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7 Habits Killing Your Productivity

08 October 2022

Old habits die hard, it’s true. But when these habits are getting in the way of your productivity, it’s better for you in the long term to actively nip them in the bud. Often, we’re not aware of the habits that have us losing out on time and efficiency, so check this list to see if any of these productivity-killing habits sound like you.

1. Working long instead of smart

Over the past 100 years, most of us have gotten used to working 40-hours a week, but this in itself is a recent invention. Popularised by Henry Ford in his car manufacturing factories, the idea of the 40-hour work week is something that only arose once humans became working parts of an automated conveyor belt of production. But in the modern day, the 40-hour work week makes little sense, and more and more people are starting to realise that. Many studies show that giving workers greater flexibility over the hours they work leads to greater productivity over less amount of time. Instead of working long hours and veering into overtime to get things done, try working less, but working smarter.

2. Taking everything on your own shoulders

There’s no shame in wanting to be self-sufficient and independent in the workplace. After all, the saying “if you want something done right, do it yourself” doesn’t come from nowhere… However, a team exists for a reason, and it’s important to acknowledge when accepting help from others is, in fact, in your own best interests. Delegating some tasks to other people may at first be hard, as letting go of control always is, but you’ll find yourself relieved of responsibility and more free to do each one of your remaining tasks to your best potential.

3. Resisting innovation

Nowadays, there are just about countless numbers of softwares designed to help you streamline and automate the most mundane of your day to day tasks. You can save a truly life changing amount of time by automating processes such as managing your calendar, booking meetings, and clearing out your emails. Without having to rely on your memory or manual effort for these already pretty mindless tasks, you save yourself a whole heap of time that can be used for genuine productivity. Don’t be afraid of embracing innovation in the workplace!

4. Saying “yes” to everything

All too many of us know the perils of becoming a “yes man”, but learning how to say no to people can be harder than it looks. It’s only natural to want to help out those around us and prove that we’re capable of taking on responsibility, but saying “yes” too often can quickly lead to overworking and burnout. Once you learn to start saying “no” to people, you’ll see the value of the times you do say “yes” skyrocket. Your friends and colleagues will thank you too - the help they do end up receiving will be more genuine, and not a rushed attempt to keep everybody happy at once. Be honest with yourself, if you don’t have the time to take on a task or help someone with theirs, don’t be afraid to simply say no.

5. Lack of research

Ample amounts of time are lost to correcting poor decisions made without research. Instead of jumping to impulsive conclusions when it comes to making a decision, take a step back and make the time to actually do your research. If you don’t properly inform yourself before making a decision, the chances are you’re going to lose out double after the fact, dealing with fall-out from a bad decision that could easily have been prevented with a bit of foresight.

6. Perfectionism

Perfectionism might seem like a trait that’s beneficial to take into the workplace, but more often than not, that is anything but the case. Over-the-top perfectionism often causes people to fixate on tiny details, missing out on time and causing them to lose sight of the bigger picture. When it comes down to finessing a project, it’s fine to let your inner perfectionist show, but in the early stages of a project it’s better to focus on keeping up a good pace of progress rather than getting lost in the minutia.

7. Sacrificing work life balance

Work life balance is incredibly important when it comes to maintaining a sustainable degree of productivity in the workplace. If you find yourself constantly sacrificing your free time and personal projects for the sake of work, the likelihood is that you’re soon going to run out of energy, enthusiasm, and most likely face the dreaded burnout. Prevent this potentially catastrophic situation by giving yourself the balance you deserve. Shut your computer off once you’re off the clock, and spend time decompressing and detaching from work each evening so that you can turn up fresh and productive the next day.

Don’t allow your productivity to suffer unnecessarily. If you’re guilty of any of these habits, make a change and turn your working life around today.