The 4 Worst Things You Can Do for Your Productivity
Our generation wants it all, right? A satisfying career, a regular workout session, a busy social life, and enough downtime to slot in a Netflix session before bed. But with deadlines getting tighter and work hours getting longer, the difference between a balanced schedule, or, a night spent eating takeaway at your desk comes down to one thing: Productivity.
But we now know that the idea of multitasking throughout the day to save little chunks of time, is in fact, impractical, with research by Stanford University suggesting that juggling tasks throughout the day actually reduces efficiency and lowers your ability to recall information.
And, according to the wise folk at Business Insider Australia, it actually comes down to micro-behaviours that are, in fact, slowing us down. See below for the four things you probably do (without really noticing) that are killing your productivity.
#1: PRESSING THE SNOOZE BUTTON ON YOUR ALARM
Let’s be honest, the five minutes extra you get after pressing snooze never feels that rejuvenating. Drake Baer from Fast Company says this is because when we hear the alarm (for the first time) a stress response is triggered, meaning cortisol shoots through our body, making us feel alert instantly. But, when you slowly wake up after the alarm, you’re more likely to be in a groggy state long after you’ve left for work. So, in short: Don’t delay your morning wake up.
#2: KEEPING YOUR PHONE NEXT TO YOUR BED
It’s not a new development that the blue light emitted from our phone aren’t great at inducing sleep. According to the Scientific American, this is because, this light is “short-wavelength-enriched”, which means the higher concentration of blue light affects the sleep-inducing hormone, melatonin. And if you’re looking to change this habit and the one above, placing your phone far away from your bed will ensure you have to get up in order to switch it off in the morning and you won’t be tempted to take part in your regular late-night Instagram scroll.
#3: CONSTANTLY CHECKING EMAILS
Yes, it’s important to be connected at all times. And yes, that actually makes you less productive. How much less productive? According to research conducted by Microsoft, the average worker stopped what they were doing for 20-25 minutes, each time they responded to an instant message or email. If your job relies on you to be present, we suggest, adding an automatic “out of office” email, that lets senders know you’ve seen their email and will respond in a timely manner, and responding to all of them in one or two big chunks throughout the day.
#4: PROCRASTINATING DEADLINES
Most jobs have deadlines. And much like university assignments we often leave those to the last minute (guilty). But, according to Roy Baumeister, a professor of psychology at Florida State University, willpower is limited. Which translates into no matter how much you want to do something, fatigue can often shape your performance. So, if that sounds familiar, it could be worth flipping your day, and doing the most pressing, important tasks first, and working your way backward.