Five habits that destroy productivity

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I often discuss how businesses lose productivity by not understanding introversion, or leading their introverts effectively. Here’s another five habits that destroy productivity (and are bad for your soul). What’s the best way you’ve found of ridding yourself of bad habits?

Habits are easy to get sucked into and before you realise, they’re eating away at your personal effectiveness. If you want to improve productivity, check how many of these you’re doing and rid yourself of these ones.

Maybe you feel like you’re in a hamster wheel, running and not getting anywhere? If it’s time to change things, here’s a chance to spring clean yourself of four habits that lots of people pick up. They’re not good for you, your productivity, or what your team and network think of you.

1: Your past is not your future

Mistakes can be valuable (and we’ve all made them). They’re valuable when you learn from them, not in keeping them as a personal force field. Learn from your mistakes, then let them go. If not, you are letting previous mistakes dictate your future.

That may be more easily said than done. When something goes wrong, turn it into an opportunity to learn something you didn’t know. You’ll find it really helps and can make you more prepared to move forwards.

If something goes wrong for member of your team, demonstrate your leadership skills. It’s an opportunity to be forgiving, understanding and help them learn (you’ll be increasing productivity as they learn too).

Everything that’s happened in the past is training for where you are today. Let it inform your thinking, not define what you do (or don’t do).

2: Stop procrastinating.

Sometimes we procrastinate because of……well actually why is it? Normally it’s a type of fear.

Perhaps you’re waiting till you’ll feel sure? Well, you can never feel sure you will succeed at something, although that doesn’t prevent you from committing to doing your best.

Stop procrastinating (for ideas, click here), and you’ll find yourself increasing productivity.

3: Thinking about irrelevant people

A client was recently distracted to the point he wasn’t really moving his firm forwards. His mental energy was directed at an ex-employee who had left under “dubious terms”. Hanging onto frustration, annoyance and anger really won’t help you.

 It’s a bit like taking poison and hoping the other person becomes unwell!

If somebody doesn’t matter to you, or you don’t like, why let them affect you?

Your team (and family) need (and deserve) your attention. Your mind is like a computer, the more windows it has open, the slower it gets. Increasing productivity requires you to let go of the irrelevant thoughts about irrelevant people.

4: Gossip – talking about people without their knowledge

Yep, we’ve all done it. Does it feel good to know something others want to chat about?

The trouble is, it’s not good – really it isn’t.

Gossiping to get into your team’s favour (or anybody else’s) is self defeating. It may feel good for a few minutes, but your personal stock will go down in their eyes.

When you find yourself talking others about what somebody else is doing, wouldn’t it be better if actually talked to them about it? Before you say “it’s not my place to talk to them about it”, it’s not your place to talk about them either.

You’ll get more respect from your team, get more done, be increasing productivity and feel better by focusing on more productive matters – everybody wins.

5: Misusing labels

A label, like “I’m an introvert” can be very useful at times. However, it’s only a label. Some people fall into the trap of misusing labels and treating them like destiny. “I can’t do that because I’m an introvert” is nonsense. You can, when you choose to, even though it might not feel natural to you.

6: A new habit to develop – Say NO

As a bonus, a habit to develop is the habit of saying NO. It will improve your productivity. Saying no to extra requests, doing extra work without extra fees, stopping your team giving their work back to you, and saying no to yourself when going off track.

Habits are hard to stop

As these are probably habits, they may take some effort to stop. Remind yourself each day of what you’re not going to do and how you’ll benefit. Increasing productivity is a series of steps to keep taking and reminding yourself of, each day.

What’s the best way you’ve found of ridding yourself of bad habits?

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