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Want to be more productive? - Break these habits

WORK LIFE
By Steve Mbego | August 28th 2019

We all get the same 24 hours in a day; it’s how we spend them that makes all the difference. To achieve more in work and life, we have to make the most of our time.

While most employed people work an average of 40 hours a week, people like Tesla Founder Elon Musk clock 80-100 hours a week. Though this isn’t necessarily healthy, Musk believes “nobody ever changed the world on 40 hours a week”.

And it’s not just about the hours you put in, but the quality of that time. You could spend 10 hours at your desk trawling the Internet and have nothing to show for your efforts at the end of the day. Productivity is the name of the game.

So how do you get more of it? Well, a Forbes article suggests you break a number of habits first. Top on the list is using your phone or computer in bed because this harms your sleep and productivity.

Second, don’t impulsively surf the Internet because it breaks your concentration. It takes a person 15 consecutive minutes of focus to fully engage in a task. 

“When you click out of your work because you get an itch to check the news, Facebook, a sport’s score, or what have you, this pulls you out of workflow,” Forbes says.

“Click in and out of your work enough times, and you can go through an entire day without experiencing flow.”

Third, avoid the pursuit of perfectionism. People waste a lot of time agonising about the quality of their ideas or work, but it’s better to get started and give your ideas the time to evolve. As writer Jodi Picolt put it: “You can edit a bad page, but you can’t edit a blank page.”

Lastly, don’t put off tough tasks until late in the day because then you’ll be too tired to work on them.

“To beat decision fatigue, tackle complex tasks in the morning when your mind is fresh,” Forbes suggests.

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