When there is a ton of work that needs to be done and when there is still so much time to spare, people sometimes tend to be complacent and dilly-dally until the last minute comes. Instead of using their free time to finish the things that need to be done, some people use their time for things that will not have a good effect on their work. Here are a few habits that have to be broken in order to become productive.
Whiling away time through social media
People go online to get updated on relevant news and significant events. Scrolling through one’s news feeds has transformed into a habit almost embedded in instinct. But constantly checking and being updated on other people’s lives, which are supposedly personal unless they’re an important announcement that will benefit the public, will not help anyone get anything done. The best solution to this is to allot a specific time for social networking in order to manage one’s time more efficiently.
Thinking too much or too long about unnecessary things can obviously impede a person’s ability to make progress in one’s work. Sometimes, it is a challenge to control one’s own thoughts, but a good way to overcome this is by meditating for a few minutes. Meditation can help a person concentrate on the task at hand simply by emptying the mind with useless thoughts. Once the mind is free from distractions, it can work much better and therefore get things done faster.
Doing Things at the Last Minute
The biggest temptation is to be over-confident, feeling that everything will fall into place when the deadline looms and the pressure mounts. But the truth is, the stress and anxiety of working at the last minute can worsen one’s mental condition. Despite the fact that people do get to finish their work under such conditions, the toxicity of the situation can affect the heart, breathing, and of course, the brain; and if this is frequently done, the accumulation of stress from doing last-minute work can be bad for the health and wellbeing.
Too Much Planning
Organizing one’s schedule can be a good technique if done properly. Some people get stuck in the planning phase – either because it is overdone as people keep rescheduling for not being able to start immediately, or because planning seems to be much easier than actually beginning the task. Planning is supposed to help speed things up or at least organize one’s schedule. The point is to know where one should start and end. People should make it a point to stick to the schedule and make adjustments along the way, if necessary.
Not Taking Any Breaks
Working for long periods at a time can be rewarding, but it may take its toll if done without any pause. This will only lead to fatigue or burnout, which can, in turn, hinder the completion of the task. Some famous artists have been known to work for hours on end, but make it a point to rest. Overworking is, ironically, detrimental to productivity. One way to go about this is by applying the Pomodoro technique. It’s when a person does a task in a short amount of time – say 20 to 25 minutes – and then takes a break that is equivalent to the time that was spent working.
Doing Small Tasks That Are Counter-Productive
Sometimes, when a person is confronted with too many chores, the brain tends to think that small chores can be done after the major ones. The best way to fix this is by simply disregarding all the small things that are not really important. For example, if one feels the need to endlessly reorganize their corkboard of post-its filled with to-do lists, it would be better to actually do the things that were listed down on those post-its.
Not Getting Started
The key to productivity is getting started. People can finish tasks once they decide to venture on it. It may sound simple, but that’s simply how our brains work. Just to get started can lead to significant results.