The Toxic (But Common) Habit That Is Productivity's Kryptonite

Original Illustration by Stephanie DeAngelis

The digital age certainly presents its challenges when it comes to productivity, especially when you consider the fact that computers were basically engineered to streamline multitasking (and we all know how that goes). But if there's one productivity killer to be aware of, it'd be impulsive internet surfing.

Here's why: "It takes you 15 consecutive minutes of focus before you can fully engage in a task. Once you do, you fall into a euphoric state of increased productivity called flow," explains Inc. But "when you click out of your work because you get an itch to check the news, Facebook, a sport's score, or what have you, this pulls you out of flow," essentially resetting that 15-minute clock. "Click in and out of your work enough times, and you can go through an entire day without experiencing flow."

Rather than succumbing to every impulsive desire to check your personal email or scroll through Instagram (which is often a roundabout way of procrastinating), try rewarding yourself with five to 10 minutes of free browsing time for every hour worked. A study published in Frontiers in Psychology found that exercising this self-control will actually make you happier, both in the moment and in the long run.

Next up: You're actually more productive when you're in one specific mood.

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