10 Unproductive Habits It’s Time To Break

There’s no shortage on productivity content on the internet these days, especially as we are all still struggling to find a balance while working from home. We can read all the productivity content until we are blue in the face, but until we break our unproductive habits, it won’t do us any good. Keep reading to see if you’re guilty of any of these common habits that aren’t doing you any good.

1. Spending frivolously 

When your finances are in disarray, you don’t stand a chance. Keeping your finances organized should be as much a priority as your health. 

2. Unnecessary meetings

We’ve all been involved in countless meetings that could have been emails. Unless you have absolutely no choice in the matter, consider vocalizing your preference to converse via email. Your time is sacred and you have to prioritize wisely. There are so many people who are engrained in old ways of “hopping on a call” for things that could easily be a quick email. Be clear, but firm with your boundaries. I often have to respond to these requests and let them know that my working hours are currently very limited and the best way for me to communicate is via email. It’s a game changer.

3. Being tethered to your electronic devices

It’s easier said than done when it comes to disconnecting, but this is a big one. Instagram can wait until after your meeting. Keep the phone in your bag unless you actually need it for the conversation. Put your phone on airplane mode when you’re in the middle of business meetings or coffee dates.

4. Not taking scheduled breaks

Your mind and body need a chance to rest, no matter how brief. When you start feeling restless, take a small breather to regroup instead of burning out entirely.

5. Relying solely on your memory

We can often think of something and rely on it later to remember it when we need it. If you’re like me, you’ve made this mistake and then had to spend a lot of time thinking about what it was you thought of. You could completely eliminate this problem by simply jotting it down on your phone or by carrying a notebook around.

6. Opting for perfection over completion

Labeling yourself as a perfectionist and not taking action until it’s right is nothing more than procrastination and fear talking. If you wait for the perfect moment, you’re too late. Don’t miss the big picture when you’re trying to improve your health and productivity—the main point is to get started. Perfectionists waste time overanalyzing all the small details that don’t play a pivotal role in the outcome.

7. Consuming unnecessary information

“Doomscrolling” became a popular term this past year. There’s simply too much information out there that makes it easy to get sucked up in. Unsubscribe from as many mailing lists as you can. This way you can cut down the amount of incoming e-mails and prevent distraction. Ease up on the news. If there is an event that is newsworthy, it will catch you anyway. Ditch the mindless scrolling and unnecessary social media consumption that can make you feel overloaded. 

8. Reacting to every distraction that pops up

Social media notifications? Text from your BFF? A full inbox? The number of distractions has grown radically over the last few years. The main problem is that you are expected to be reachable all the time. When you are distracted, it causes unnecessary stress and makes you procrastinate on your work. Instead of being consistently reachable, batch your time for all of these things. Pick specific times of the day to respond to texts and social media. Set a schedule for your email inbox. Your mind and stress levels will thank you.

9. Asking questions instead of doing the research

This is just lazy. Just because you have access to someone who knows the answers doesn’t mean you should rely on them. Don’t forget, they are busy just like you, so popping in multiple times a day to ask questions you could easily find the answer to on your own isn’t productive for anyone. Google is a beautiful thing. Once you get in the habit of seeking out answers on your own rather than expecting someone else to do it for you, you’ll revel in your newfound ability to gain valuable knowledge.

10. Waiting for others to take action

This is such a frustrating habit. Waiting for someone else to step up to the plate and take the initiative is both a communication and a productivity issue. Don’t wait for others to get the ball rolling. Sometimes the only way to get something done is to do it yourself. If you are waiting for others to take action on your behalf, you’ll get disappointed when nothing gets done.


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Author: Samantha Welker

Samantha Welker is the business manager at Glitter Guide. She has an Master's in Corporate Finance & Sustainability from Harvard Business School but prefers working in the creative industry. She also hosts a weekly business podcast for creative women called Pretty Okay Podcast. She loves spending time with her husband and her son, Rocky, in sunny San Diego. Follow along on Instagram