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Nine bad habits you must break to be more productive

Meetings

Ultra-productive people avoid meetings as much as humanly possible. 

A meeting could drag on forever, so when you must attend a meeting, inform everyone that you want to stick to the intended schedule. This sets a clear limit that motivates everyone to be more focused and efficient.

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Nine bad habits you must break to be more productive

Nine bad habits you must break to be more productive

https://qz.com/work/1629479/nine-bad-habits-you-must-break-to-be-more-productive/

qz.com

10

Key Ideas

Bad habits

Nothing sabotages your productivity quite like bad habits.

They slow you down, decrease your accuracy, make you less creative, and stifle your performance.

Impulsively surfing the internet

It takes you 15 consecutive minutes of focus before you can fully engage in a task. Once you do, you fall into flow, a state of increased productivity.

Click in and out of your work enough times to check the news of social media, and you can go through an entire day without experiencing flow.

Perfectionism

We freeze up when it’s time to get started because we know that our ideas aren’t perfect and what we produce might not be any good.

But you can never produce something great if you don't get started and give your ideas time to evolve.

Meetings

Ultra-productive people avoid meetings as much as humanly possible. 

A meeting could drag on forever, so when you must attend a meeting, inform everyone that you want to stick to the intended schedule. This sets a clear limit that motivates everyone to be more focused and efficient.

Responding to e-mails as they arrive

Don't allow e-mail to be a constant interruption:

  • Check your e-mail on a schedule (set specific time slots in a day for that).
  • Prioritize messages by senders.
  • Set up an autoresponder that lets senders know when you’ll be checking their e-mail again.

Hitting the snooze button

No matter how tired you think you are when your alarm clock goes off, force yourself out of bed if you want to have a productive morning.

When you hit the snooze button and fall back asleep, you lose the alertness you'd get by respecting your sleep cycles and end up waking up later, tired and groggy. 

Multitasking

People who are regularly bombarded with several streams of electronic information cannot pay attention, recall information, or switch from one job to another as well as those who complete one task at a time. 

When you try to do two things at once, your brain lacks the capacity to perform both tasks successfully.

Putting off tough tasks

When you put off tough tasks till late in the day because they’re intimidating, you save them for when you’re at your worst. 

Because that's when we drain our limited energy and decision fatigue creeps in.

Using your phone in bed

By the evening, your brain doesn’t expect any blue light exposure and is very sensitive to it. And most of our favorite evening devices emit short-wavelength blue light.

This exposure impairs melatonin production and interferes with your ability to fall asleep as well as with the quality of your sleep.

Eating too much sugar

Donuts, soda, and other forms of refined sugar lead to an energy boost that lasts a mere 20 minutes, while oatmeal, brown rice, and other foods containing complex carbohydrates release their energy slowly, which enables you to sustain your focus.

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Morning routines

Of all the different things you can try to improve your productivity, a morning routine is one of the most effective:

  • It gets you started and sets the tone for the upcoming day;
  • ...
Sleep and productivity

When it comes to productivity, getting enough sleep is essential. Any morning routine you develop needs to accommodate your sleeping rhythms.

And research indicates that 7-8 hours per day is a nearly universal requirement.

Different goals, different routines

There isn’t one perfect routine that will make you rich and happy overnight. Instead, there’s different routines for different purposes: if you're focusing on health and fitness, starting with exercise or eating a healthy breakfast might go first. If you're working like crazy, getting straight to work on your most important tasks may be better than cluttering up my morning with different tasks.

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Step Away from the Spreadsheet
Shut off your brain and stop working. The tasks will still be there tomorrow—plus some more, because work can, and should, wait.
Look Back, Look Ahead
Review what you accomplished today, then make a to-do list for tomorrow. 

Don’t make these lists too close to bedtime.

Cool It

According to the National Sleep Foundation, the ideal temperature for shut-eye is around 65 degrees. 

The cooler you are, the sleepier you become, so turn down the thermostat.

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Keep in sync with your body’s natural sleep-wake cycle
  • Try to go to sleep and get up at the same time every day;
  • Avoid sleeping in, even on weekends;
  • Limit naps to 15 to 20 minutes in the early afternoon;
Melatonin

Is a naturally occurring hormone controlled by light exposure that helps regulate your sleep-wake cycle. 

