Updated January 13th, 2017
As humans we have many weird habits in our lives. The way we drive to work may not actually be the fastest-but we like it, some people eat mustard on their Oreos, while others dip their pancakes in nacho cheese.
Weird habits are innate in us, but have you ever stopped to think if your daily habits are actually killing your productivity. If you do any of the following you may want to consider stopping in order to boost your productivity.
1 ) Deciding What to Eat for Lunch
You know the feeling of standing in your workplace around lunch time. Everyone begins to plan where to go to lunch. Ideas get tossed around but NO ONE CAN EVER DECIDE. Wasting time and mental energy is a huge drain on your productivity.
As humans we are not actually good at multi-tasking. What we are doing is jumping very quickly from topic to topic in order to accomplish multiple tasks. The problem with this is that we are constantly having to shift and refocus our brains every single time we switch tasks. When deciding where to go for lunch we are pulling ourselves away from the task at hand to think about something extra…don’t be deceived your mental powers and productivity are being attacked!
Also, if you have to go out of the office, get into traffic, and then get back just in time to find a good parking space you are going to be stressed, distracted, and possibly filled with a little road rage. This is NOT GOOD for you productivity. In order to accomplish deep work we must be calm, clear, and collected.
Solution: Pack you lunch. Not only with this save you time, thinking power, and boost your productivity; you will also save money and lose weight (if you are packing a “healthy” lunch). Take the time you would have been driving in your car to get outside, take a walk, and refocus.
Great Lunch Boxes to Pack your Lunch:
► Three Bento Lunch Boxes to Take to Work
2 ) Trying to Find the Perfect Song for Your Productive Mood
I have fallen into this weird habit more times than I can count. If I could only find that one song that will get me all fired up, creative, and productive! Don’t fall for this. This often results in 5 minutes at a time of searching and testing the songs that might help. Before you realize it you have become distracted and lost your ability to focus deeply. Also note that each of those 5 minute searches throughout the day could add up to an hour or more of lost time!
“For highly creative individuals, a moderate noise level may lead to higher creative performance.”
In this study researchers tested the effects of white noise (or ambient noise) and its effect on focus/creativity. They found that people we are able to focus more with a medium amount of white noise verses listening to music with lyrics.
“With immersive tasks, lyrics are especially destructive to our focus. Since listening to words activates the language center of your brain, trying to engage in other language related tasks (like writing) would be akin to trying to hold a conversation while another person talks over you… while also strumming a guitar.”
I have found this to be true in my own work. Far more creativity comes when I am free of distractions (lyrics, conversations, and song searching…)
3 ) Working To Many Hours in a Row
Taking breaks to get up and walk outside for a few minutes (just a few minutes) will allow your subconscious to continue processing the task you are working on. It will often give you insights that would actually be impossible if you continued to labor on the idea. Don’t take your phone or any other distractions with you.
Cal Newport talks about this in his book Deep Work:
“Efforts to deepen your focus will struggle if you don’t simultaneously wean your mind from a dependence on distraction.”
As you walk around allow this time to refresh your mind and declutter. Don’t add more clutter. Adding clutter will only kill your productivity and the entire purpose of the break.
4 ) Digital Re-Organizing
I am very guilty of this! My computer is organized into sub-folder, after sub-folder, after sub-folder. I can often escape my work in oder to go into a rampage of organization. Don’t do this! it is a silly waste of time that can feel like a good thing but in all reality you are distracting yourself. You are changing your focus and this pulls you away from you ability to produce deep work.
Remember that shifting your focus is the most destructive habit effecting your productivity.
Join the tribe of individuals wanting to get Motivated, Educated and Deregulated in their lives by subscribing to our Youtube Channel! Stay up to date with all the latest tips, reviews, and education.
You can unlock the regulation on your future by ever growing in your personal and professional life. The Ultimate Guide to Future Proof your career will give you the edge you need in the every advancing whirl of technology. You can posses what it take to stay relevant, love what you do, and get paid to do it!