January 21, 2022 | Lee Easton Work can be stressful, especially when you have a lot to do and a lot of projects that need to be completed. You’re not going to want to procrastinate work for too long because you might not have enough time to finish it. It can also be difficult to stay focused on your work. You might want to do other things or do little things that will take your mind off of work for a little. However, there are some things that people do that make focusing even more difficult. Here are 7 mindless habits that make you more unproductive at work. Checking Your Phone Whenever You Can Nearly everyone has a smartphone handy at all times. These devices offer endless entertainment, connection with others, and are very addicting. Oftentimes when people experience a lull during work, they will check their phones for any new messages or entertainment. Checking your phone happens a lot when people are waiting for their browsers to load or when they are in-between tasks. You might think that you will only be on your phone for a few seconds, but this can easily turn into minutes or longer. Some tips for preventing this are scheduling a specific time where you can use your phone. This can be during your lunch break and after work, or whenever you feel that you do not need to concentrate on work. Another thing you can do is place your phone in a spot that you cannot reach while working. When going on your phone is not easy, you will be less likely to use it. Doing Other, Unrelated Work Tasks When you finish an assignment, or even when you are in the middle of one, you may be tempted to do other tasks because you think they will be fast. You don’t think these tasks will take away too much time from your work and that they won’t hurt your productivity. Unfortunately, these “small tasks” might take longer than you expect. Some of these things include checking your email, making an appointment, or anything that is not related to work. For instance, while checking your email you might message someone or think about emails that you need to send. This distracts you from your work and takes your mind off of it. Commit to focusing on work and work only for a set amount of time rather than letting these tasks interrupt your workflow. Opening Too Many Tabs Each tab that you open provides one more opportunity for you to become distracted from your work. If you like to have many tabs open, either try to close as many as you can or make sure that each tab is work-related and is not something that will distract you. Constantly Checking Work Chat Platforms Work chat platforms are great for communicating with coworkers and getting answers when needed. On the other hand, they can be distracting. When you look at your messages from coworkers all the time, you are going to be taken away from your work. This is especially so if a coworker asks a question and it leads to you having to help them out instead of focusing on your own work. Try to check these platforms only when you have time to spare. You can also have a set time where you are able to be reached and make that time known to other workers. Solving Things That Are Not Your Problem You might be one of those people that loves helping others and always volunteers when something needs to be done. This is a kind thing to do, but it can create the expectation from others that you will always handle these extra issues. This puts more on your plate that should not be your problem and that might take away from your actual work. Think about whether or not you actually have time to do these extra things and try to decide if they are really your problem or if someone else should be doing them. Always Assuming You Are Right If you are used to doing tasks a certain way, it can be hard to adjust to changes and to change your mindset about things. You might spend more time thinking about how to avoid changing your routine rather than being open to change and open to other suggestions. Don’t resist change and assume you are always right because there might be a more efficient way to do things. Scheduling Unnecessary Meetings If you have a voice when it comes to scheduling meetings, try to avoid scheduling them when they are not needed. Meetings often take up a lot of time, and topics are usually brought up that do not apply to everyone. This can take away valuable work time. Be conscious of organizing meetings that are not necessary so that you preserve time for work. Having a productive day makes the workday much easier to handle and can relieve a lot of stress. Being aware of these mindless habits will help you avoid them and increase your productivity in the future. 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