Every day you head to the office believing that “this will be the day” you break through the fog and really pump out the work. Today I’ll tackle that big project, you tell yourself. You’re convinced that this time you really will get the inbox to zero or finish that report or clear your call sheet.

But it never happens, does it?

That could be because you’re shooting your productivity in the foot with the very things you are convinced will help you achieve more.

If you have one of these seven “productivity” habits, break it immediately!

  1. Rolling Over Tasks

It seems as though tackling yesterday’s untouched items is the best way to get caught up, but it’s not. Because something was urgent yesterday doesn’t mean it should top your list today. Start each day by reformulating your priorities.

  1. Multitasking

Talking on the phone while skimming your email while grabbing lunch is a sure way derail your productivity and destroy your diet. I must add quickly that I’m a struggler on this one!

  1. Replying to Messages Immediately

Message notification is a fancy word for interruption. Work offline (including your phone), and respond to messages no more than four times per day. This one is a dichotomy with me because those who ignore calls frustrate everyone.

  1. Eating Fast Food Daily

Grabbing a burger and fries may seem like a timesaver—until the carbs hit your system about 1:30 p.m. Being productive depends on having high energy. Fuel your body right.

  1. Conferencing

By conferencing I mean going to meetings, but more than that. resist the temptation to check in with everybody before making a decision that is within your power to make. A “quick” email, phone call, or drop-in visit seldom is.

  1. News Reading

Flipboard is a great tool, but reading too much news and sports can drain your productivity. Information is the latest form of entertainment in our digital society.

  1. Working Too Much

Everyone’s rhythm is different, but if you consistently find yourself working too many hours per week, you’re probably hurting, not helping, your productivity. When possible, find a sensible schedule, and stick to it.

Often, being more productive is a matter of doing fewer things with greater focus and intensity than doing many things at half speed. Do less, and you may just get more done!

What are your best tips for being more productive? I’d love to hear what works for you. Share your answer on Facebook or Twitter.


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The way we think determines the way we act. Thoughts become actions, and actions become habits, so gaining control of our thoughts is the critical first step in making positive life changes. Here are practical steps anyone can take to discover purpose, focus, decision-making, and improve quality of life by renewing the mind.