Habits that reduces our productivity, focus and efficiency

Productivity is getting the results you want with less time and effort. but what are the activities or habits that reduces our productivity and focus.

What is Productivity: It’s getting the results you want with less time and effort. When you’re trying to understand how to be productive, what you’re really seeking is a way to achieve your goals while having time to spend on what matters. It is a way to measure your efficiency. Now lets discuss few habits that reduces our productivity and efficiency.

10 Habits that reduces our productivity:

Today we will discuss 10 activities or habits that reduces our productivity, focus and efficiency:

1) Getting lost on social Media

In today’s time, Digital distraction is biggest problem. We should switch off all our social media notifications while working and we should check our phone and notification only when we take a short break.

Do this for a week and I am sure your concentration and productivity will increase.

2) Never leaving the comfort zone

The comfort zone is a mental state that does not allow personal growth. It may be okay to be there for a while, but if you want to continue to grow and adjust to new situations, this is not a place to stay. This is a dangerous habit that reduces our productivity and we take time to find that out.

To know more about how comfort zone affect us and how to come out of it read below posts:

Comfort Zone is a danger zone, nothing grows there

How to come out of comfort zone…

3) Always aiming for perfection

Too much perfection kills your productivity and you will not have enough time to complete other tasks in hand. That’s why it is said that “Done is better than perfect because perfect never gets done”

Perfectionism may seem like a good trait initially, but it is dangerous to both your mental health and sanity.

4) Sitting down all day

 Here are few simple changes you can make to add activity at work, increasing workplace productivity among employees.

  1. Have walking meetings
  2. Stand or walk while on conference calls
  3. Print documents on a printer that’s across the office or on another floor
  4. Take the stairs
  5. Walk or bike to work
  6. Walk during your lunch break

The following are some tips to keep in mind when you are sitting

  • Don’t lean forward at your desk
  • Your shoulders should be relaxed
  • Keep your arms close to your sides
  • Bend your elbows at 90 degrees
  • Keep feet flat on the floor

5) Not enough sleep

Simply put, without adequate sleep, you are going to tire more easily, and lose energy to function. And when you don’t have the energy required to do your work, productivity suffers. However, it’s not just your physical energy that suffers when you don’t sleep. Your mental energy takes a hit as well.

6) Over-analyzing everything

When you over-analyze a situation, the repetitive thoughts, anxiety, and self-doubt decrease the amount of working memory you have available to complete challenging tasks, causing your productivity to plummet even further.

7) Saying “Yes” to everything

Saying “Yes” to everything may seem nice at the time of saying, but when you will, start working on those tasks you will realize that, you will not be able to complete and justify all the tasks. Moreover, once this will start happening you will lose confidence and trust of your Manager and more importantly in yourself.

Therefore, it is very important to say “No” and by saying No to one task, you are definitely making room for saying yes to another important task.

8) Not taking breaks

Yes, it is true that if you want to improve your productivity at work, then taking breaks are necessary. You need to take some breaks during the day to get refreshed and rejuvenated, but not too many that you get distracted along the way. The best advice is to schedule your breaks beforehand.

9) Trying to do multitasking

It is now scientifically proved that our Brain is not wired for multitasking and when we try to do more than one thing at a time, our attention is divided too much.

Therefore, to increase the productivity you need to focus on one task at a time and give that task your undivided attention and energy and you will be able to complete that task in much faster and much better way.

10) Taking long time to make simple decisions

Taking the time to weigh the pros and cons of an important decision is one thing; taking extreme lengths of time to make a decision on a very simple matter is entirely another.

Deciding what food to order should be a simple and quick decision; I have seen people taking too much time in that. What I am trying to explain here is that we should have a habit of differentiating simple daily decision from more complex one. Ask yourself, “Will my decision really matter in a week or months’ time.

Tools to increase our productivity

You can find few wonderful tools which can surely increase your productivity.


Quotes on Productivity

Let me conclude the post with few wonderful productivity quotes:

“It’s not knowing what to do, it’s doing what you know.” –-Tony Robbins

“Focus on being productive instead of busy.” –Tim Ferriss

“The key is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities.” –Stephen Covey

“There are risks and costs to action. But they are far less than the long-range risks of comfortable inaction.” –John F. Kennedy

People Management – a must have skill for success

A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way and shows the way.That is where this most important skill for success comes in picture “People Management”.

