Modern*Simplicity

Creating a Life Free From Chaos

3 Habits Making You Less Productive

3 Bad Habits that Make You Less Productive, Modern Simplicity, Photo by Kinga Cichewicz on Unsplash

Do you ever wonder why you’re not getting anything done? You could be sabotaging your efforts with habits, not even realizing that you’re the one causing the damage. There are some habits that simply slow you down, decreasing both your accuracy and your creativity. The net effect is feelings of inadequacy and a decrease in daily happiness.

Your mindset affects your life so much — it’s imperative that you rewrite your brain with new habits designed to increase productivity and fulfillment. Here are three bad habits that may be sabotaging your attempts at a healthy, productive life.

Constantly surfing the Internet

This includes social media sites like Facebook and Instagram. It takes roughly 15 minutes of focus to fully engage in a task and get into flow, a term that describes a state of euphoric focused immersion in a task that engages you fully, leading to increased productivity and satisfaction. When you’re in a state of flow, you’re five times more productive than you otherwise would be. Shifting your focus to check social media updates, the news, email, or other web surfing, keeps you from ever reaching flow. Counteract this habit by training yourself with timers. Set a timer for 25 minutes just to work on the task at hand — no surfing the net, no checking email, etc. Check out the Pomodoro Technique for a cool system to get things done while still taking those much-needed breaks. 

Perfectionism

Y’all know I’m a recovering perfectionist. Perfectionists tend to freeze up when it’s time to get to work because we’re afraid we won’t be able to perform well enough — we won’t be able to get it right. Sometimes we procrastinate, citing the need for more research or more preparation (confession: like I’m doing with my new book right now). Procrastination is perfectionism in action. The problem is, it’s not possible to produce greatness if there’s nothing started to refine. Author Jodi Picoult summarized the importance of avoiding perfectionism perfectly: “You can edit a bad page, but you can’t edit a blank page.” I literally remind myself of this every single day. The trick to overcoming it — do the work and ship it anyway. You can’t become a master without practice. 

Indulging in the snooze button

I think we’re all guilty of this one at some point. Sleep is a complex process, a series of cycles of light sleep, deep sleep, dream states, and that last cycle that actually prepares you to wake. When you hit the snooze button, you cancel out that work that your body has done to prepare you for wakefulness. You’ll wake up later groggy and even more tired than if you’d just gotten up, a feeling that can last all day. If you really want to be productive, it’s important to give your body that headstart on wakefulness by getting up when your alarm goes off. 

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