All of us have the same hours in a day, yet Elon Musk happens to manage a variety of companies while some of us can barely finish our allotted jobs. The simple reason behind this perceived discrepancy is in the way we have ordered our habits. Let’s face it, we are chock full of habits that are just simply too much of a waste of time to be of any help to us. Yes, it may be fun scrolling through your Instagram feed but it is hardly doing anything to help your overall productivity at work. Here are some of the more serious habits that can be taking up too much of your time:

Constantly Checking Email or Messages

Most of us are guilty of this, we keep checking our email and messages in the hope that there is something new to see. This random activity, while often considered to be too tiny to make a difference, can add to a large chunk of your workday. Make sure that you allot in the day when you are supposed to check your email or messages. Use this time to check and reply to all essential emails instead of replying to them as and when they pop up. This will not only save you time but also ensure you are not constantly nagged by the feeling of urgency of having to reply to emails and messages that are not that important.


While multitasking might seem like the domain of over-achievers, it is definitely not something most of us can manage with ease. It gives the impression of working hard but still does not add up to productive labor at the end of the workday. Focus your full attention on a single task instead of giving partial focus to a multitude of them. This will help you finish the task in hand faster and help you move on to other things that need handling. This will also save you the unnecessary fatigue that comes with over-exerting yourself without due results.

Not Thinking of the Big Picture

We often get so involved in a task that we tend to lose focus on the big picture. If you are struggling with a job, do not make it an ego-issue and keep pounding away at it without results. Seek help and resolve it as soon as possible. Learn from the hurdles and make sure you tackle them better the next time. Do not let the progress you have made over the day make you complacent. The big picture should be motivating you to do your tasks faster and more efficiently through the day instead of making you unduly self-satisfied about how much you have done so far.

Saying Yes

When we have just joined a new company or started a fresh project, we are often faced with the problem of being overloaded with jobs. We often have the tendency to say yes to all the work that comes our way instead of picking only the amount of jobs that we can successfully accomplish. Know that successfully completing jobs is far more important than taking up all the work you can take. It is important to find the middle-ground between what you want to do and what you can do in order to be more productive.

There are a number of habits that can make us less productive through the day, the onus rests on us to identify them and root them out before they cause lasting damage.

What do you think?