It feels good to be productive, right? To get the most productivity out of your day, it’s not just a matter of working hard. It’s also a matter of getting rid of obstacles that are in your way. There are seven habits that will kill your productivity levels. Let’s take a look at what they are and what you can do about them.

You take too much time to complete a simple task

Sometimes a task that should be a breeze on paper feels like pulling teeth when you’re doing it. It’s not always laziness (though it could be); it could be how you’re approaching your task. Is the way you’re doing the task as efficient as it could be? Do you know how much time your task should take?

You regularly move your meal times

Food is our fuel. If you make your meals irregular, you’re robbing your body of energy. But the answer isn’t stuffing ourselves more. It’s making your meal times as regular as you can. If you stick with it, your body will get into a rhythm of hunger and energy that you can use to mark your productive times. If you eat at the same times each day for a while, you can diet or even do intermittent fasting without worry.

You procrastinate

We all know that waiting for the perfect time to start something is a road to never getting it done. Procrastination is a huge enemy to productivity. Dealing with this is a matter of setting boundaries and launching whole-heartedly into your task. There will never be a “perfect time”. Fight your distractions!

You multitask

Multitasking is the flip side of procrastination, but it’s just as deadly to productivity. Every time you switch from one task to another, a little bit of your attention is needed to do the switching. As you keep flipping back and forth, your productivity goes way down. Stick with one task at a time until it’s done.

You have trouble managing your emotions

You read a news article and it makes you so angry that you can’t focus on work. Or perhaps you’re excited about what’s going to happen after work that you can’t think of anything else. Ever been there? It’s a sign you need to work on managing your emotions. Take a breather to step away from the triggering situation. If it’s really bad, you could use a dry herb vaporizer to give your brain a little break. Smokers know the value of taking a 15-minute break to clear your head.

You’re a perfectionist

This is another form of procrastination at its heart. Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good. If your tasks are delayed at work because of perfectionism, learn what your bosses are looking for and do just a little bit better than that. You’ll feel like you’re going above and beyond while not going so crazy that your productivity bottoms out.

You don’t have a routine

There are tasks bombarding us in every direction. Some are unnecessary, but sometimes you have two things you need to do that are in conflict. The way to get around that problem is to have a strong routine and stick with it. If you batch tasks together in a routine you’ll have a clear mind for when you do your serious work. Routines are individual, so you may need to experiment. For instance, you might like doing the hard thing early and let your brain coast the rest of the day.

Take a moment to imagine how your day would go if you got rid of all of these bad productivity habits. Would you become the superstar of your office? Would your home finally get clean? Start right away to cut these out of your life so you can get your time and attention back for more useful things.


Michael is a marketing and creative content specialist at with a primary focus on customer satisfaction. Technology and fitness combined with healthy lifestyle obsession are his main talking points.


Recently Published

Key Takeaway China’s decision-making calendar is structured with key moments when it makes plans for its economic and political future. These include two sessions, study sessions of the politburo, and the declaration of President Xi Jinping’s third term as general secretary. The Chinese political calendar features seven plenary sessions to establish a unified vision for […]

Top Picks

Key Takeaway: Standards of beauty have been embedded in different cultures since time immemorial, often based on binary notions of idealised forms of femininity or masculinity. Eleanor Janega’s book explores medieval women’s social roles to consider the ways that women’s roles have and haven’t changed. Religious women in the middle ages used weaponised beauty to […]
Key Takeaway: Authenticity is important for both individuals and society, as it is a social glue that reinforces trust. People need to reexamine and recalibrate how authenticity is judged. Social science offers guidance on what makes something feel authentic. George Newman found three dimensions of authenticity: historical authenticity, categorical authenticity, and values and beliefs. Generative […]
Key Takeaway: Buzzfeed News has announced it will shut its award-winning news division for good, laying off 60 journalists. This is bad news for those involved and a tragedy for the wider digital news media, as it produced hard-edged, scoop-heavy journalism. Media companies sought to emulate Buzzfeed’s irreverent and flippant style, but its quality journalism […]


I highly recommend reading the McKinsey Global Institute’s new report, “Reskilling China: Transforming The World’s Largest Workforce Into Lifelong Learners”, which focuses on the country’s biggest employment challenge, re-training its workforce and the adoption of practices such as lifelong learning to address the growing digital transformation of its productive fabric. How to transform the country […]

Join our Newsletter

Get our monthly recap with the latest news, articles and resources.


Welcome to Empirics

We are glad you have decided to join our mission of gathering the collective knowledge of Asia!
Join Empirics