4 Common Habits That Kill Your Productivity
When applying for a job, productivity is one of the foremost characteristics that employers and HR managers try to gauge. Sure, you might get away with faking it during the screening process, but when your boss sees your actual work and notices how unproductive you are, you’re unlikely to get a job providing virtual assistant services again.
Unfortunately, many of the habits that kill productivity are unintentionally built. Most of the time, people don’t notice that the way they approach the daily grind is the root cause of their subpar work rate. To become more productive, you have to figure out what it is that makes you ineffectual first.
Here are 4 common habits that kill your productivity.
Always checking on your social media accounts.
Social media is one of the biggest time sinkholes in today’s interconnected world. There are just so many interesting updates, photos, stories, and news across these channels that it’s so easy to forget about everything else and scroll, scroll, scroll. Sadly, this leads to plenty of time wasted and work left undone.
What to do about it: Block social media channels during work hours. Use a browser extension that blocks certain sites during certain times so that you’re not tempted to check them. Stay away from your phone as well so that you don’t use it to check on your social media accounts instead.
Not creating a work schedule or task list.
Working without a checklist or a schedule is like going to battle without a strategy. You can hardly expect to win the battle, or in this case accomplish your goals, if you don’t plan ahead right? A schedule or a simple checklist helps you prioritize your tasks and keep yourself in line. If you’re lagging behind or not ticking anything off the list, then you are reminded that you have to work harder.
What to do about it: Schedule your tasks throughout the day. Make it as simple or as comprehensive as you want. The key thing is that you have a timetable to follow that allows you to track your progress throughout the day.
Using too many productivity tools and apps.
Trello, MeisterTask, Todoist, Slack, Skype, Asana, JIRA, and so on — there are so many productivity tools nowadays that it’s so easy to get sucked into trying out as many of them as you can. Unfortunately, when you use too many tools, you end up wasting time updating each and every one of them.
What to do about it: Find a tool or app for each function (checklist, communication, scheduling, etc.) that suits your needs, master its usage, and stick to it. Yes, there are many awesome productivity tools around, but you definitely don’t need to use all of them. That will just defeat their purpose and make you counterproductive.
Working super long hours.
Working for as long as you can might seem productive. After all, logging in plenty of hours in a day means that you accomplish a lot right? Wrong. The human brain is not wired to work relentlessly for hours on end, so don’t force yourself to do so. In fact, the longer you work without rest, the less efficient you function. Being productive is all about working smart, not working unreasonably hard.
What to do about it: Give yourself ample time to sleep, rest, and recharge. Take regular breaks throughout your workday as well. You’re not doing yourself or your boss a favor when you work yourself too hard. You’ll just end up working longer and accomplishing less.
Any of these sound familiar? Whether you have one or all of the habits mentioned above, the important thing to remember is that you can always do something about it. Figure out what your bad habits are and slowly work on eliminating them, and you’re going to be well on your way to providing the best virtual assistant service.
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