Your brain secretes more melatonin when it’s dark, making you sleepy, and less when it’s light, making you more alert. 

However, many aspects of modern life can alter your body’s production of melatonin and shift your circadian rhythm

Influence exposure to ligh

During the day:

  • Expose yourself to bright sunlight in the morning. 
  • Spend more time outside during daylight. 
  • Let as much natural light into your home or workspace as possible.

At night:

  • Avoid bright screens within 1-2 hours of your bedtime.
  • Say no to late-night television.
  • Don’t read with backlit devices. 
  • When it’s time to sleep, make sure the room is dark.
  • Keep the lights down if you get up during the night.

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Get a good night’s rest

The first key to productivity: getting enough sleep. 7-8 hours of sleep a night will improve into your work, from sharper decision making and problem-solving, to better coping with chan...

Drink some coffee at work

Caffeine has a range of positive impacts beyond keeping you awake: from increased alertness and reaction time to improved learning, memory, and even mood. 

And coffee isn’t just effective on a chemical level: scheduling coffee breaks so that the entire team took it at the same time increased productivity.

Take regular break

Taking breaks during the workday is important for workers to replace workplace “resources” - energy, motivation, and concentration

These resources are limited and they need “charging” by doing activities that require less effort or use different resources than normal work or are just something the worker enjoys.

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How To Choose Good Habits
  • Envision your ideal end result. What are you going to achieve?
  • Write it down. It will serve as a powerful motivation, especially if you include why you want it.
Good Habits For Health and Fitness
  • Regular Aerobic Exercise: Great for both your physical and mental health. Increases the production of dopamine and boosts creativity.
  • Preparing Your Own Meals. It’ll take some getting used to, but it’s a habit that’ll boost your health, wealth and productivity. 
Good Habits For Finance and Wealth
  • Create a Household Budget: the best habit to help you save money. A household budget helps to encourage frugality and discourage impulse spending. You’ll feel more motivated to engage in other good financial habits once you’ve got this in place.
  • Financial Audits. This involves frequent checks as to whether you’re spending your money as wisely as possible.

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The Science of Sleep

The average adult spends 36 % (or about one-third) of his or her life asleep.

Purpose of Sleep:

  • Restoration
  • Memory Consolidation
  • Metabolic Health
Restoration

The first purpose of sleep is restoration.

Every day, your brain accumulates metabolic waste as it goes about its normal neural activities. Sleeping restores the brains healthy condition by removing these waste products. Accumulation of these waste products has been linked to many brain-related disorders.

Memory Consolidation

The second purpose of sleep is memory consolidation.

Sleep is crucial for memory consolidation, which is responsible for your long term memories. Insufficient or fragmented sleep can hamper your ability to remember facts and feelings/emotions.

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Trim the fat

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Measure your results

To assist you with measuring results instead of time, keep done lists to feel more motivated and focused.

Have an attitude adjustment

We are more effective at work when we have a positive attitude. 

good attitude at work will help you set standards for your work and ensure that you're taking responsibility for yourself.

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We Need Breaks
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Take A Break Every 52 Minutes

After analyzing 5.5 million daily records of how office workers are using their computer (based on what the user self-identified as “productive” work), they found that the top 10% of productive workers all worked an average of 52 minutes before taking a 17 minute break.

Distract Yourself To Recharge Your Focus

Intense focus actually makes us less focused in the long run. Instead of thinking about the problem without stop, we need to create distractions that take our attention away from the task at hand so we can come back at it with a fresh mind.

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Bad habits that affect sleep quality
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The problem with staying up late

Long days can leave us tired and exhausted. But, our days would be less hard and exhausting if we weren't so tired through them.

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Learn to love a good night's sleep

When trying to change your sleep habits, don't give up too soon. Keep it up for a week. The days will get easier, and you'll learn to love sleep again.

To get to bed earlier, slow down in the evenings. Read a book rather than engaging with your smartphone or laptop. Listening to music is good too.

Have something to get up for

Schedule something fun or desirable to look forward to in the morning before work. 

It could include coffee, the news, gym or uninterrupted smartphone access.

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