33 Things You Should Stop Doing To Double Your Productivity

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50 things you should stop doing to double your productivity-Optimized

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33 Things You Should Stop Doing

Productivity is something that most of us struggle with and there are lots of things that we should stop doing in order to have more time and increase our productivity. Therefore I decided to compile this list of 33 things that we should stop doing so that we can have more time and increase our productivity at the same time.

1. Reading all the productivity blogs that you can find.

Productivity is affected if you are spending too much time reading productivity blogs. Ironic isn’t it? Don’t make it a habit to read all the blogs you can find. Find a few of the top blogs, follow them on RSS so that you can read everything in a single go and apply what you had learnt.

2. Spending too much time on social media sites. (Facebook and Twitter)

Social media sites can be addictive and it can take up a huge chunk of your time. Limit your time (30 minutes or lesser) spent on these sites and you will free up more time to help you do tasks that are more important.

3. Surfing online aimlessly.

Surf for information only when you need it. Surfing on the web aimlessly to find things to entertain yourself can take up to hours of your valuable time.

4. Saying yes to every request.

Saying yes to 3 hours long chat or additional work request when you can’t handle your current workload can make a huge dent to your productivity. Learn to say no to requests that do not help you to be more productive.

5. Checking emails every 5 minutes.

If you are checking emails too frequently, that means you are being distracted and you are not focused on your work. Being focus on your work can help to speed up the process which means using less time to complete the work.

6. Buying cheaper electrical appliances or gadgets

Recently Steve Pavlina had wrote an article on overcoming cheapness. In the article, he wrote that people are trying to be frugal by buying cheaper gadgets or appliances. However I find that it can waste alot of time if those appliances are easily spoilt and you will need to spend time to send them for servicing and bringing them back again which is a waste of time and energy. Buy stuff that can truly last and the extra money you fork out will help you save up more time and energy.

7. Cluttering your wardrobe.

If you spend 30 minutes every morning searching for your clothes or deciding on what to wear, it is time for you to declutter your wardrobe. Too much choices of clothes will lead to indecision and cutting the amount down will help you to have an easier time to decide what to wear. I sort my clothes according to the type they are (t-shirts, polo tees, shirt) so that I do not need to waste time searching for them.

8 Finding your keys, cell phone and wallet.

I used to search for my keys, cell phone and wallet every time when I am about to go out of my house. It can be frustrating especially when you are going to be late. I had tackled this problem by putting them in the same location every time I got home so that the next morning I know where they are and I can just grab them and go out without wasting time searching for them.

9. Losing your way.

I had once spent 2 hours driving to find a location. 2 hours are wasted! Always plan your route when you are driving to somewhere you are not familiar with.

10. Saving money manually.

If you are withdrawing money from one account to save in another account, you are doing something that can be automated which means saving time and effort. Create an account which will save a certain amount of money when you had banked in your pay cheque to automate the process of saving money. Doing this will also ensure that you will not spend the money you are suppose to save.

11. Paying bills manually.

Same as above. Auto billing will help you to save the effort and time.

12. Multi tasking.

Multi tasking cause you to switch your focus between tasks and every time you switch tasks, you are required to refocus. This means that every switch you do, you are wasting time to refocus on your tasks.

13. Cluttering your desktop.

A cluttered desktop will make it hard for you to search for the icons that you need and it also slows down the loading time of your computer. Deleting icons that you don’t use from the desktop will also help you to increase your computer’s loading speed.

14. Not getting enough sleep.

It is hard to feel productive when you are feeling tired. Get adequate sleep to ensure that you are feeling at your best for the day.

15. Team meetings.

Minimize the the amount of meetings and you can free up lots of time. I find meetings a waste of time and you can always share information using ways that are much more efficient (email) rather than calling everyone for a meeting.

16. Meeting without an agenda and time slot.

If you really need to have a meeting, be sure to know the agenda. This will ensure everyone will focus on the agenda instead of side tracking. Set a fix amount of time to the meeting to prevent “over discussing” on the matter.

17. Doing things in pieces.

When you do things in pieces such as replying emails and talking in MSN messengers all day long, it is hard to get things done. However if you batch similar tasks together and do them in a go, you will save up much more time. One example; Instead of reading emails immediately when they reach your inbox, read them in a single shot in the evening.

18. Acting busy instead of productive.

There are people who act busy instead of being productive. They are just trying to keep themselves busy by filling them up with tasks regardless of whether it is important or not. When you find yourself getting busy, remind yourself whether you are acting busy or being productive and change as required.

19. Working on things that are not important.

If you are working on things that are not important, your productivity will be affected. Use the 80/20 principle to help you find out what are the things that are truly important and spend more time and effort working on those.

