What’s stopping you from being productive each day?
If you’re anything like me, you tend to become easily distracted and stop whatever you’re doing as soon as you can do something more interesting.
Right? It’s difficult to resist the temptation of watching one more episode of your favorite Netflix show, or anything else that would delay completing a tedious task.
It’s frustrating. Throughout my life, I’ve found myself in the same position as you many times. But I’ve discovered that it’s impossible to be productive when you’re distracted from doing the work. In the words of Robin Sharma:
“An addiction to distraction is the end of your creative production.”
So below are several reasons why many people who live in New York aren't productive. Each one of these insights helped me to take back control of my schedule, increase my focus, and become more disciplined in my daily life. I’m sure they will do the same for you, too.
You Hit The Snooze Button.
When you press the snooze button upon waking up, It’s easy to think that it’s harmless because you deserve a few extra minutes in bed. The subway is frequent enough. Plus, you can run to the station pretty quickly... right? But unfortunately, this thought process sets a negative precedent in your mind that it’s okay to delay necessary tasks until the last minute.
Research shows that waking up at different times can be detrimental to your health. Quoting an article published in the Huffington Post:
“You’re throwing off your internal clock by getting up at 7:00 one day and 7:30 the next. And if you’re not waking up at the same time, your body doesn’t know when to start feeling sleepy, making you more likely to push your bedtime later and further deprive yourself of rest.”
It’s no secret that a lack of sleep can damage your productivity throughout the day. So if you want to ensure that your brain is in optimal condition while working, consider putting an end to your habit of continually pressing the snooze button.
You Eat Too Much Sugar.
I love donuts, cookies, and anything else that tastes incredible. Who doesn’t when you live in New York? But if you’re regularly consuming large quantities of sugar, it can have a horrific impact on your cognitive performance.
What you eat has a direct correlation to your ability to work efficiently during any given task. As NBC News reports, “unhealthy eaters 66 percent more likely to report productivity loss.”
That’s not a coincidence. According to the NHS, adults should eat no more than 30g of processed sugar each day. Since I stopped eating candy, I’ve noticed that my energy levels remain consistent as I’m not affected by a horrific sugar crash during the middle of my work.
So consider what steps you can take to reduce your level of consumption, and you’ll notice that you have more energy to accomplish whatever you need to do throughout the day.
You Use Your Phone In Bed.
Whenever you’re in bed, it’s difficult to resist the temptation of watching a YouTube video, texting friends to meet up in central park, or anything else that you enjoy. However, spending excessive time in bed can also have damaging psychological impacts that affect your productivity.
According to a study published in Psychology Today: “Participants who were using an E-reader before bed (or smartphone) took on average of 10 minutes longer to fall asleep versus those who were reading a normal print book.”
I’ve discovered that when I spend several hours in bed on my phone, it’s difficult to fall asleep as my brain associates the bedroom with stimulation, instead of relaxation. As a result, my mind is continually craving something to keep it occupied.
But over the past few months, I’ve discovered that removing devices from my bedroom has enabled me to fall asleep much faster, so I can spend my waking hours being more productive in my daily life.
Even if it’s just for a few weeks, try charging your phone in another room, so you’re able to get to sleep much faster at night. Although it may seem like a small change to your evening routine, the difference it’ll make in your productivity will be profound.
You Neglect Your Fitness.
Although it may seem uncomfortable, making time to do some form of exercise can yield some incredible benefits when it comes to increasing your productivity. Quoting an article published in The Guardian:
“The part of the brain that responds strongly to aerobic exercise is the hippocampus. Well-controlled experiments in children, adults, and the elderly show that this brain structure grows as people get fitter.”
As the hippocampus is responsible for learning and memory, the experiments suggest that regular exercise can significantly enhance your overall cognitive ability.
Don’t get me wrong: I’m not saying that you need to go to the gym each morning before heading for work. That would be unrealistic. But if you can take a walk for 10 minutes each day, you’ll quickly notice the effects it has on your health & mood.
Walk to the metro station, around central park during your lunch break, or anywhere else that would be convenient to begin a daily walking habit. So go outside, enjoy the fresh air, and watch your life change.
You Spend Too Much Time On Social Media.
If you’re mindlessly scrolling through your Instagram feed, you’re making a choice not to focus on your work in the present moment. Because although opening the app for 10 minutes might seem insignificant, it can quickly add up to several hours per day of distraction.
Research shows that the average person spends 2.5 hours per day on social media. To put it into context, that’s approximately 38 days per year. So if you want to optimize your productivity, it’s evident that spending less time on social networks is an excellent place to start.
Many phones now have features such as Screen Time, which restrict your usage on specific apps such as Instagram & Facebook. So if you regularly find yourself staring at social media for a good chunk of the day, eliminating distractions will help you to become more productive. In the words of Cal Newport:
“What we choose to focus on and what we choose to ignore — plays in defining the quality of our life.”
Remember: If you want to become more productive, all you need to do is eliminate distractions from your life so you can focus on what matters.
Photo via unsplash.