The role of a manager isn’t always smooth sailing. Whereas at the beginning of your career it’s likely that you were purely responsible for your work alone, it’s is now your duty to inspire, lead and motivate your team to accomplish a set of goals for the organization. That is where this most important skill for success comes in picture “People Management”.

Quotes on People Management

Clients do not come first. Employees come first. If you take care of your employees, they will take care of clients. –Richard Branson

A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way and shows the way. — John C. Maxwell

The function of leadership is to produce more leaders, not more followers. –Ralph Nader

Ways to practice People Management:

Understand other people’s point of view:

People Management

Many of Sales person fail because they want to sale their product instead of making Customers to buy the product. So the only way to influence people is to talk about what they want and show them how to get it.

Avoid Arguments:

Only thing you can do with argument is to avoid it.

90% of the arguments ends with each of the person more firmly convinced than ever that he is absolutely right.

Better give your path to a dog than be bitten by him in contesting for the right.

So what is the Solution, the Solution is “Discussion”. Because Argument is adverse, but Discussion is advantageous; because arguments are to find out WHO is rights whereas discussion is to find out WHAT is right.

Admit your mistake:

“A man must be big enough to admit his mistakes, smart enough to profit from them, and strong enough to correct them.” – John C. Maxwell.

All of us make mistakes—it is part of learning and growing. The only people who do not make mistakes are the ones who never try anything new. As a leader it is also a mistake to think that you need to have all the right answers all the time. Trying to be right all the time is stressful, slows progress and causes procrastination.

Ask Questions instead of giving orders:

A] This is powerful strategy for dealing with people. Not only does this one tactic help to empower the other person, but it does so in a way that does not make me come off as bossy. So instead of telling someone to go draft a letter than says such-and-such, you might instead ask them “what do you think of drafting a letter that says this and that?”

B] Simple example in everyday life could be

  1. Bring that note book v/s Can you please bring that note book for me.
  2. Open the door now vs Can you please open the door.
  3. Come with me to the market vs Will you come with me to the market.

Importance of Body Language, Gestures and Postures for people management:

  1. Always Smile – Don’t underestimate the power of smile
  2. Keep Eye Contact
  3. Call people by their name: Everybody want to be called by their name, when you call them by their name to communicate, you have already won half battle.
  4. Listen carefully:
    1. One of the biggest complaints of employees everywhere is that they don’t feel heard. They don’t feel as though they have the ability to express their opinion or positively make a change in the organization. When they speak up, they feel ignored, and that makes them unhappy and unmotivated.
    2. Put your phone away

Make the other person feel important :

Ways to make people feel important

  1. Accept people the way they are.
  2. Show your sincere appreciation for others.
  3. The most welcomed people in every situation are those who are generally agreeable and positive with others.
  4. In business as well as personal relationships, the most harmful force of all is destructive criticism. It lowers a person’s self-esteem, makes him feel angry and defensive, and causes him to dislike you.
  5. Questions and praise alone fall short if they are not accompanied by genuine caring. What do you do when you ask a question and discover a need? Sometimes it takes effort to truly engage with someone at the point of need.

Be More Transparent:

Transparency shows your integrity as a leader, and builds trust with the individual members of your team. If you lie about something, or withhold information, you could jeopardize your relationships and the respect you command as a leader.

Praising and Rewards is important for People Management:

To be a good leader, you have to give feedback to your employees, especially praise and rewards. However, Avoid vague or broad language. Be specific in what you appreciate. Don’t say “You’re awesome”, say “I appreciate that you’re so punctual.

Example of specific praise:-

I really appreciate you taking the time to help us get started on our year-end inventory.

Thanks for your valuable input in web designing project.

Learn How to Effectively Communicate with Anyone:

Communication important tool for People Management

Principals of effective communication:-

  • Clarity About the purpose
  • Compose your message with care
  • Consistent with the purpose of communication
  • Simplicity
  • Compose your message to attract attention
  • Know the Receiver
  • Select mode of communication with care
  • Provide for feedback
  • Act promptly on receiving responses.

Manage conflict an important step for People Management:

a.      When there is conflict in the workplace, it should not be ignored. As turning a blind eye could lead to a negative atmosphere, which could have implications for staff productivity and communication among the team may suffer. When an issue arises it’s important that it is addressed straight away before it builds.

b.      “If you get into a fight with someone, try not to think of it as you vs. them rather, approach it as you two vs. the issue.”

Effective delegation:

Know your team’s strength and weaknesses and choose a team member for particular task based on his personal Strengths and weaknesses.

