I am so down for productivity hacks, but in today’s fast-paced world, productivity has become such a buzzword that it is hard to separate the wheat from the chaff. Not all productivity hacks out there increase productivity & many of them may even be counterproductive.
Today I will set out a few productivity hacks that are wasting your time.
It seems ideal, being able to perform multiple tasks simultaneously & be able to complete all these tasks sooner because you take out time waiting. Well this juggling of the mind takes a serious toll on your productivity. When you think you are doing multiple things at the same time, your mind is actually switching between tasks which increases ‘start up time’ everytime you switch. Besides that you increase the chance of making mistakes. And I know you are thinking: I am one of those people that can multitask. Well I hate to break it to you, but studies show that only 2,5% of people can effectively multitask, so there is not a very big chance you are not one of them. Multitasking can decrease productivity up to 40%, so it can be seen as a productivity hack that is actually wasting your time.
Checking Email & Messages
I understand you don’t want to miss out on anything new & want to be as responsive as possible to your clients. It seems normal to be available 24/7, but this responsiveness can bring some serious damage to your productivity. Checking your email and messages is wasting your time for the obvious reason that it is a huge distraction and takes your mind off the thing that you were (and actually should be) doing. Best is to plan 1-2 times in your day to check your email & messages, cause believe me: even that very important/exciting email can wait for a response for a few hours.
Taking Too Many Breaks
Yes, I know I said that taking breaks will increase your productivity, but don’t overdo it. There are many methods that vouch for taking breaks, but make sure you estimate what works for you. Breaks do enhance focus & energy, but if there are too many of them momentum gets lost and it’s hard to get back in your flow. Every person is different, but just make sure that your needs for breaks don’t get out of hand. I advise you to take breaks regularly and to set intervals, because the taking breaks method can become a productivity hack that is wasting your time easily.
Too Many Productivity Apps
As you might have noticed, too much is never productive. I am such a big supporter of productivity apps, but keep it simple. If you use too many or multiple apps you waste your time on setting them up and you end up spending more time on managing the apps than actually being productive. So just use 1 or 2 that suit you, to make sure that productivity apps are not wasting your time.
The general opinion is starting to lean more towards shorter workweeks, but especially for entrepreneurs, long working hours is still a big pitfall. You think, I need to just finish these things, while all it does is make you work for 60 hours a week. Research has shown many times that 50 hour workweeks are leading to big decreases in productivity (and increase in stress and other mental health issues), so therefore it is more efficient to get your work done during your ‘regular’ work hours. You don’t have regular work hours? Then it is time for you to start setting some boundaries.