Everyone wants to be more productive, both at the office and at home. Despite technology that was billed as the cure for our productivity ails, people tend to have an illusion of what makes one productive and they mistakenly function within that illusion, as opposed to understanding and, therefore, functioning within the reality of what makes one truly productive.

Every week there is a new tool that will guarantee to make you more productive either at work or at home. Whether it is a button that you push to automatically reorder more toilet paper or project management software, none of this will help you become more productive in and of itself.

The key to increasing your productivity is to break the bad habits that drain your time and replace them with habits that will make you a productivity master. What are these bad habits?

Procrastination – If you take a look at tasks or chores that consistently remain incomplete, it is usually because they are the things that you do not enjoy doing. Mark Twain said, “Eat a live frog every morning, and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day.” Begin each day by checking off a less desirable task or chore from your to-do list.

Perfectionism – Procrastination, and perfectionism sometimes go hand-in-hand. The fear of not completing a task perfectly can lead to procrastination. Nine out of ten times, done is better than perfect.

Multi-tasking – Increasing productivity through multi-tasking is a myth! Try rubbing your stomach while patting your head. It is impossible to rub your stomach and pat your head at the same time. The same is true for attempting to complete two tasks at once. While they both may be completed, it will not be in half the time it would have taken to do each individually. In addition, you dramatically increase the chance that you have made errors in one or both tasks since your attention is forcibly split while trying to complete two tasks at once.

Running on Empty – Perhaps the impetus to all bad productivity habits is not getting enough rest, exercise, hydration, and nutrition. When the body, especially the brain, is not properly fueled, rested, or exercised, you begin to lose focus and motivation. Focus and motivation are two essential ingredients for becoming a productivity master. Avoid too much caffeine, as that will dehydrate you, and drink water throughout the day. Three balanced meals with one to two snacks will keep your blood sugar stable and mind alert. Getting up every hour for a quick walk around the office will get your blood and creative juices flowing. This will lead to more productivity and a healthier lifestyle overall.

Recognizing your bad productivity habits and replacing them with better habits will allow you to do more in less time. Remember to be gentle with yourself. All bad habits were not created overnight. Therefore, replacing them with better habits will not occur the right way. If you consistently remind yourself of the new habits you are fostering, by the end of the month, you will see your productivity soar.

Michael Klein is a premier writer and speaker on all aspects of human capital.  As VP Operations for KDS Staffing, Inc., he has achieved industry-leading success. Michael was awarded, The New York State Small Business Growth Award; presented by Governor George Pataki.  Additionally, Michael has successfully grown and sold multiple firms. If you or your organization would like to discuss hiring needs, contact Michael at 646-350-3015 or michael@kdsstaffing.com.

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