Bad habits that kill productivity

“Time is non-refundable; use it with intention.”
– Unknown

Do you have days where you’re just…stuck? Maybe you feel unmotivated or feel as if you have too much going on. It’s natural to feel the pressure as an entrepreneur. If one team member falls through on their commitments, it makes it that much harder for everyone else. Bad habits start creeping in the door. Productivity may be a struggle. But take a breath. Let’s kick all of the following bad habits out of the office — because we’re better than that!

Multi-tasking. Writers generally have dozens of tabs open on their web browsers. They have to-do lists pinned to their bulletin boards: Email the client. Have the sales meeting. Order the office supplies. Host the webinar at 3 o’clock…the list goes on for pages. But here this: there is only you. Multi-tasking does nothing but drive us crazy. We’re running in circles not knowing if we fixed the copy machine or sent a fax. Sooner than later you’re going to have incomplete tasks piled up on your desk. Learn to trust your team. Delegate tasks to them and check in every so often. They are there to help manage your workload so — let them help you do it.

Distractions. If you work at home, distractions are EVERYWHERE. How you learn to tolerate these distractions is going to speak volumes on how you achieve success. If you give in to the cell phone notifications and the television, you may not get far in your business. If you only distract yourself with these outside your business hours, however (let’s say you work 8-4 or 9-5), then you have a much higher chance of being successful. You have to stay focused. You have to keep your mind on your goals in order to see them fulfilled. If you’re checking your phone every few minutes, how will this be accomplished? Social media will still be there on your lunch break; I promise.

Perfectionism. This is my biggest struggle. I strive for perfection in everything I do, but it’s only hurting me. Why? It’s an unachievable and unrealistic standard. I can obtain the highest academic degree and work for prestigious publications, but I would still fall short of perfection. Human beings are flawed and we have to be okay with that. We have to realize that we’re going to fall behind schedule and make errors in documents. If all of us were perfect, then that would put proofreaders like me out of business.

Sitting all day. This, too, is a struggle of mine. As a work-at-home author, I work more than I take breaks. I eat lunch at my desk and go for walks in the afternoon or evening. But as much as I’m trying to change this, I realize it’s not healthy. Our bodies were not designed to sit in a chair for 8-hour shifts. Get up and stretch. Go for a walk around your neighborhood or do household chores. This is going to get your body moving and prevent your joints from getting stiff. You’re going to find that you’re much healthier for it.

Saying yes. Sacrifice is a strong word. If we want to get ahead in our business, we often have to give up something. As an entrepreneur, you’re going to find that you can’t say yes to everything. If you were to attend every event, then when would work get done? Pick and choose which events to attend. Ask your family/friends if they’ll take a rain check since the deadline is approaching. Most will understand that you are working hard in developing your business. If you can’t attend a birthday party, graduation, wedding, baby shower or anniversary—send a gift and card ahead so that your loved one knows you were thinking of them. This is a nice gesture to show that you genuinely care about them.

What other bad habits have you encountered? Leave them in the comments.

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