We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit. Will Durant
Your habits are very important. What you do every day has a much bigger impact on the outcomes you achieve than things you only do every once in a while. However, there are quite a few habits that might also affect your productivity and results far more than you might expect. Here are the key few habits that are hurting your productivity.
Checking your phone first thing in the morning
This is a habit shared by most people, but it still is not an amazing one. Often, the first thing we do in the morning is reaching for our phones and start looking at the texts, scrolling through social media, and browsing memes. Why is this a problem?
First, it can lower your energy and make you less motivated to start your day. You are often at your most focused during the first hours after waking up, and going to your phone can prevent you from taking advantage of this focus.
Scrolling on social media is an addictive activity that can make you lose track of time. It’s not always satisfying and can make you feel like you are wasting your morning, even as you can’t stop.
It’s better to set a morning routine that includes habits that encourage you to succeed, be productive, and be healthy, like exercising, meditating, journaling, reading, or just enjoying yourself in a better way.
Having an irregular sleep pattern
Sleep can be kind of boring. There are all kinds of more interesting things to do. But if we sleep at odd hours, don’t get enough sleep, and always change when we go to bed and rise, it can be quite harmful.
When there is a big difference between the time we went to sleep the day before and the day after, our body can feel like it experienced jet lag, which means we are constantly keeping ourselves sleepy and unproductive. Regular hours help us fall asleep faster, rest better, and wake up fully ready for the day ahead. While it’s not always possible to keep very strict hours, a good tip is to try not to vary bedtime and rising times more than one hour as much as possible and keeping regular times on weekends as well as weekdays.
Multitasking makes us feel productive, but in reality it hurts the results we are able to achieve. Whenever we divide our attention, our brain can’t do its best on each task. We might not always notice right away, but it will hurt the outcomes.
It’s better to focus on just one thing at a time rather than try to split our attention. That way, we will not only do better, but enjoy everything more and feel more satisfied by our results and experiences.
Not taking breaks
Maybe you are proud to call yourself a workaholic and stay all day at your desk, even eating there. But in reality that’s another habit that just seems or feels productive. Actually, it is probably hurting your output.
When you don’t take breaks, tasks begin to take longer and you don’t work as well. A quick break, even if it only lasts five minutes, can refresh and renew your attention. Plan for breaks and get moving around, you might see better results in the end.
Checking your phone all the time
Here is another phone habit. It becomes second nature to keep it close by and check it all the time. Often, people spend hours per day on their phones, constantly refreshing or looking at their notifications.
However, this comes with many negative side effects. It means your attention is always divided and that you can’t fully focus on whatever you are doing. It also can hurt your reputation, make you more distracted, and keep you focused on less important things rather than what matters.
A good tip is to turn off notifications, unless your work is especially emergency-prone. You can also set exceptions for family members or your boss. Set specific times when you will check your messages or email, and put the phone away so that you don’t constantly feel the temptation of a quick peek.