Learn How to Be More Productive by Not Doing These 8 Things

The key to success isn’t working hard; it’s working smart. In many cases, working less produces better results. Knowing you have a limited amount of time to finish your work makes you focus on completing what you need to. Learn how to be more productive by not doing these eight things.


Working Overtime

Focus on working no more than 8 hours a day whenever possible. The reason we have a five-day, 40-hour work week is that it increases productivity. The longer you work, the less productive you become both short- and long-term.

Saying “Yes” Too Often

Studies show that twenty percent of your effort produces 80% of your results, and 20% of your results consume 80% of your effort. For this reason, you need to focus the majority of your time on productive work that creates the results you want. This gives you time to work on your most important tasks while cutting out everything else.

Doing Everything Yourself

Ask for help whenever needed. You can’t handle everything by yourself. If you try, you’ll get burnt out. People often are more productive when working in teams. You’ll have more time to focus on important tasks.

Being a Perfectionist

Keep in mind that nobody is perfect. Trying to be something you’re not reduces productivity. You end up spending more time than necessary on a task. Or, you procrastinate until the right moment arrives. Do what you can to the best of your ability and consider it done.

Performing Repetitive Tasks

The more time you spend on repetitive tasks, the less time you have to be productive. Instead, automate these tasks whenever possible to free up time for more important responsibilities. If you don’t know how to create automation, purchase a product/service to complete the task.

Skipping Breaks

Take regular breaks throughout the day. You need to walk away from your work every hour and a half to two hours to refresh your brain and spirit. This is especially important if you’re looking for an answer to a problem. Taking time away from actively searching for a solution often will bring it to you.


Focus on one task at a time. Since your brain has a limited amount of focus, multitasking slows you down. You make more mistakes, feel less creative, and increase your stress level. Because it takes mental energy to move among tasks, you’re more productive when finishing one task before starting another.

Habitually Checking Your Email

Limit the time you spend checking email. Reacting to notifications of new messages interrupts your thinking and makes it hard to focus. As a result, you become less productive. Instead, turn off your phone. Schedule three times each day to check email. Get more done in between.


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