5 Bad Habits that Kill Productivity

Do you always feel like you are running in a race of time, but never seem to get anything accomplished? If your answer is yes, then you may need to rethink what you do on a daily basis. I don’t mean that you need to learn a new strategy, but you may need to think about what you do. Getting rid of a few bad habits might do the trick to turn your “crazy busy” days into more productive, “get it done” days. Here you will find 5 bad habits that kill productivity and ways to get rid of them.

5 habits that block productivity and simple solutions to help kick the habits. Helping you to become more productive daily.

(This post may contain affiliate links. What does that mean to you? Well, if you click on a product and make a purchase, I may receive some compensation at NO charge to you. If you want to read the boring stuff, my full disclosure can be found here.)

Every morning I wake with the best intentions saying, “Today, I’m going to kill it and be productive and focused.” Then my reality sinks in and I’m hit with a gazillion tasks and even more distractions and bad habits that kill productivity.

In my post, Time Blocking:  How to Be Highly Productive Every Single Day, I let you all into my struggle with accomplishing my goals now that I am a full-time blogger. Time blocking has helped tremendously in tackling my recent time management difficulties, but I thought I would delve into what is sucking up large blocks of time and killing my productivity.

I feel being highly productive is a key factor to success! If we can’t GYST (get your sh*t together), then what are we doing?

As Chris Bailey, the author of The Productivity Project: Accomplishing More by Managing Your Time, Attention, and Energy, says “Productivity is no longer about how efficiently you work. Productivity is about how much you accomplish.” This statement is very interesting because at one time I believe being busy meant I was working to my full potential. Now I have learned to work smarter not harder and actually get more accomplished. If you are looking for a great read and study on productivity, click on the link and explore Chris’ book. During his year-long study, he tried several experiments in productivity and approaches these in an informative yet witty approach to the subject.

I’m rarely unmotivated. In fact, I LOVE being super busy and I love ticking off tasks from my schedule. Lately, I seem to be picking up bad habits that are zapping my time resulting in much lower productivity. Who else feels this way?

Since we are friends, I thought I would share my zappers and bad habits that kill productivity!

Technology Distractions

Oh, that little amazing device called a smartphone with all of those awesome apps! I just can’t have a red circle with a number in it on my screen. I guess that’s a sign of my OCD and probably worthy of another blog post at a later date, but it’s true! I hate looking down and seeing a number. So, I take a five-minute break to check out that black hole of Facebook and that leads to SnapChat, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and finally, Pinterest…and let’s not forget addressing emails. Before I know it an hour or more has passed and I’ve accomplished nothing of significance (but I have made a grocery list to make those spectacular-looking Rolo brownies I’ve pinned).

It is so difficult to stop myself! I have started keeping my ringer and sound off, but still, find myself getting sucked in.

So what else can we do? Well, my suggestion is placing your phone away from you – across the room – this way it takes a little more effort to take a “quick” five-minute break! Don’t forget to really take a break…but just set a timer so time doesn’t fly by.

But I do recommend using one bit of technology to help keep you focused and moving. My favorite activity tracker gives you many features, but my favorite is the movement reminder. When I am focused on a project, I fall into a slump because of lack of activity. This product solves the issue and does so much more!

Not Planning Ahead

This one is definitely a time zapper for me lately! I’m new to this blogging thing and although I thought I was prepared – Boy! was I wrong! I have so much to learn and still have so much growing to do! Juggling everything including life is a new adventure for me.

I started this blogging journey thinking I had a plan. But just like the bayous of Louisiana, this blog seems to have a mind of its own. My original plans are out the window and I am

following this new path as I evolve in my writing.

Instead of having a wonderful editorial calendar with planned articles and ideas; I am just winging it day by day! This is something I plan to change…and sooner rather than later! I promise to keep y’all updated on this process.

As you know, not having a plan of action is a big drain of time. If you don’t have direction and focus, much of your time is sucked up wondering what to do next. In my case, I spend too much time daily thinking of what I want to write about instead of writing.

Even if you only have time for a quick two-minute plan your day session, you will benefit greatly. Starting tomorrow, I will practice what I preach. In fact, I already have a plan for my next post and have an outline. Baby steps!


Can you see me with both hands waving in the air? This is my biggest fault! I want everything I do to be perfect. This is something I am working on ALL of the time.

I am trying to get into the mindset of something I hear continuously from more seasoned bloggers…Done is better than perfect! I say this to myself everytime I publish a post or when I look at my blog layout.

I can’t tell you the amount of time I have wasted striving for perfection…something I will never reach. But I allow this to cause extra stress, to make me drag my feet, and to not be as productive as I can be. How many of you understand this?

Now I’m not advocating for anyone to turn in substandard work. But I am saying that sometimes we stress over things when no one else will notice or care.

Take a step back and realize what you’ve accomplished is awesome and fantastic…and move on to your next task!


Multitask…multitask…multitask! We hear this far too often. In fact, I used to be proud to tell everyone I was a great multitasker. I am here to tell you that multitasking does not save time nor does it make you more productive.

When multitasking you may feel that you are getting more done, but we are actually getting less done in the process.

It has been proven that multitasking actually costs time.Click To Tweet

Our brains are incapable of processing multiple tasks at the same time, so our brain switches between the tasks. This actually slows us down by as much as 40%.

Since I’ve started monotasking, I know I am much more focused and I make fewer mistakes. I’m able to complete one task and easily move on to the next without feeling the burnout from multitasking.

Letting Clutter Weigh You Down

You might not realize just how much clutter clouds your focus and weighs you down, but it does! Clutter causes stress and your mind will focus on what you want to do about the clutter instead of focusing on the task at hand.

Organization is key whether you work at home or in an office setting. If things are not in place, it will cause you to feel frazzled. You will also waste time looking for items.

Take a few moments and clear the clutter before you sit down at the grindstone. Ten minutes spent clearing your space will save you loads of time throughout the day and help keep your focus where it should be.

So I’ve shared my bad habits that kill productivity. I would love to hear what you feel is weighing you down. Share your thoughts in the comments below. I would LOVE to hear from you!

Books It’s a Southern Life Y’all highly recommends to help you with your productivity  and time management goals:

The 12 Week Year: Get More Done in 12 Weeks than Others Do in 12 Months

by Brian P. Moran and Michael Lennington

Most organizations and individuals work in the context of annual goals and plans; a twelve-month execution cycle. Instead, The 12 Week Year avoids the pitfalls and low productivity of annualized thinking. This book redefines your “year” to be 12 weeks long. In 12 weeks, there just isn’t enough time to get complacent, and urgency increases and intensifies.

Eat That Frog!: 21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time

by Brian Tracy

There just isn’t enough time for everything on our to-do list—and there never will be. Successful people don’t try to do everything. They learn to focus on the most important tasks and make sure those get done. They eat their frogs.

Off the Clock: Feel Less Busy While Getting More Done

by Laura Vanderkam

Most of us feel constantly behind, unsure how to escape feeling oppressed by busyness. Laura Vanderkam, unlike other time-management gurus, believes that in order to get more done, we must first feel like we have all the time in the world. Think about it: why haven’t you trained for that 5K or read War and Peace? Probably because you feel beaten down by all the time you don’t seem to have.

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