They are actions we make without thinking (habits, routines, compulsions). They control more than 40% of our daily actions.

So if we want to change our lives and be more productive, we need to first change our default behaviors.

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Time Management

Inbox always open

This behavior keeps you from dedicating your time to meaningful work. Replying to email may feel productive, but the truth is emails are rarely the most important thing on your to-do list.

So instead of keeping your inbox open all day, change your default behavior to working on emails in batches.

Real-time communication sets the expectation that you’re always available. And for many of us, our default behaviors support just that.

In order to change this behavior, you need to set expectations on response time. Mute specific channels, get rid of pop-ups, turn off mobile notifications, etc.

Constantly checking social media

This behavior is harmful mostly because switching context kills your productivity, so even a simple social media check while working on a task can eat up 20–80% of your productive time.

To change this, consider how keeping up with social media fits into your larger values and use the necessary tools to support your new behavior.

How this behavior harms your productivity: not only do you have to constantly hunt for the tab you need to use, but you’re unnecessarily opening yourself up to distraction.

To change that, reset your default behavior by constantly clearing your workspace to neutral: open it, read it, then close it.

Multitasking

When you multitask, you train your mind to be distracted. You also end up taking longer, doing poor work, and being less creative

So give your work the respect it deserves and focus on single-tasking.

The default behavior of thinking you need every app out there to be productive is false.

So choose the right tools for your task flow and stick to them. Remember that productivity is not primarily tied to tools, it’s tied to your behavior.

Constantly being available

This makes it very difficult to unwind, disconnect, and “turn off.” It also makes it challenging to be fully present when with family and friends.

To change this behavior, change the way you think about work and understand that being always online it's not healthy.

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