There are habits that improve our productivity. These are the habits that we need to maintain. On the opposite there are habits that we need to get rid of. In this guest post, Carlo Pandian discusses some habits that limit our productivity.

Enter Carlo…

We all have our little habits; the routines and rituals that we adhere to on a daily basis, or the day itself just doesn’t feel right.

Habits to avoid to improve productivityMany of these are rooted in our activity before and after work: that morning cup of coffee, that evening glass of wine and even certain clothing that we like to wear on certain days.If we miss any of these little rituals out, it can affect the way we feel and even the way we behave.

In a peculiar way it can have a pronounced on our productivity too. However, there are other habits that we take with us into the office – and these can have a more dramatic and negative impact on what we do.

Here are five habits that could be limiting your productivity.

#1- Time-wasting emails

Research from the Australian Bureau for Statistics has found that over 50% of employees admit to wasting at least an hour a day answering emails that have nothing to do with work.

While they might feel important to you, answering and reading these emails takes a significant portion of your time and translates into loss of money for the company as a whole.

The study found that in companies with over 1,000 employees, the annual bill for wasted time added up to around $10 million.

#2- Turn off Twitter

Social networking is another huge digital distraction. If it’s not on your computer, then you’re likely have an app that allows you to log in to your favorite social networking sites.

The most distracting part of this is the notification alert tone that sounds each time one of your contact sends you a link or posts on your page.

The simple answer is to deactivate the notification alerts; you can check what’s going on in your social circles during your lunch hour.

Book Recommendation: Bit Literacy: Productivity in the Age of Information and E-mail Overload  (Amazon affiliate link)

#3 – Post-It procrastination

Many people work from lists, allowing them to prioritize tasks and quickly see what they have done and need to do. However, when those lists consist of post-it notes stuck to the wall or the computer monitor, things can very quickly go awry.

If you’re going to work from a list, then ensure that it’s as organized and as easy to read as possible, or your performance can be hampered because you may lose notes or simply be unable to read them.

#4 – Go and tidy your room!

Your office is an area in which you are supposed to be your most productive. However, if you’re the type of person who treats your workspace like a teenager’s bedroom, then you could be costing yourself a lot of time when trying to find the right files or locate the best tools for the job in hand.

Untidiness is as much a habit as being organized. You don’t have to present a pristine, sparkling workspace, but it’s worth having some sort of structure in place. You’ll find that your productivity increases as a result.

#5 – How much is too much?

Being enthusiastic at work is one thing, but being zealous is quite another – and can be counter-productive. If you take on too much, you won’t carry out each individual task to the best of your ability.

If you try to, you’re likely to miss that all-important deadline or put yourself under unnecessary stress. Don’t be afraid to delegate.

Carlo Pandian is a tutorial writer for Intuit, a small business accounting software. He loves sharing about business and productivity tips.

Photo courtesy of flickr user maurofaraoni

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