Bad Habits: Get These Monkeys off Your Back to Become More Productive

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The secret of becoming more productive is not just a hard work but smart approach to your activity. Of course, doing more in a shorter period is not that easy, especially when you have bad habits that waste your precious time. In this post, we are going to draw your attention to your harmful habits and encourage you to get rid of them. So let’s start.

Work more, sleep less

If you prioritize work over sleep to do more tasks, then we have bad news for you: this strategy has nothing to do with productivity. Your energy grows only if you’ve had enough hours of a good sleep. This will boost your decision-making and idea-generating skills. On the contrary, a lack of sleep leads to low performance because your brain simply lapses when you don’t allow yourself enough rest. Working too much is as inefficient as coming to work after a couple of glasses of beer.

So it is much better to master at least some basic time management skills, plan your work ahead and get enough sleep instead of overextending yourself trying to do more.

Ten minutes of sleep after the alarm clock

If you believe that those ten minutes will give you more energy to finally start a day, then you are wrong. In fact, getting more sleep after you have already woke up will do more harm than good.

When you open your eyes in the morning, your organism releases special hormones to let you wake up and get to the activity. If you fall asleep again, this process stops. Anyway, ten minutes won’t let your brain have a real rest.

No breakfast

Your body and mind have tight connections and both need fuel to do the work. Lifestyle and health experts don’t stop repeating that breakfast is the most important meal of the day and you have to pay special attention to what you’re eating in the morning. If you want to boost your productivity, skipping your breakfast is the worst thing you can do. Just think about it: you haven’t eaten anything for 8–12 hours and refuse to replenish your organism with an essential energy resource! Not the smartest thing to do. After all, your first bite is something that launches your metabolism and refills the level of sugar in your organism. When blood sugar level is not high enough, you will be irritated, tired, and — as a result — less productive.

The other important moment about your breakfast is that you should take healthy foods. Whole-grain products and fruits are perfect for your first meal of the day because they balance high-fiber carbohydrates with protein.

Putting your important tasks away

People prefer to start a day with the simple tasks to get themselves rolling. However, when you put difficult tasks away, there is a risk that you won’t do them at all.

Most experts claim that we have a limited willpower and it diminishes during a day, so it is better to start with more important and complicated tasks and move to the easier ones.

Checking your inbox and social media accounts all the time

When you have constant Internet access and a deal of social connections, you will check your inbox and messages all day long. However, every time you do this, you lose your precious time. Constantly checking your Facebook and email can take up to 25 minutes every time you’re doing this. When adding all your distractions together, you will be terrified of the amount of time you’ve wasted. Close the email and social network tabs when you work at least for some periods of the day to dive into your work deeper.

Eating unhealthy foods for lunch

Eating cookies and chocolate bars for lunch is a bad idea. Such food won’t give you any energy to proceed with your tasks. Instead, it will make you sleepy and lazy. Having low energy by the middle of a day is something that can ruin your productivity. When you choose what to have for a lunch, make sure to get something healthy and protein-rich. Also, don’t forget about healthy fats and carbohydrates.

Sitting at your desk all day long

If you have an opportunity to take at least a short walk during your day or after the work is done, make it your daily routine. You will be surprised how fresh air and minimal physical activity drives your thinking abilities. Just 30 minutes of walking per day has the potential to bring a new set of ideas into your life.

Failing to organize priorities

Thinking that a number of goals is a way to success because if one of them fails you will have more in reserve is wrong. In fact, such wavering will spoil your productivity. If you have 30 things in your to-do-before-I-die list, you’d better pick 3–5 and ignore the rest. Seriously.

Trying to cheat and make arrangements with yourself

The most complicated thing is to control your behavior honestly and never cheat on yourself. Whether you are forming a new eating habit, workout routine, or schedule for a day, you risk to produce a laissez-faire attitude to yourself.

If you think that you “deserve” to have a large pizza or a cake for keeping a diet for a week, you do something that is called “moral licensing” and it prevents you from becoming better. Your goals and decisions should become a part of your identity and you have to think about yourself as a person who has certain values and regular habits rather than somebody who is doing something he or she doesn’t really want.

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