The 8 Habits That Are Killing Your Productivity

If you’ve been feeling like a hamster in a running wheel lately, it’s time to break out of the allegorical cage. Short of convincing the planet that 36-hour days are what we’ve been missing all our lives, there are ways to work smarter and trim your office hours.

These are the 8 habits that are killing your productivity (thank-you presents will be generously accepted).


Science has concluded that only (a blessed) 2% of the population can actually multitask successfully. For the rest of us, responding to emails while listening to your weekly marketing meeting is an efficient way to a headache.

Avoid the brain overload, do one thing at a time…or procrastinate by taking this multitasking test.

Checking your email constantly

The more emails you respond to, the more you receive and let’s face it now: they will never end. We can almost guarantee, spontaneous electrical combustions aside, that your Gmail isn’t going anywhere.

Sorry Kanye.

Restrict checking your emailing to twice a day and get moving on your real work!

Procrastinating with easy tasks

As nice as easing into a workday is, if you need to up your efficiency levels, try attacking the hardest, most important jobs at the start of the day.

It might seem smarter to finish your smaller projects quickly, but you risk hitting 5pm without finishing the one thing that’s due tomorrow.

Sitting…all day

Workers who take a quick walk during lunch hour have a better ability to handle stress at work, says a study published in the Scandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports.

Would you prefer a more relaxed, enthusiastic, productive version of yourself? Squeeze in a powerwalk around the block.

Not getting enough sleep or food

Seven to eight hours of sleep is the sweet spot for most adults if you want to perform at your best. Similarly, skipping meals or snacking on junk food all day can suck your productivity levels into a tiny, dark hole.

Your brain requires energy from slow-burning, quality food to function, so stop being a mechanical workaholic and take a T-out.

Not prioritizing

Make a short, simple to-do list on your way to work every morning with your five most important tasks listed in order of priority. Done. Boom.

Waiting for the right moment to work

Particularly if you’re working offsite, part-time or freelancing from home – get projects finished as soon as work comes in.

That way you won’t be stressed if your employers decide to spring a (joyful) surprise on you.

Hitting snooze

An extra nine minutes of sleep won’t cure any lingering sleepiness, it’ll end up hindering your morning.

Hitting snooze gets in the way of your alertness hormones, which are released by your endocrine system as soon as you’re awake. Suck it up and push off the doonas.

Stop abusing your alarm clock.