Everyone likes to be productive. The challenge is, however, few of us even realize how we sabotage our productivity even from the time we get out of bed in the morning. Some recent eye opening research has uncovered some seemingly harmless habits that most people do every day that are actually destroying their ability to be highly productive for both themselves and their company.
- Let us start with getting out of bed. What do most people do? They check their phone and grab some coffee. Checking your phone just startles your brain and confuses it even if you don’t feel like you are confused. The next thing is grabbing some coffee before 10 AM. According to recent research done at Dartmouth, your stress hormone, cortisol, is at its peak between 8AM and 10AM in the morning. Downing a few cups of coffee during that time actually increases your stress throughout the day. Try waiting until after 10 AM to have your first cup.
- The second thing that kills your productivity is multi tasking. Oh, sure, multi tasking is the big buzzword that every one seems to love and measure themselves by but, in reality, it hurts you. There is simply a Grand Canyon full of research that demonstrates that multi tasking means you are actually getting less done because your attention is so sprayed. Focusing on one task at a time actually means you will get more done in the long run and you will be more efficient and the quality of your work will actually be better. You must have a plan in place before you even get to work and you must not stray from the plan.
- Now for one of the biggest production killers ever invented – the meeting. Too many companies are meeting happy and recent research points to people spending an average of 23 hours a week in meetings. That is more than half the time they are at work every week! Avoid meetings at all costs and if you really need to have one, have it later on in the day.
- That is because your brain isn’t even really awake by the time you get to work. Most people are holding far too much information in their brains immediately upon waking up and starting out. Keeping a notebook to jot down information and ideas is a great way to empty out your brain so you can focus better without losing the info you feel is important to you.
- Checking your work emails the first thing is a disaster. Why? According to a study done at New York University, it takes almost a half an hour after you have gone through your emails for your brain to re-adjust a start being productive again. Also, a recent survey done by Webtrate discovered that nearly 40% of people lost at least an hour a day checking on personal emails and seeing what is happening out at their social media platforms. Try keeping a diary of everything you do for one week and how much time it consumes. When you read it at the end of the week, you will likely be shocked at how much time you have actually wasted.
-Written by Kevin Sawyer