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11 bad habits you should break in 2017 to be more productive

Being more productive doesn’t mean working harder, it’s about working smarter and producing more every day.

It is not easy to get more in less time, you have to change your habits to be more productive in 2017.

bad habits you should break in 2017 to be more productive

Here are 11 things you should stop doing right now to become more productive in next year.

Multi-tasking

Multi-tasking
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While many people believe they are great at doing two things at once, scientific research has found that just 2% of the population is capable of effective multi-tasking.

For the rest of us, multitasking is a bad habit that decreases our attention spans and makes us less productive in the long run.

Impulsive web browsing

Impulsive web browsing
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Since most of us have access to the internet at work, it’s easy to get side-tracked looking up the answer to a random question that just popped into your head.

That’s why Quora user Suresh Rathinam recommends writing down these thoughts or questions on a notepad. This way, you can look up the information you want later when you’re not trying to get work done.

Putting off your most important work until later in the day

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People often start off their day by completing easy tasks to get themselves rolling and leave their more difficult work for later. This is a bad idea and one that frequently leads to the important work not getting done at all.

As researchers have found, people have a limited amount of willpower that decreases throughout the day. That being the case, it’s best to get your hardest, most important tasks done at the beginning of the day.

Sitting all day

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Business consultant and author of “The New How: Creating Business Solutions Through Collaborative Strategy Paperback” Nilofer Merchant shares with TED audiences how she’s helped numerous major companies develop successful new ideas: walking meetings.

She recommends forgoing coffee or fluorescent-lit conference room meetings in favor of walking and talking 20 to 30 miles a week.

“You’ll be surprised at how fresh air drives fresh thinking, and in the way that you do, you’ll bring into your life an entirely new set of ideas,” she say

Failing to prioritize

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Some people think having lots of goals is the best way to ensure success — if one idea fails, at least there are plenty more in reserve to turn to.

Unfortunately, this sort of wavering can be extremely unproductive.

Taking too many meetings

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Nothing disrupts the flow of productivity like an unnecessary meeting. And with tools like email, instant messenger, and video chat at your fingertips, it’s best to only use meetings for introductions and serious discussions that can only be held in person.

Under-planning

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With that being said, you should take time to strategize before attempting to achieve any long-term goals. Trying to come up with the endgame of a project you’re doing midway through the process can be extremely frustrating and waste a huge amount of time.

Harvard lecturer Dr. Robert Pozen recommends that you first determine what you want your final outcome to be, then lay out a series of steps for yourself. Once you’re halfway through, you can review your work to make sure you’re on track and adjust accordingly.

Over-planning

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Many ambitious and organized people try to maximize their productivity by meticulously planning out every hour of their day. Unfortunately, things don’t always go as planned, and a sick child or unexpected assignment can throw a wrench into their entire day.

Instead, you might want to try planning just four or five hours of real work each day, that way you’re able to be flexible later on.

Checking email throughout the day

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Constant internet access can also lead people to check email throughout the day. Sadly, each time you do this, you lose up to 25 minutes of work time. What’s more, the constant checking of email makes you dumber.

Instead, strategy consultant Ron Friedman suggests quitting Outlook, closing email tabs, and turning off your phone for 30-minute chunks of deep-diving work.

Keeping your phone next to your bed

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The LED screens of our smartphones, tablets, and laptops give off what is called blue light, which studies have shown can damage vision and suppress production of melatonin, a hormone that helps regulate the sleep cycle.

Research also suggests that people with lower melatonin levels are more prone to depression

Hitting the snooze button

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It might feel like pressing the snooze button in the morning gives you a little bit of extra rest to start your day, but the truth is that it does more harm than good.

That’s because when you first wake up, your endocrine system begins to release alertness hormones to get you ready for the day. By going back to sleep, you’re slowing down this process. Plus, nine minutes doesn’t give your body time to get the restorative, deep sleep it needs.

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