Affiliate Disclosure: Some of the links on this page are affiliate links, which means we may receive a commission if you decide to buy a product or service we recommend.

The reality is that you’re often doing everything but what you’re supposed to be doing. You get work done, but you know you could’ve done more.

Don’t feel bad. We all have bad habits. But continuing your day with these bad habits is costing you productivity.

If you’re looking to do more, then listen up. Here are seven productivity killer habits that may be killing your productivity and how to remove them.

1. Avoid Late Evenings at All Costs

Look, I get it…

You want to wake up at 5 am, work up until 11:59 pm, and repeat this seven days per week.

But your body won’t be able to handle this. Maybe 1% of people have this ability, but most likely, that’s not you. This isn’t something you need to have shame for.

Instead, respect your body and give it the rest it needs to work at total capacity each day. This means sleeping 7–8 hours daily, with no exceptions. And when you have days with terrible sleep (inevitable), do your best to recover.

I’ve often found myself half asleep typing away at the keyword–trying to be as productive as possible.

The result?

A half-assed article that needed to be rewritten the next morning. 

Always choose to get proper rest, then stay up, hoping to be productive. You’ll wake up feeling refreshed and ready to produce your best content.

How to Break This Bad Habit:

Log your sleeping patterns with your smartphone or in a journal. If you have an iPhone, use the Health app to track your sleeping patterns. If you have an Android use Google Fit.

Once you track how much your sleep, look for ways to sleep 7–8 hours daily. This may mean going to bed earlier or waking up later. Find out what works best for you.

If you have trouble sleeping, try meditating. Having a clear mind is critical to going to bed on time. 

2. You’re Multi-Tasking on the Wrong Tasks

Have you ever tried your hardest to get something done, only to end up scrolling on Facebook constantly?

If so, a lack of focus is draining your productivity. 

Think of how much time you waste when your mind wanders off while working on a task. It can be 5 minutes one day and 2 hours the next. But keep this up all week, and your productivity gets crushed.

How to Break This Bad Habit:

Multi-tasking is never good, except when you’re multitasking with a purpose.

A solution that’s worked for me has been listening to music while working on a task.

Download FocusAtWill, an app that offers songs proven to help you stay focused.

You can take this route, but if you have already paid for services like Spotify, then use the following hack. Test FocusAtWill with a free trial and jot down the artist you hear the most. Then on Spotify, search for them and create your custom playlist.

3. Chill, It’s Not That Serious

Being productive shouldn’t feel like a life-or-death situation. 

Jotting down eight different tasks with only 5-minute breaks (if that) looks fantastic on a calendar.

But this crushes your productivity and leaves you feeling disappointed.

Realistically, you need extra room for breaks and unexpected events. If you’re working a full-time job, you may end up working past five days. As an entrepreneur, you’ll sometimes face unexpected demands from your clients. 

How to Break This Bad Habit:

Work in Pomodoro sprints. 

All this means is working on a single task for an “X” period. For example, if you have to write an article, work for 25 minutes, then take a 5-minute break. Then, work for another 25 minutes with a 5-minute break.

Twenty-five minutes per task may be too little or too much for you. So, experiment with how long you can work without feeling fatigued

4. Choose to Say “Yes” More Often

Learn how to say “No.”

Be more assertive.

You hear this everywhere, but the reality is that saying “No” is easier said than done.

Instead, start saying “Yes” to yourself more often. Think of it this way, whenever you’re saying “Yes” to someone, you’re saying “No” to something else. 

Remember when you said “Yes” to going out with your friends that weekend? Well, you’d said “No” to building your side hustle.

When you think of it this way, “No” isn’t personal. 

If you have to turn down an invite from a friend, offer an alternative. But, your productivity will suffer by not taking the initiative to say “Yes” to yourself more often.

How to Break This Bad Habit:

Write down one crucial goal. 

Now that you’re aware of a goal that you want to reach remember this whenever you’re asked for a favor. Don’t be rude, don’t get defensive, and say “Yes” to yourself.

Start small by working on your goal instead of going out for drinks one weekend. Keep practicing until saying “Yes” to yourself feels natural. This doesn’t mean that you’ll always turn people down.

But, by saying “Yes” more often to yourself, your productivity will increase.

5. Trying to Solve Everything Has a Price

Stop trying to solve the problems alone.

I’ve spent hours working on tasks where I could’ve spent half the time if I’d asked for help.

The same can happen if you constantly try to reinvent the wheel.

Be humble and honest with yourself if you don’t understand something. The faster you can ask for help, the fast you can finish your tasks. And if you can finish tasks quicker, your productivity will increase.

How to Break This Bad Habit:

Take note of tasks that take you a long time to complete at home. Then ask your spouse or someone else to help you finish one of these tasks. Be willing to return the favor when you’re asked for help.

Starting small will make it easier to ask for help outside your home. Eventually, do not hesitate to ask for help from anyone.

6. Create Your Productivity Map

You don’t know what you don’t know.

And, if you’re not tracking your daily goals, your productivity is suffering.

Research shows that writing down your goals increases your chances of achieving them.

But you don’t need research to understand how writing down your goals helps you keep better track of them. Imagine visiting a new city, having no destination or map. How will you ever know you’ve reached your destination?

You don’t.

You must set SMART goals and break them into actionable daily tasks.

How to Break This Bad Habit:

Use Workflowy to break down your SMART goal. Buy a journal (any type) and write down the three daily things you’d like to do. 

Then complete the three most important tasks to help you reach your goal. Each morning write down your goals, and each night check in on your progress. Every ten days, review how much progress you’ve made.

Doing this will ensure that you’re making progress toward your goals. More important, writing down your goals will help you avoid doing unproductive tasks.

7. Complete Less to Accomplish More

Having a “to-do” list is addicting.

You get a little dopamine rush when you check off a task.

While having dozens of tasks each day feels good, start doing less. With productivity, less is more.


Because you avoid burning out and working only on your most important tasks. Think back to when you went to bed feeling disappointed that you didn’t complete all your “to-do items.” Or worse, when you completed many tasks but didn’t complete your most important ones.

Too many tasks will take a toll on your productivity. 

How to Break This Bad Habit:

Review your goals and rank your most important tasks. Then, choose three relevant tasks and only complete these. 

If you feel you have more than 2–3 hours left over at the end of your day, add more. The above scenario assumes you have a full-time job. If you’re a full-time entrepreneur, your schedule will look different. 

Experiment until you’ve found your sweet spot. 

Crush Your Productivity Killer Habits & Be Productive

Imagine reaching your goals without feeling drained.

Being productive is something everyone struggles with. But, by replacing your productivity killer habits with good ones, you’ll start seeing the success you desire.

You now know some habits that are draining your productivity. Maybe you have one of these bad habits, or maybe you have all 7. No matter the case, choose one bad habit to break and replace it with a good one.

Now be productive on the next task you decide to work on today.

This article originally appeared on Financially Well Off.


Chris is the founder of FWO, the blog for people looking to reach financial independence and stay inspired along the way.

Write A Comment

Pin It