20. Worrying

If you are worrying about things, it is hard to stay focus. If your worries are tasks that you would need to do later, get it off your mind by writing it on a piece of paper and deal with it later.

21. Cluttering your workstation.

It can be frustrating to waste time finding our stationary or documents. Keep your work station tidy and put things where they belong so that you can retrieve it immediately whenever you want it. Declutter your work station regularly to prevent clutters from coming back.

22. Chatting with co workers.

Chatting with co workers about gossips doesn’t really help to increase your productivity. Work when you need to work and the chatting comes later.

23. Email alerts.

Email alerts tend to distract you and cause you to shift your attention to them. This mean that you will be distracted whenever your there is an email alert and thus losing focus on your current task. Turn them off and refer to point number 17 to help you increase your productivity.

24. Answering your phone call every now and then.

Regular phone calls are distractions that should be eliminated or minimize when you are working. If it is possible, turn off your phone and use a voice mail.

25. Fail to do regular time log.

Our productivity tend to wane over time and we need to keep a time log to check our productivity in check. Whenever you feel that your productivity has taken a dip, take the time to log down how you spent your time during your working hours and check whether is there anything that you are doing that is not productive and cut down on it.

26. Watching TV.

TV shows can be addictive and sometimes we can spent a huge amount of time on watching it. Cut down on your time on watching the TV shows and you will find that you will have more time to do things that can make a difference to your life. Another tip you can use is to stop watching the commercials.

27. Excessive gaming.

I am guilty of this too. Some days my schedule can be disrupted if I spend too much time on playing games. I try to cut down on it and it helps when you don’t make the game icon so easily accessible (exp: do not put a short cut icon on the desktop).

28. Hanging out.

Everyone need a moment to relax but hanging out and spending time catching up everyday just doesn’t make sense. Moderation is the key here.

29. Commuting.

If you think about it, we spend a huge amount of time commuting to work or school and those time are just going to be wasted. The best solution is to eliminate commuting, maybe work at home or something. But I doubt that is possible for everyone. Another way is to do something productive during commuting, such as listening to a podcast or reading a book.

30. Having too much credit cards.

Too many credit cards means that you will have more bills to be keep note of. Cancel a few of the credit cards that you don’t need and you will receive less bills and letters to take care of.

31. Opening too many tabs in your browser.

It is distracting if you have multiple tabs on your browser as you will start hopping from one thing to another. As I had mentioned earlier, jumping from one task to another is not a good productive habit.

32. Over sleeping.

Over sleeping means lesser time for important tasks. If 6-7 hours of sleep is more than enough for you, don’t try to make it to 8-10 hours.

33. Working longer hours.

Working longer doesn’t mean that you are much more productive. If you are able to stop doing the above 32 things that I had listed, you should be able to work lesser hours and yet achieve more results. 🙂

Cheers,
Vincent

**P.S** What are some of your favorite productivity tips that are not mentioned here? Share them with the rest of us.

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26 Responses to “33 Things You Should Stop Doing To Double Your Productivity”

  1. Chris says:

    Hi Vincent!

    Gr8 list
    I’m kind of guilty of in some…

  2. ayo olaniyan says:

    hi vincent a great list you have here. I hope to make a few adjustments where I’m concerned.

    Do have a lovely day.

  3. vandealer says:

    The worst one for me is definitely the social networking sites!

  4. Vincent says:

    Hey James,

    Skype can be disturbing when we are working. Turning it off will really do great for productivity. 🙂

    Cheers,
    Vincent

  5. James Breeze says:

    Great list! I am always social networking and worrying about my mobile and emails.

    The first thing I did to give me more time was to set up my own consulting business from home! No commuting, no team meetings! I can get so much more done!

    After reading your list I will.
    Block out time for emails.
    Turn my phone off more.
    Turn Skype off if I am busy working
    Block out time for Twitter and
    Organise time to blog BUT keep a list of ideas.

    @jamesbreeze

  6. Conrad Dixon says:

    Wow, a really exhaustive list…

    Definitely defines discipline & productivity.

    One of my favorite quotes related to productivity: “less is more”… someone’s mentioned it already but… 20% of your efforts will equate to 80% of the results

  7. I’m kind of guilty of in some — or not a lot of these items in the list

    Very well said

  8. Vincent says:

    Hi Network Cabling,

    Different people learn differently. Some love to read and some love to listen instead. You are right in this instance, if you can absorb things faster by listening than reading, then reading may be something that will decrease your productivity.

    Cheers,
    Vincent

  9. Hey Vincent, as you said in this post i missed your podcast, because i more like to listen in option of reading but here forced me to read whole post prepared good list of thing to do or not very effectively.

  10. Vincent says:

    Hi Long,

    40 minutes of riding is definitely a great work out but I would not recommend you to listen to podcasts for your case. 😉

    Hi Zen,

    Extreme frugality does waste too much of time and sometimes those time could be put into better use which may result in additional income.

    Cheers,
    Vincent

  11. “Buying cheaper electrical appliances or gadgets” this reminds me of a friend who continuously used to monitor websites like fatwallet instead of concentrating on his work. I have found frugality not only wastage of time, but it can also cost you dearer and also result in unnecessary stress… here is a link to the post which I wrote last week on frugality:

    http://zencontrol.net/2009/07/leave-frugality-and-start-living/

  12. Long says:

    Hi Vincent, a good list of very simple but practical things we can do everyday to be more productive!

    No.29 – commuting can be a regular workout if you choose to ride a bicycle or walk, just keep in mind the distance and the time you have. I ride a bike every day to school, takes about 40 mins altogether. It’s really wakes you up to the day:)

    I think listening to audio tapes or reading is good, so long as it doesn’t cause you any accidents on the road 😉

  13. Vincent says:

    Hi Mike King,

    Your last tip is really hard to implement but I do agree with you that without the distraction of a cellphone, we can definitely be more focus on on our work. Thanks for sharing your productivity tips with us. 🙂

    Hi Vic,

    Both of us are bloggers and we know that it is easy to fall into the trap of doing too many tasks that are of low importance. The 80/20 principle really help me tackle this problem.

    Hi Cash Back,

    I used to check my email every now and then too and it really waste a lot of my time. How about closing off the Outlook application? It helps to remove the urge to check the email when it is out of sight.

    Cheers,
    Vincent

  14. Cash Back says:

    Great list Vincent. Now the real trick is trying to actually change ourselves to get out of every one of these bad habits. It takes real discipline to keep it up. I don’t know how many times I’ve told myself that I should just check e-mail a few times a day, yet I leave Outlook on constantly with it set to check e-mail every 10 mins.

    I don’t really agree with the part about working longer hours. To get ahead you have to be willing to put in that extra time. The overtime you can put in today pays off in the future. You do have to ensure you don’t get burnt out, but there is nothing wrong with having some hardcore work days that go from sun up to sun down.

  15. Hi Vincent,

    Nice list here. This should be read by busy bloggers who unknowingly waste times on unimportant things. Hmmmm….among the list, I strongly agree that worrying will just waste our time. BTW, you have the same name with my brother.

    Cheers!
    Vic

  16. Mike King says:

    I can’t agree with the relationship / socializing and communication ones as those might be the very things you are working to be doing more of. I guess each person will have an area they are striving to be more productive in, communication face to face with others is one of my MOST productive times in my work.

    The list is an awesome list of things to avoid, I practice MANY of them. Email should be checked at specific times only if you can and get through it all, don’t repeat reading it twice, ever! Eliminate any small tasks NOW if it means you never have to revisit it again.

    Delegate to others work they might want to do and you don’t want to do.

    Ask for help, everyone thinks they ought to work on their own and then waste time struggling by themselves.

    Don’t work without set goals and deadlines.

    Don’t change your work hours or work overtime. If you pick fixed times to complete things, it will help to motivate you to focus and accomplish it by the given time frame. If you know you can slack off and catch up later, it becomes a very bad habit.

    I will add one more, likely no one will agree with me. But here it is anyway. DON’T HAVE OR CARRY A CELL PHONE. I don’t and its a HUGE productivity booster for enabling me to focus and get things done.

  17. Vincent says:

    Hi Positively Present,

    I hate the sight of clutters and I do agree it can make me feel slightly irritated when things are messy.

    Hi Ken,

    Yeah, that is quite a handful of things to stop doing. Thanks for visiting and the comment.

    Cheers,
    Vincent

  18. Ken says:

    Great list, man that’s a lot of things. I am getting tired just thinking about it.

    Great Blog

  19. These are 33 things that are definitely huge productivity killers (even though, at first glance, some don’t seem like it). Unfortunately I’m guilty of a lot of these, but now that you’ve brought them to my attention I’m going to do my best to avoid them so I can be more productive. Great list and wonderful explanations of each!

    As for my tips, I would say being organized is the best way to be productive. You mentioned decluttering your space as a way to be more productive and I couldn’t agree with this more. I also think it’s important to have a decluttered home and decluttered car. The less clutter you have the easier it is to find things and the less time you waste looking for things or feeling frazzled at the sight of a mess.