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April 8, 2018

Three Work Habits to Avoid

Habits can serve our productivity or harm it. For example, the habit of spending the last 15 minutes of the day planning for the next day improves productivity. Another good habit is taking regular breaks throughout the day to re-charge. Even if many of our habits support us, we sometimes fall prey to bad habits that negatively affect our productivity. Here are three work habits to avoid.

Habit 1: Checking email throughout the day. As I teach in my Writing and Managing Email workshop, checking email throughout the day is OK if you do something with the email when you check it – just don’t leave it in your in-box.

Habit 2: Letting yourself be interrupted. You may not believe this, but you allow yourself to be interrupted. Whenever someone comes into your office or cubicle, you have a choice to stop what you are doing and take care of their needs or ask them to wait until later when it’s a better time for you. Be more assertive about your time and how you let others use it.

Habit 3; Multitasking. Many people think they are being more efficient when they do several things simultaneously. This is a myth. What you think is multitasking is serial tasking. Your focus is moving from one activity to another so fast, it seems as if you are multitasking, but you’re not. You are turning your attention on and off, which means you will spend more time than if you completed the tasks sequentially.

Take some time each day to notice your habits and work to change those that are draining your productivity. See my blog post Your Habits Can Make or Break Productivity for more information.

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