“Bad habits” conjure images of nail biting and eating with your mouth open. But, hidden in everyone’s day are less conspicuous habits that negatively affect your work productivity.
If you don’t think you have any bad habits, stop fooling yourself. The most successful people own and work to eliminate their bad habits, before letting them sabotage productivity.
Don’t feel badly. We all have our vices. But, living day to day with them is costing you time and energy. So, ask yourself, which of these common habits is bringing you down?
Hitting the snooze button
Who here feels like they never get enough sleep? So, you find yourself hitting the snooze button for an extra 10, 20, 30 minutes until you’re suddenly in a time crunch. Honestly, I always thought the snooze button was helping me out, allowing me to build up a bit more energy before a busy day, but instead, it’s pushing me to start my morning on the wrong side of the bed.
When your body first wakes up, it’s incredibly alert, even if you don’t feel that way. But, if you are hit snooze, you lose the opportunity to harness that alertness. Then, after falling back asleep, you wake up feeling even more tired and more groggy. Start forcing yourself out of bed the first time your alarm goes off, regardless of how tired you feel. If you’re the kind of person that has to go BIG when trying something new, then you’ve got to check out this video on Jocko Willink’s approach to getting up at 4:30 a.m. every day.
You may think you are being more efficient by answering those emails while sitting on that conference call, but are you? We all toggle between applications, web browsers and spreadsheets. We justify the habit by telling ourselves we are being more responsive to our clients, prospects and colleagues. Simply put, multitasking takes our minds away from what we should be focused on in a given moment, making it very difficult to pay full attention. This balancing act creates a variety of distractions, stealing precious minutes every time you switch tasks. Avoid the push and pull. Focus on one thing at a time. Start with the more difficult tasks. This tactic will lead you to better performance without procrastinating.
We’ve all heard it. “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day.” As cliché as it sounds, there’s truth in the old adage. We’ve all had times when we’ve struggled to eat a nutritious breakfast, and instead, jumpstart our workday with caffeine. So, why is eating a hearty, healthy breakfast so important? Long story short: no breakfast = lower energy. And, while you may think a Pop-Tart or donut is an adequate breakfast, what you eat is just as vital! Eating a protein, fiber-filled breakfast will decrease sleepiness and irritability, while boosting your productivity for the remainder of the day.
We’re all challenged to increase productivity, day in and day out. By eliminating your bad habits, you will put yourself on the road to success. Attack each of these bad habits, one at a time, and remember that productivity won’t shift overnight. It will be a journey, but one day all your efforts will pay off and you’ll find yourself enjoying greater success.