3 Bad Habits that Zap Your Focus and Impede Your Success

 

Although multitasking was once thought to help productivity, it actually zaps your focus and kills your productivity.

Although multitasking was once thought to help productivity, it actually zaps your focus and kills your productivity.

Although you may intend to add good habits to your daily routine, these bad habits can sabotage your progress and impede your performance. As a result, you don’t feel as if you’re getting much done, even though you’re working harder than ever. Work smarter and more efficiently, and nip these bad habits in the bud.

1. Constantly checking your email or social media. Curiosity did more than kill the cat; it killed your focus and productivity, too. Our smart devices and computers notify us when we get new messages, making it oh so tempting to stop what we’re doing to see who’s messaged us, even if it’s just a spam message announcing a sale. However, this quick break in focus can make it difficult to get back to the task at hand.

Turn it around: During your power hours, turn off email notifications on your computer and turn your smart phone or tablet over so that you don’t see the blinking message light. If social media is your weakness, download an app like SelfControl or Freedom to keep your attention from wandering.

2. Multitasking. Remember when multitasking was all the rage and experts said that it was the only way to be more productive? The verdict is in: Multitasking doesn’t make you more productive at all. In fact, it makes you less productive. Sure, you’re doing more tasks, but you aren’t doing any of them as well as you could if you focused on one task at a time. Instead, you’re languishing in mediocrity—mediocre service, mediocre task completion and mediocre progress.

Turn it around: Do one thing at a time. By focusing on one thing, you’re able to do it well and get it done faster than you would if you had been working on it and one or two other things at the same time.

3. Writing a to-do list instead of a priority list. Writing down the tasks to complete for the day is important; however, it gives each task equal weight. When your important tasks are mixed in with get-to-it-if-you-have-time tasks, you’re more likely to drop the ball or spend too much time on unimportant activities.

Turn it around: Write a priority list. A priority list puts the most important tasks first so that you can focus your time and attention on them. It helps you to schedule your day so that your priorities come first.

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