Productivity and GTD
Break These 8 Habits to Boost Your Productivity
Productivity, in simple terms, is measured as the rate of output per unit of input. It defines the effectiveness of effort put in towards completing a task or achieving a pre-defined goal. Everyone aspires to be highly productive, but not everyone is successful in doing so.
Have you ever felt like you are running a constant race against time? Like the twenty-four hours that you get in a day are never enough to accomplish what you wish to? If the answer is in the affirmative, maybe it’s time that you revisit your day to day regime. As dramatic as this may sound, you will be astonished to know that bringing about minor changes in your daily routine could give your productivity the boost that it needs. Before you get to the “how” of things, it is of utmost importance that you realize which bad habits you must get rid of, to be more productive. Given below is a simplified list of the same.
1. Rushing through mornings
Most of us have a morning routine of running from pillar to post, in an attempt to make it to work on time. We get so used to this morning rush that it becomes a habit. However, we often tend to neglect the negative consequences that this bad habit brings with it. Pumping your cranial cells with adrenaline as soon as they are activated each morning could be catastrophic. Not giving your brain enough time to reset and prepare for the day ahead could majorly hamper your productivity.
Instead of starting each day in a frenzy, try waking up a little earlier than your usual time. Give yourself time to meditate before you get caught up in the hustle bustle of the impending day. Meditation acts as a catalyst to productivity. Also, no matter how late you are running, never skip breakfast. A study by Harvard business review reveals that one cannot concentrate on an empty stomach simply because of the lack of glucose required to generate energy in one’s body.
2. Staying glued to your phone before you go to bed
Aren’t we all guilty of checking our phones for any possible update in the world, as the last thing before going to bed each night? Little do we realize that this harmful night time ritual not only impacts our productivity but also disrupts our sleep pattern. The short wavelength radiations emitted from your phone’s screen have significant implications on your sleep quality and mood.
The blue light emitted from your phone or laptop restricts the production of melatonin, a sleep-inducing hormone. The morning sunlight boasts of high concentrations of blue light, and therefore, when exposed to these radiations, your eyes become active and alert. By evening, your brain becomes sensitive to this light. This is when you must shut all your devices, avoid any exposure with blue light and prepare for a good night’s rest.
3. Reading emails as they come
Emails could be a constant source of interruption and productive people understand that. They make the most of features that help them prioritize emails from specific groups of people or vendors. All other mails are attended to when they take a break from the piece they are currently working on or once the task at hand is accomplished.
4. Leaving the tough tasks for the end
It is very enticing to start with the easiest task first and get done with it quickly. Gives us a sense of accomplishment, doesn’t it? But we don’t realize that by tackling only the easy stuff, we tend to keep pushing the tough tasks further and further down on our to-do list. Result: they keep piling up and end up giving stress. On the contrary, it is this difficult task that we must take up first.
A study reveals that our will power decreases steadily as the day progresses and thus, we are best prepared to handle the most challenging tasks at the onset of the day. Doing so would help us focus better and also keep distractions at bay. The best way to come around is to create a to-do list for the day, prioritizing the more time consuming and difficult tasks.
5. Simply hearing and NOT LISTENING
An obvious and unfortunate consequence of incessantly being distracted is paying “half” attention. What’s worse is that most of us think that’s okay. Because in our heads, if someone else is speaking and we’re not, we’re listening. The truth of the matter is that we are listening, but mostly to the voice in our own heads. Not being an attentive listener can not only cost you relationships but also the time it would take to re-listen and understand the information that you earlier missed. Good listeners are also known to have higher emotional intelligence.
6. Attending every meeting you are invited to
A survey reveals that an average employee wastes 31 hours per month in attending meetings. It happens often that when you’re in your zone, completely engrossed in completing the task at hand with ultimate concentration, you’re called for a meeting. An unnecessary beckoning that disrupts your flow. In such a scenario, learn to say no. Attend only those meetings that add value to your skill set or knowledge.
7. Checking your phone every few minutes
If you break into a minor panic attack when you realize that your phone is missing, whether you’re in office, in a meeting or even in the washroom, you’re not alone. There are many others like you who let their productivity suffer at the hands of cellphone addiction. Did you know, that while the notification of a call or message distracts you only for a short duration, not attending to the call or message could make you restless for a much longer duration. Solution: Try keeping your phone aside while working. Or use apps that help you concentrate.
8. Seeking perfection in all that you take up
It is good to be a perfectionist and to try and give in your best in whatever you take up your sleeve. However, at times, this proves to be a major hindrance in letting you attain the productivity you are capable of. Remember, sometimes, it is okay to make mistakes and learn from them. Spending a lot more time than a task requires will hamper your productivity and prevent you from moving on to the other tasks at hand. Choose to work smart.
In a nutshell, being more productive, though desirable is not easily attainable. However, if you really put your mind to it and make an earnest attempt to get rid of the 8 habits mentioned above, you should most certainly be able to witness significant improvement in your ability to focus. Try it for yourself!