Labeling yourself as a procrastinator is easy, but figuring out why you procrastinate is the tricky part. You know when you’re not being as productive as you should be. Some days you promise yourself that you’re going to get a lot of work done and impress your boss. When 4 PM rolls around, however, you haven’t gotten much accomplished. There are certain productivity killers that are constantly in our everyday lives, and we don’t even realize it.
Here are five of those triggers that might decrease your productivity:
There’s no bigger productivity killer than the Internet.
You’re just about to start your work when something in your brain goes, “Hey, I haven’t checked Facebook, Twitter, my emails or Ben Affleck’s IMDB page in thirty seconds. Something has probably changed.”
This constant activity of going from one website to the other creates an illusion of productivity because it feels like you’re doing something. You are clicking and reading, but you’re ultimately distracting yourself from the work that has to be done.
There are many applications that block certain websites while you’re working. These can work great, but an even better option may be to just keep those social media pages off limits when you’re at work.
Constantly Checking Emails
Emails are a prominent part of work culture. It’s how employees and clients communicate with one another, and it’s one way to coordinate and complete tasks, like scheduling important meetings.
You might not realize this, but emails are huge productivity killers.
Emails are constantly coming in during the workday, and they can really derail you from what you’re working on. For instance, you might distract yourself from your current project by thinking about how to respond to an email.
Don’t let your inbox destroy your productivity. You can stop email procrastination by setting a specific time for when you check your emails.
Also remember that some emails don’t even need a response, and the messages that do probably don’t need long ones. Make your responses short and to the point. Get your message across without wasting your time — or the time of the person reading the email.
Too Much Work
To be productive you have to get as much work done as possible, right?
Wrong! The number of hours you work isn’t equivalent with how productive you are. In fact, if you work more than 50 hours a week, you’ll be less productive than someone who works less than 50 hours a week. If you are working too much, then it’s time to make some changes.
Make sure you’re taking advantage of your breaks at work. Going outside and exercising is a great way to make sure you’re more productive when you’re back at your desk. You should also have a hobby outside of work that takes your mind off of the office. Be sure to get a good night’s sleep, too, so you’re ready to be productive the next day.
Sitting All Day
You probably spend the entire day sitting at your desk. It turns out that this makes you less productive.
Sitting is often associated with relaxing. When you come home after a long day of work, you usually sit down on the couch and watch TV. You’re sitting to feel comfortable and to get as little work done as possible. Your brain perceives standing as the opposite of relaxation, which will make you more productive.
This shift in your work routine will also improve your health. The average person sits for nine hours every day, and anyone who sits more than six hours per day is 40% more likely of dying in the next 15 years. Use a standing desk to be more productive and become healthier.
Checking Your Phone
Notifications are not important.
Every noise your phone makes is a productivity killer. You’re probably conditioned to reach for your phone as soon as you hear it go off. Chances are, however, these notifications can wait until you’re done working. If someone really needs to get in touch with you, tell them to call your extension at work. Anything that pops up on your cell phone will only be a distraction.
Put your phone on airplane mode while you’re working to make sure notifications don’t get through. You can use Wi-Fi even if your phone is on airplane mode, so you can still use your phone for work if you have to.
Avoid These Productivity Killers
Do you trigger these productivity killers in your everyday life? If so, try to avoid these enablers. That way, when 4 PM comes, you’ll have accomplished what you set out do to for the day.
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