and completely immerse ourselves in something. If we are distracted from work by reading the news, going to social networks or watching a video, we will have to tune in again for 15 minutes. The more we get distracted like that, the more productivity suffers.

2. Strive for perfectionism

Many fall into a stupor when they need to start something, believing that their idea or work does not reach the ideal. But how can you create something if you never start and give your ideas the opportunity to take shape? As writer Jody Picoult said, "A poorly written page can be edited, but a blank page cannot."

3. Go to meetings

Meetings take up a lot of work time, so avoid them whenever possible. If something really important is being discussed, warn everyone in advance that you will stick to the appointed schedule. When there is a clear time limit, it is easier for everyone to concentrate.

4. Reply to emails as soon as they arrive

Don't let email distract you all the time. Check your inbox at the same specific time, and set up notifications for emails from your most important customers. You can also set up an autoresponder that will tell you at what time you can check your mail and reply to the letter.

5. Doze in the morning

Sleep is divided into several cycles, the last of which prepares us to be alert and active upon awakening. That is why we sometimes wake up before the alarm clock.

But if we decide to take a nap and fall asleep again, then we lose this feeling of vigor and wake up tired and sluggish. This condition can last for several hours. So no matter how sleepy you feel after the alarm rings, force yourself to get out of bed if you want a productive morning.

6. Take on several tasks at the same time

Researchers at Stanford University have found that people who take on multiple tasks at the same time have a harder time focusing or remembering when compared to those who only do one thing.

When we try to do two things at the same time, the brain simply cannot do both of them with the same quality. Even those who were sure that multitasking helps them to cope with things faster, according to the test results E. Ophir, C. Nass, A. D. Wagner lagged behind. Cognitive control in media multitaskers / PNAS from those who have done things consistently.

7. Postpone difficult cases

We have a limited amount of psychic energy. When we spend it, our decision-making ability and productivity drop dramatically. This phenomenon is called decision fatigue.

By putting off difficult things that scare you until the evening, you leave them at the moment when you are least able to cope with them. So try to finish with them in the morning, while your brain is still fresh and vigorous.

8. Use electronic devices before bed

Blue light affects sleep quality and mood. Once on the retina, it inhibits the production of the sleep-inducing hormone melatonin and helps to feel more alert. In the morning, the sunshine is high in this blue light, and in the afternoon it becomes less. Melatonin is again produced in the body, and we begin to feel sleepy.

In the evening, the brain is especially sensitive to blue light. And most of the devices we use - laptops, tablets, smartphones - just emit it. As a result, we cannot fall asleep for a long time, and the quality of sleep suffers. So try not to use electronic devices before going to bed.

9. There are many sweets

Glucose helps us when we need to focus. If the blood level is too low, we become lethargic and tired, with difficulty concentrating. Studies have shown that 25 grams of glucose is enough to feel better. You can get them from a variety of products, the only difference is how long the effect will last.

Sweets, soda, and other sugary foods keep you feeling awake for about 20 minutes. But if you eat oatmeal, brown rice or something else with complex carbohydrates, energy will be released slowly, then we will stay active longer.