There are certain things that a lot of us do every day (sometimes without even really thinking about it) that may be making us less productive at work. According to author Monica Torres, these habits are really common. They’re things that a lot of us are used to doing, not realizing that they could be distracting us from our work and having a damaging effect on our ability to get things done.

So what are the habits that cause productivity to drop? Torres lists the following:

  • Checking your phone whenever you take a short break – After getting a task done, it makes sense to take a short break. But instead of checking your phone during this time, it would be much better if you stood up, stretched, took a short walk, or interacted with your coworkers. Your phone can be a huge distraction. Even though you may intend to only look at it for five or ten minutes, it can quickly stretch to half an hour or more without you even realizing it.
  • Multitasking – Multitasking is not especially efficient or effective. When you multitask, you’re not actually working on multiple things at the same time. You’re just switching back and forth between tasks, instead of focusing on one thing at a time. And this may cause you to be less productive.
  • Constantly checking team chat rooms for messages (and feeling like you have to be the first one to respond to every question) – It’s great that you want to interact with your coworkers and answer their questions. But this can take a lot of time and energy, and it can distract you from your own work. It’s important to check team chat rooms periodically, but you shouldn’t feel like you need to do it twenty times a day. And it’s not your responsibility to immediately answer every question. If you give the rest of your team members the chance to respond, it will take a lot of the burden off of you.
  • Having a lot of tabs open on your browser window – Every tab that you have open on your browser window is one more thing that could potentially distract you from your work. Try to limit the number of tabs you have open in order to focus your attention on what’s really important.
  • Scheduling a lot of meetings – There’s nothing that wastes more time than numerous meetings. Do yourself (and your coworkers) a favor, and only schedule meetings if they are truly important and necessary.

Torres, M. (2021, October 26). 7 mindless habits that are making you unproductive at work. HuffPost. Retrieved from: