June 15

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What are the 12 habits that destroy your focus and productivity? (And Tips To Turn Them Around)

By Dan

June 15, 2022


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Are you having a hard time staying focused and productive? There are so many distractions in today's world that our attention span is shorter than ever. To add to that, there are certain habits that we have developed which make it even more, harder to focus on tasks and be productive.

What Are The 12 Habits That Destroy Your Focus And Productivity

You're trying to get work done, but you can't seem to focus. You keep getting distracted by your phone, your thoughts, and anything else that's going on around you; it's frustrating, and it's preventing you from being productive.

If you're finding it a struggle to stay on track and want to make a change, here are 12 habits that can destroy your focus and productivity and ways to overcome them.

12 Habits That Destroy Your Focus And Productivity And Tips To Turn Them Around

Here are 12 habits that are destroying your focus and productivity and tips to turn them around:

1. Not setting goals. 

If you don't have specific goals that you want to achieve, it's going to be difficult to focus and be productive - which will lead to wasted time - because you won't know what you're working towards.

Sit down and set some goals for yourself for what you want to achieve each day, week, or month. Having goals to work towards will make it easier to help you stay focused and productive.

2. Failing to prioritize.

When you have a lot of tasks to do snd you don't set priorities, everything seems equally important, and it can be hard to decide where to start and what to do first, which leads to feeling overwhelmed and stressed, making it harder to focus and be productive.

Setting priorities will help you determine what needs to be done first, so it'll be easier for you to focus on that task and get it done productively.

Make a list of your tasks and priorities for the day so you know what needs to be - if at all - done first; perhaps tasks that seemed so important aren't that important afterall.

If you're having a hard time prioritizing tasks, ask yourself these questions:

  • What needs to be done urgently?
  • What has the biggest impact?
  • What can be delegated or put on hold?

Try the Stephen R. Covey Eisenhower's Time Management Matrix for more accuracy.

3. Being disorganized.

If you're disorganized and your work area is cluttered, it will be difficult to focus on the task at hand because your mind will focus on the mess instead.

Being organized doesn't mean that everything has to be perfect or in its place - although that would help - it means having a system in place for how you want things to be done so you know where everything is and can be easily found when you need it.

Take some time to organize your work area - whether that means decluttering, setting up a system for how things should be done, or both - so you can focus on being productive instead of finding what you need.

4. Multi-tasking.

In today's fast-paced world, we have been taught that multi-tasking is the key to being "productive".

However, studies have shown that multi-tasking decreases productivity because it takes our brain longer to switch between tasks. As a result, we're unable to give our full attention to any of the tasks we are working on.

Avoid multi-tasking at all costs if you want to focus and be productive; start working with one task at a time and complete it until it's done. Once you've finished that task, then move on to the next one.

5. Procrastinating.

Procrastination is the act of putting off or delaying something that should be done, and it's one of the biggest productivity killers because you're putting off important tasks and letting them pile up, which leads to wasted time in the end.

When you're feeling overwhelmed by a task, it can be tempting to just put it off until later; the longer you wait, the harder it will be to start.

So, when you procrastinate, you're not only wasting time on the task that you should be doing, but you're also wasting time and energy worrying about the task that's been put off, which leads to feeling overwhelmed and stressed; making it harder to focus and be productive.

The best way to avoid procrastination is to start with the most difficult task first; getting it out of the way will make it easier to focus on the other tasks that need to be done.

If you find yourself procrastinating often, try setting a timer for a specific amount of time and start working on the task until the timer goes off. Once the timer goes off, take a break and then start again.

Also, try setting deadlines for yourself, breaking down tasks into smaller goals, or holding yourself accountable.

6. Not setting boundaries.

If you're someone who says "yes" to everything, it's important to set boundaries with your time and energy so you can focus on what's truly important to you.

This means learning to say "no" when someone asks you to do something you don't have time for or don't align with your goals if it's going to interfere with your focus and productivity.

Set boundaries by creating a daily schedule and sticking to it, setting aside specific times for specific tasks, and saying "no" to anything that doesn't fit into your schedule.

7. Trying to do everything yourself.

Trying to do everything yourself is not only impossible, but it's also a quick way to become overwhelmed, stressed, and burnt out by everything that needs to be done.
Instead of trying to do everything, learn to delegate tasks or put them on hold until you have the time and energy to focus on them again.

8. Being a perfectionist

When you're a perfectionist, you want everything to be perfect before moving on to the next task. And while it's good to strive for excellence, trying to achieve perfection can be counterproductive because it takes up too much time and energy.

After all, you're constantly trying to make sure everything is just right, hence, never getting any other tasks - that had to be completed - done.

Instead of striving for perfection, focus on doing your best and completing the task at hand. If you're a perfectionist, learn to let go of the need for everything to be perfect, try to give yourself grace, set realistic standards, and learn to let go.

9. Being too hard on yourself.

If you're too hard on yourself, you're constantly berating yourself for every little thing that goes wrong or for not being good enough. Maybe you're constantly comparing yourself to others, or you're never satisfied with your work.

As a result, you end up feeling inadequacy and insecurity, making it difficult to focus and be productive because you don't believe in yourself.

Whatever the case, try to be more compassionate with yourself, cut yourself some slack, and give yourself a break; everyone makes mistakes, and it's okay not to be perfect.

10. Not taking breaks. 

When you're constantly working, you're not giving your mind and body the time it needs to rest and rejuvenate. As a result, you end up feeling burnt out, fatigued, and stressed, making it difficult to focus and be productive.

Breaks allow you to recharge, giving you the energy you need to come back to work and be productive. So, make sure to take a few minutes here and there to step away from your work and take a break.

11. Not getting enough sleep.

When you're tired, it's difficult to concentrate and pay attention, making it hard to get work done.

Your body needs sleep in order to function properly, so make sure you're getting at least 7-8 hours of sleep every night.

Get enough sleep by going to bed and waking up at the same time every day, avoiding caffeine and alcohol before bed, and creating a winding-down routine to help you relax before sleep.

12. Checking social media constantly.

Social media can be a huge distraction, especially if you're constantly refreshing your feed or checking for notifications. If you find yourself mindlessly scrolling through social media when you should be working, it's time to cut back on your screen time.

Set limits for yourself by turning off or putting your phone away during work hours or only allowing yourself to check social media during specific times throughout the day. If you're having trouble staying off your phone, there apps that can help you limit your screen time.

By following these tips, you can create better habits that will help you focus and be more productive; remember to be patient with yourself, as it takes time to break old habits and create new ones.

About the author

My name is Dan, a few years ago I decided to turn my life around and it all started with time management, I'm here to help you navigate how to best manage your time.

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