Monday, June 18, 2018

Are These Bad Habits Ruining Your Productivity?

Everyday we make countless choices that influence every part of our lives . What we often don’t realize is that even making one wrong choice can ruin our productivity. Take a look at the list below to see if you’re falling into bad habits that ruin your work day.  

Tackling your easiest tasks first
Do the hard stuff first. Some people call this strategy "eating the frog," based on a quotation attributed to Mark Twain: "Eat a live frog first thing in the morning and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day."
Some researchers say willpower decreases as the day goes on, so it makes sense to work on tasks that require lots of focus and concentration in the morning. Others disagree that willpower is a finite resource.
If nothing else, it makes practical sense to start with the hardest tasks, since you never know what scheduling conflicts will pop up later on.
Constantly checking your email
The siren call of your inbox can be hard to resistYet research suggests that switching between tasks -- say, doing research and checking for new email -- takes up to 40% longer than doing one at a time. Even when you think you're being more productive by multitasking, you're probably not.
One simple solution, from psychologist Ron Friedman, is to silence your phone so you don't receive email alerts or to close your email tab while you're working on something important. Designate specific times to check and respond to email in batches.
Keeping your phone on your desk at work
Turning your phone on "vibrate" isn't enough. Actually, turning your phone off isn't even enough. Research published in the Journal of the Association for Consumer Research suggests that the mere presence of your cell phone nearby can hurt your cognitive performance -- even if you're unaware of its influence. The best solution appears to be keeping your phone in another room entirely.

Staying seated all day
Office jobs aren't exactly conducive to getting a lot of physical activity. But you don't need to be up and about for hours at a time. A growing body of research suggests that even if you get up and move around for a few minutes several times a day, you're improving your overall health.
Recent research, published in the Journal of the American Heart Association and cited by The New York Times, found that people who were active for a total of about an hour a day had half the mortality risk of people who didn't. And it didn't matter whether they were active in 5-minute increments or in longer chunks.
Staring at a screen for hours at a time
Staring at a computer all day can lead to "digital eye strain," resulting in symptoms like dryness and blurriness, Business Insider's Erin Brodwin reportedEnter the 20-20-20 rule: Every 20 minutes, look at something 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds, Rahul Khurana, the clinical spokesman for the American Academy of Ophthalmologists told Business Insider's Kevin Loria.

Waiting until late afternoon to take a break from work
Take that break mid-morning instead2015 study published in the Journal of Applied Psychology suggests that the more time that's passed since the beginning of the workday, the less useful a break is. Breaks taken earlier in the day are more likely to replenish resources, including energy, concentration, and motivation.
Interestingly, that same study found you don't necessarily have to engage in non-work-related activities during a break. Just make sure you're doing something that you like to do and you choose to do. In other words, making some headway on a work project you're excited about could be even more restorative than browsing social media.
Staying up too late
Scientists have identified a common phenomenon they call "bedtime procrastination": "failing to go to bed at the intended time, while no external circumstances prevent a person from doing so."
For example, you keep watching one episode after another of a not-that-interesting TV show.
This isn't just silly -- it can be dangerous. As Business Insider previously reported, in some cases sleep loss can be just as deadly as smoking.
Turn off the TV and get ready for bed. You'll be grateful tomorrow, and years later.

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