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9 Habits that Are Killing Your Productivity
Habits provide structure to our lives. To live a balanced, productive life and engage in a long-term, satisfying career, ridding yourself of unproductive habits is an important investment.

Are you noticing that you have been extra busy this year and yet you haven’t nearly accomplished all you set out to do at the beginning of the year? Your productivity may be suffering and you may not even know it. It’s easier to keep going than to take a minute to reflect, plan, and to really look at what needs to change for you to create your version of a productive week, month or year. It’s about time you paid attention to the habits that could be hindering your progress.

Here are nine habits that could be killing your productivity:

Multi-tasking. Stop multi-tasking. Of all the bad habits, multitasking is among the worst and most common. Multi-tasking does not necessarily make you more productive. You can achieve more in less time when you focus on getting one task done at a time. It takes about 23 minutes and 15 seconds to fully return to a task after interruption, according to an interview in Fast Company with Gloria Mark, Professor in the Department of Informatics at UC Irvine. So, you may be wasting a lot more time than you think.

Working from your inbox. How many times have you checked your email today? Too many of us spend most of our day in our inbox, reading and answering emails instead of getting real work done. The more emails you send, the more you seem to get. Set boundaries by checking email only for a particular number of times and stick to that.

Not delegating. You don’t have to do everything by yourself. Get help and outsource if you can and concentrate on tasks that only you can do.

Not knowing how to say “No.” As Warren Buffett put it, “You can’t let other people set your agenda in life.” Saying “no” means you have time to focus on your own needs, rather than constantly serving other people.

Not tracking results. Use an app. There are hundreds of productivity apps out there to keep track of what you are doing each day. These products help you identify areas where you could be more efficient, so you can make changes.

Working without routines. A work routine is essential to getting your mind into productive gear. Without one, you will always be wasting time on getting started when you should be doing actual work.

Filling a daily to-do list with too many tasks. Don’t be overzealous and fill your to-do list with dozens of tasks. You will most likely be unable to complete them all by the end of the day. Only add tasks that you know you can accomplish in a day’s work.

Your indecision. The usual problem is that people have long to-do lists, but no idea what they intend to tackle after that extensive meeting. Prioritize on what needs to be accomplished for the day and get to it as soon as possible.

Reinventing the wheel. There is always a better and smarter way to get most tasks done. Don’t reinvent the wheel. Time is the most important resource you shouldn’t be wasting. Find out what works and stick to it. Save time.

Adapted from an article on by Thomas Oppong.

This material is meant for general illustration and/or informational purposes only.  Although the information has been gathered from sources believed to be reliable, no representation is made as to its accuracy.  This material is not intended to be construed as legal, tax or investment advice.  You are encouraged to consult your legal, tax or investment professional for specific advice. 


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