We all desire to be more productive. Yet as much as we strive to tackle our work with swiftness and efficiency, we often face a number of obstacles that impede our productivity. Most of these obstructions come in the form of self-sabotaging bad habits. Recognizing them is the first step toward greater productivity, and breaking them can be easier than you think if you commit to certain actions.
Business Insider recently highlighted its top ways to work smarter instead of harder. The strategy was presented as a list of bad habits to break as soon as possible that begin with the start of your day and go to when you finally get some shut-eye. We've chosen our favorites you can start out with here to get on track to being more productive.
Hitting snooze in the morning. Start your day off on the right foot by resisting the urge to hit the snooze button. Five extra minutes of sleep might seem like all your body needs in those first few moments of the morning, but the truth is hitting snooze is actually doing more harm than good. As soon as your alarm first goes off, your endocrine system starts releasing alertness hormones that prepare your brain and body for the rest of the day. By going back to sleep, you're messing with your body's natural processes, and the handful of extra minutes of z's you're able to rack up will have little positive effect on your level of tiredness for the rest of the day.
Putting off your most important work for later. When we first get into work, we have a tendency to tackle the easy stuff first. However, our willpower begins to dwindle as the day wears on (instead of revving up as this strategy would count on), and we're less likely to get to anything important later on. Begin your workday completing your most demanding, important tasks. It will be a challenge, but your chances of success are greatest in those first few hours. Completing your hard work first will also set the tone for the rest of the day, and you're more likely to find increased productivity over all.
Multitasking. While it may seem like the recipe for success, multitasking is actually a bad habit you should break if you want to be more productive. Business Insider notes that scientific research finds that a measly 2% of the population is capable of effectively multitasking. For the rest of us, attempting to take on various tasks at the same time throws off our attention spans, leading to slower, less effective work.
Prioritizing work over sleep. Working hard and putting in extra hours to ensure success is commendable, but it's still important to draw a line. If you don't put your health first, your work will begin to suffer as well. As laid out in Arianna Huffington's The Sleep Revolution, a good night's sleep is key to increasing productivity, smarter decision-making, and overall happiness. She explained to Business Insider that a recent McKinsey study revealed a direct correlation between lack of sleep and workplace inefficiency. So while you don't want to sleep past your alarm in the morning, it is important to get a full night's rest to recharge and successfully take on the workday.
What are your strategies to ensure you stay productive throughout the long workday? Head to the comments to share your advice.