5 Surprising Habits That Actually Make You Less Productive

Y’know one of the greatest feelings? Spending a Sunday afternoon in your favorite coffee shop + sipping on your *go-to* while completing big projects, studying for exams + knocking out multiple items on your *to do* list without breaking focus. If only that level of productivity was easily achievable all the time ; ). Unfortunately, this isn’t the case. Why is it that some days are so easy to unleash inner productivity, while others it seems impossible to open up your laptop? Truth is, the reasons behind your lack of productivity may surprise you.

If you find yourself riding the struggle bus to stay on task, it’s time to kick these habits.

1] RUSHING IN THE MORNING

The way you start your morning tends to set the tone for the rest of the day, so waking up in a frenzy will most likely keep you feeling scatterbrained in class or at work throughout the day. We all have those *crazy* mornings now + then — sleeping through our alarm, being stuck in traffic, etc. — but there are steps you can take to reduce feeling stressed + rushed in the morning. Other than waking up 10-15 minutes earlier, research shows that taking some *me time* in the morning to meditate//be silent helps get you in the right mindset to stay on task throughout the day.

2] IMMEDIATELY RESPONDING TO EMAILS

This scenario happens far too often — you’re *in the zone* cranking out an assignment, when all of a sudden you hear the *ding* of an email notification. You try to ignore it, but the curiosity of what’s in the email is too overwhelming to forget about. You take a look + see the email is from your fav store… very tempting sales to browse through, but nothing urgent. Now your attention is suddenly pulled away from the task + your productivity is shot.

Receiving an email can automatically create a sense of internal urgency, making you feel like you need to answer immediately so you don’t miss a beat. In reality, this is not considered best practice for the workplace. Rather than checking emails as they come, carve out designated times throughout the workday to sift through your inbox so you can focus 100% of your attention on one task at a time.

3] MULTITASKING

We’ve always been told to master *the art of multitasking* because it allows us to accomplish more in a shorter period of time. This logic makes sense on paper, but doesn’t hold true when put in practice. When we split our attention between two or more tasks, we’re more prone to forgetting important details, making mistakes, + taking longer to complete assignments. As tempting as it is to work on multiple things at once, dedicate your attention to one assignment at a time [++ sans temptation of your phone + social media!] to produce the highest quality work more efficiently.

4] WORKING THROUGH LUNCH

Again, another practice that may make sense on paper that’s actually counterproductive. It’s called a *lunch break* for a reason — because we need time to break away from our work! Put your work away during your lunch break + take the time to decompress, satisfy the urge to browse social media, + reset your mind. That little reset does wonders for productivity, creativity + mental health. Whether at the office or on the study grind, commit to taking as much as an hour-long break + small, frequent breaks every hour to stay on top of your work.

5] HOW YOU SPEND YOUR FREE TIME

Crazy as it seems, what we do in our free time really does influence how productive we are at work or in the classroom. Spending time doing things that encourage personal growth [+ doing so with those who radiate positive vibes] helps foster mental wellness, confidence + a strong purpose for doing awesome things in this world. By the doing things you love, staying active, + surrounding yourself with people who lift you up [aka your CHAARG girls ; )], you’ll have more motivation to put forth your very best effort in all that you do.

Don’t let a lack of productivity get in your way of achieving greatness! You got this, bebe.

+Nat [@natalie_inchaarg] //VirtCHAARG Grand Rapids

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