  • Invest time in teaching
  • Train people well enough so they can leave, treat them well enough so they don’t want to. — Richard Branson
  • Make your expectations clear
  • Give and receive feedback
  • Give proper directions:  Directions are more important than speed in Life.
  • We are so busy looking at the Speedometers, that we forget the “Milestones”..!!
  • If we are running fast, but running in a wrong direction we will reach at wrong place faster.


If we understand and practice these simple principles in our life we can definitely make difference is our life and influence people around us.

Also read You need to be mentally strong to do these things

Read more about Leadership at https://prospursity.com/2021/05/22/effective-leadership/

How to maintain a to-do list for managing priorities

The biggest lie we always tell to our-self is that I need not have to write; I will remember it. However, we know we cannot so we need a to-do List.

In my earlier article on utilizing time effectively by Priority Management, I have briefed various methods of managing your priorities. Now I am taking one topic in details i.e. how to maintain a to-do list.

Always maintain a to-do list and keep that in front of you.

How to maintain a to-do list
Key elements which we need to keep in mind while maintaining a to-do list

The biggest lie we always tell to our-self is that I need not have to write; I will remember it.

So if we accept the simple truth that, it is not easy to remember each and everything. Then there comes the role of To-Do List.

I find that if I write my tasks down, I’m far less stressed because I know I won’t forget anything. Moreover, when I’m done with one task, I can move right onto the next without reorganizing the list in my brain.

So now let’s discuss how to create a good to-do list and benefits of it:

  • Keep the To-Do List Simple: – A to-do list should be simple and precise. So that you can get what you are supposed to do instantly after reading the item; rather than getting confused.
  • Periodicity: – Periodicity of your to-do list depends on your roles and responsibilities. One should maintain a daily to-do list and maximum for a week, again this depends on your roles and responsibilities. You should prepare your to-do list for the next day before you leave for the day. So that you already know what you are supposed to do first thing when you reach office.
  • Order of to-do list: – To-do list should be maintained in the order of priority. The most important task should be on the top of the list. So that your focus will be on the important task.
  • Include related Information: – you should include related information in the to-do list itself. e.g. your task includes calling someone, then includes that person’s phone number on the list, so you won’t waste time searching for it later.

    Timeline and structure of a to-do list:

  • Timeline: – Once you created your to-do list for the next day, please make sure to add a timeline to it. Mention against each item at what time of the day you will complete this. One important thing you should always have some buffer time in between. So if something pops up for which you have not planned, can be completed.
  • Structure of your to-do list: – Your to-do list should not include more than 2 big tasks which will consume almost 60 % of your energy and time. A good to-do list should consist of
    — not more than 2 big tasks and
    — 3 to 4 medium task (30 % of your time and energy should go here) and
    — 4 to 5 small or tiny task with remaining time.
  • Tool for to-do list:- One can use a simple calendar diary to make their to-do list, which is the old and best way to maintain a to-do list. If you want to digitize your to-do list one can use One Note of MS Office. Or if you are looking for the simplest tool then nothing is better than Sticky note, (Window’s built-in) which is nothing but a digital post – its.

    Review of a to-do list:

  • Reviewing to-do list: – Whichever tool you use, the to-do list should be readily accessible to you. You should refer to your to-do list 4 to 5 times in a day depending upon the number of items on the to-do list.
  • Completed items: – One should tick mark the completed item or write done to mark the completed items, instead of deleting the same, when you use a digital tool. Benefits of the same will be you will get confident and motivated to complete more. and at the end of the day, you know which all task you have completed.
  • Time to make a to-do list: – Now you have agreed to make a to-do list on daily basis, please keep a fifteen minutes time before you leave your office to make a to-do list for next day.

© All rights Reserved

Manish Malu

How to maintain a to do list…

In my earlier article on utilizing time effectively by Priority Management I have briefed various methods of managing your priorities, Now I am taking one topic in details:-

Always maintain to do list and keep that in front of you.


To Do

Biggest lie we always tell to our-self is that I need not have to write; I will remember it.

So if we accept the simple truth that, it is not easy to remember each and everything, so there comes the role of To Do List. I find that if I write my tasks down, I’m far less stressed because I know I won’t forget anything, and when I’m done with one task, I can move right onto the next without reorganizing the list in my brain.

So now let’s discuss how to create a good to do list and benefits of it:

Continue reading “How to maintain a to do list…”