Productive Work Habits


Productive Work Habits

We know that developing good habits work better only when we work on our bad ones. After scrolling through several articles on “How to be productive”, I’ve tumbled back to square one of questioning my work habits. Thankfully, this isn’t rocket science. Being productive comes with working towards the goals one sets.

Building habits doesn’t come from changing how you think. It is about optimizing the way you understand who you are. When you are aware of how you work, you’ll find it easier to complete tasks

Putting your mind and body in the right place helps focus better. Take cues from yourself and figure out what helps you work best. More than 40% of our lives revolve around our habits. If our habits work, we would be happier. If they don’t work, it’s going to be a real bummer. Here are a few guiding principles that can help you work better:


Set cues or reminders. Adjust app notifications and reduce your distractions. One can work carefully only when the atmosphere is devoid of distractions. You could also divide your browser tabs in a manner that can help you work better. Decluttering your phone and desktop is a great way to start this.

Rely on cues

Visual cues can help one understand the need for social reinforcement in habits. Building habits isn’t just about doing specific things. It is also about creating an environment that helps one improve on the outcomes. Often, we tend to imitate how our family, friends and colleagues work. However, if your social life is cluttered, your brain is prone to interruption. You needn’t focus on becoming a monk. You only need to make your work-life simpler.

Go easy

Setting a massive goal is a BIG step to even begin. Break it down into smaller ones. Focus on the components of the massive goal and create an atmosphere that will help you work for the same.

Similarly, the best way to break an unhelpful habit is to go easy on yourself. You can’t cut down all the ten spoons of sugar you consume in a day. You’ll have to reduce it spoon by spoon.

While you create a task list for yourself, be specific. Instead of mentioning “research paper”, break it down into “abstract”, “introduction”, etc. That way, you can cross them out frequently and feel good about it.

Reward yourself

When you are rewarded, you enforce that particular behaviour. When you are punished, you avoid that behaviour. Self-control is not a long-term strategy. Create rewards that can push you to develop habits. Give yourself a treat each time you complete a task. It could be a coffee break, dancing to your favourite song or even a slice of cake!

It’s okay to expect and plan failure

We all slip. It’s okay to fail small instead of taking a big step backwards. When you fall, motivate yourself and get back on the saddle. Be kind to yourself. It’s not punishment, but compassion that works as the best motivator. 

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