5 Habits That Are Affecting Your All-Around Productivity

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Habits drop clues of the type of life you live. If you want to change the outcome of your life and the results you see on a daily basis, then all you have to do is to change the habits responsible for the outcome.

It takes an average of 66 days before an act becomes a habit. There are some habits that you developed unconsciously that may currently be hampering your productivity. It then becomes important for you to identify what those habits are so that you can take action and fix them before they control every aspect of your life.

When you're not productive almost every area of your life begins to suffer. The effects of being unproductive are especially felt in your business, finances, academics and your family life. Here are some of the habits that are affecting your productivity.

1. Multitasking

Although many people claim to be good at multitasking, the truth is only 2% of the population have that ability. Multitasking involves doing more than one task at the same time. This calls for divided attention and lack of focus on all the tasks you're working on.

Multitasking makes you prone to making mistakes and it also leads you to experiencing more stress while working. When you're stressed out, working efficiently becomes difficult so you become more unproductive.

Aside from from affecting work efficiency, the increased stress negatively affects your health. This in turn affects your overall productivity.

Multitasking makes it difficult for you to stay organized. You end up wasting time getting things together when you could have been focusing on completing a single task. It becomes difficult for you to keep track of what you are doing and you can easily forget important details.

When you are multitasking, your productivity decreases. This is because the attention you would have given to completing one task is divided among completing other tasks. Consequently you work slower, you waste time switching from one task to another, you're inefficient and you end up handing over a shoddy job.

2. Starting with the easy tasks before the most difficult ones

It is tempting to believe that finishing the easy stuff will make it easier for you to tackle the difficult tasks. Even though it sounds like smart plan to get you in the mood for doing more work, research says that will power decreases with use.

This means that by the time it gets to the turn of a difficult task, you would have been too tired or uninspired to start. When you get to that point your productivity is at an all-time low and you may end up not starting or finishing that task.

3. Smoking

This may seem hard to believe but the studies say otherwise. Smoking can reduce your productivity at work mainly at 2 fronts. First, smokers have a tendency to go on unsanctioned cigarette breaks. What this does is to eat into your working hours and consequently cause a loss for the institution you work for.

Your productivity is low because you stopped your work half way to smoke. When you go on a smoke break you end up dragging someone to join you thereby reducing that person's productivity and further increasing the company's losses.

Each hour you work is meant to generate income for your workplace. Going on smoke breaks reduces those hours (because you're not working and thus not generating income for the company). Then there is the smell of smoke that hangs around you.

Another dimension to how smoking affects productivity is smokers are more prone to illnesses, so they take more sick leaves than non-smokers. Someone who is unwell cannot be productive.

It's difficult to moderate smoking and even more difficult to stop it completely. A good suggestion may be to transition to any of the available e-cigarette varieties. At least this way, you reduce the craving for nicotine gradually while also getting rid of that smell.

4. Checking Emails And Social Media

When you're distracted you're unable to work effectively. Being focused helps you get all your tasks done quickly and efficiently. But having social media and emails in the way robs you of your precious time.

It can be difficult to ignore notifications coming from messages. The temptation to check them and read and respond to the latest thing is difficult to resist. You end up wasting time on unimportant email or browsing through your news feed while your chores are left untouched. I will just take a minute... then it turns into an hour.

You can start by putting away your phone when you really need to be productive or muting notifications until you are done.

5. Lack of sleep

Show me a sleep deprived person and I'll show you someone who is unproductive. Sleep deprivation reduces your productivity as it attacks your focus during the day and results in low energy levels that even coffee cannot fix.

A good 7-8 hours of sleep will keep you alert, focused and refreshed. You'll be able to make effective decisions and work through your to-do list quicker and more efficiently. You need to make sleep a priority... a task even. Devote time to sleeping and put away all distractions including social media when it is time for your beauty sleep.