Time management, organization and productivity: 15 bad habits to avoid at work

How to improve time management in the professional field. Some tips to keep your focus on work and stay productive How to optimize time management on a professional level? Here are 15 bad habits to avoid as much as possible: widespread but counterproductive inclinations, capable of reducing yield and levels of productivity.

Time management, organization and productivity: 15 bad habits to avoid at work

1- Have the urge to get distracted by the web

As soon as you feel the overwhelming urge to search for something online (definitions, procedures, etc.), stop immediately and create a reminder to do the search when the job has been done.

If, however, the concept to be found on the web serves to proceed with the task, use only the search engine, avoiding being distracted by other issues. A good tip to increase concentration could be to block websites and entertainment platforms such as social networks or blogs on the work computer.


2- Feeling the need to cheat

When in the productive sphere the professional begins to feel the need to cheat and justifies this need by repeating to himself that there is nothing wrong because up to that moment he has always behaved well, the same automatically enters a vicious circle capable of to ruin all the good deeds done in the past.

Even if the worker believes that the fact that he has always been honest and correct justifies some moment of misconduct, for psychologists this sort of “moral license “is counterproductive, as it first leads to a worsening of performance and then requires an effort to return to previous levels.


3- Postpone longer and more complex tasks

Since willpower decreases with the passage of time, those who want to achieve concrete results must strive to perform the most difficult tasks first and then the less demanding ones. Spending the morning doing only simple and pleasant activities, in the afternoon we find ourselves having to deal with psycho-physical fatigue, as well as with longer and more complex tasks.

The advice is therefore to start the day in the fourth by dedicating yourself to activities that require a greater expenditure of energy, and then spend the final hours in a more relaxed way.


4- Plan the day's activities

Good time management also depends, among other things, on the professional's ability to make himself available only in cases that are actually needed. If, for example, a collaborator or customer calls 100 times a day to ask for explanations, there is a risk of not dedicating enough time to other activities to be carried out.

To avoid such situations, it is therefore advisable to plan calls and meetings before starting the project, so as to make the contact person understand when he can or cannot disturb.


5- Think you can multitask

The science is clear on this: only 2% of the population has the ability to carry out multiple actions at the same time. Those who work in multitasking, even if they are not sure of falling within this percentage, must at least take the test to ascertain this, because dedicating themselves to different tasks together without being capable of it leads to the opposite of productivity.


If you are among the other 98% of people, you have to do one thing at a time.



6- Don't set the right priorities

Anyone who fails in defining their priorities automatically inflicts a poor level of yield on themselves. The first thing to do to optimize time is to identify the 2-3 main daily activities and establish the amount of hours needed to carry them out. If, for example, these tasks take 8 hours, it is perfectly useless to frame other commitments on the same day. If, on the other hand, these tasks can be performed during the morning, the afternoon should be filled with meetings or backlogs to be concluded as soon as possible.


7- Having a messy desk

According to recent statistics, the clean office and the organized desk guarantee a 5% increase in efficiency, which corresponds to an extra 24 minutes of work for 8 hours per day (+2 hours per week). Therefore do everything possible to keep your professional environments tidy, so as to be able to increase the yield without the least effort.


8- Make yourself available at all times

Being too available is a huge waste of time. The easiest way to gain precious minutes and optimize all hours of the day is to completely isolate yourself.


Put the mobile phone in silent mode, exit the Social Networks, make the status of the chats used busy and close the door of your office. Doing so will make other people feel less empowered to stop doing business.


9- Accept any request

Assuming that, as David Allen argues, “You can do anything, but you can't do everything”, to optimize time management it is important to know how to say no when carrying out a certain activity is problematic.


If you do not have the skills or if you have little time, instead of making a bad impression, it is better to discard the request immediately.


10- Don't finish the day's homework

Very often it happens that a professional writes a list of things to do during the day and, arriving in the evening, is unable to complete the various scheduled activities. Whether it is laziness or bad planning, anyone who wants to increase productivity must take care of all the tasks on time.


There is no excuse: today what is on your calendar must be done.


11- Use different tools to remember the tasks to be done

How many times does it happen that a customer sends a request in Skype, another via email and another via SMS? And how many times do you miss a conversation or forget to do a certain activity?


The easiest way to handle such situations is to use a single task planning tool. As soon as you receive an e-mail message or a call, immediately transcribe the content in a single system that always allows you to have everything under control.


12- Forget about good ideas

As soon as a good idea flashes into the brain, it must immediately be captured by writing it down somewhere to be able to develop it when there is time available.


This is because the many daily commitments tend to make people forget even the best intuitions, but if they are written down in a safe place, they certainly can never be forgotten again.


13- Thinking too much about the future

Of course, thinking about the future is fine, but only up to a certain point.


If you start neglecting today's business to plan something for tomorrow, the results tend to turn out to be inexorably mediocre. Therefore, dedicate yourself to this practice only after having carried out all the most imminent tasks.


14- Looking forward to inspiration

The productive professional knows that by always waiting for inspiration, he risks wasting a lot of time in vain.


This same professional also knows that every day there is a time when the performance is higher. Whether it is in the morning or in the afternoon, this situation must be exploited as much as possible to carry out all the urgent, difficult and problematic tasks.


15- Believing sleep is overrated

Like it or not, a successful professional is also someone who understands the importance of daily rest. Those who think they can sleep 3 hours a night, perhaps in the short term get an increase in performance, but in the long run they lose clarity, alertness and focus. 7-8 hours of sleep every night ensure the right balance to always be in perfect shape.


These are the 15 bad habits that do not allow to optimize time management: counterproductive attitudes and ways of doing, especially for those who aspire to increase professional productivity.

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