Being productive all the time can be a challenging goal to achieve. However, some habits can kill your productivity instantly. Here are some productivity pitfalls to avoid:

1. Multitasking

Here’s a difficult pill to swallow: you are not good at multitasking. In fact, according to a study, only about 2% of people can multitask even remotely effectively! That means for the rest of us, multitasking kills our productivity. Check out this great infographic that illustrates the point clearly. Instead, make a prioritized list of what needs to be done and tackle those jobs individually. You’ll find that you’ll get more done by being laser-focused on finishing one task at a time, rather than trying to do ten at once.

2. Distractions

Distractions are everywhere in our modern world. The small computer (aka smartphone) we all carry around can be a massive cause of them. While being connected continuously is a fantastic, incredible feat it can also lead to being unproductive. Continually checking your email, social messages, news feeds, texts and other distractions can lead to hours of lost productivity. To combat distractions, plan. Give yourself, strict limits and schedules for how often you will check and respond to emails, texts, etc. If you don’t trust yourself, try finding an app that helps with this process.

3. Perfectionism

Most people want to achieve the highest degree of success possible. We should hold ourselves to a high standard and take pride in our work but being a perfectionist often leads to inefficient habits. The old principle “done is better than perfect” is very accurate. If you find yourself continually being late on projects or deadlines because you are constantly tweaking, revising, and changing projects you might be killing your productivity.

4. Always saying yes

Saying no can be hard, especially when you’re starting out in a company and trying to make a name for yourself. However, there will come a time when you need to say no. If everything in the office seems to get dumped on you, it might be because people realize you won’t’ say no. We’re not suggesting that you constantly turn down work or orders from your boss but evaluating how you can effectively use your time is a great habit to get into. Remember, you can’t please everyone.

5. Being unorganized

We’re not just talking about the stacks of papers on your desk or how your pencils are arranged. We’re talking about planning and organizing your day. You should rid yourself of tasks that can be automated, (like filling out timesheets). Look at your day and figure out how to best organize it for productivity. Are there things that other people could do more efficiently or software that could automate the task? Are there things you should cut out of your day entirely?

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