3 Habits To Kick If You Want To Be Productive At Work

habits to kick for increasing productivity at work

Startups and small businesses know the importance of independent productivity. Without all the clutter of middle management, there is often no one to force you to check-in on you. As an entrepreneur, it’s your own job to maximize your productivity at work, which is why you need to kick a few common detrimental habits. 

Business owners know the value of good project management tools (apps that do everything from tracking time to helping your plan your sprints), but external forces can only do so much for you if you’re succumbing to fundamentally unhealthy work habits. 

In order to be truly productive, you need to hone your internal resilience and discipline. As an independent business person, no one is going to force you to be productive. It’s a skill you have to cultivate yourself. 

It’s not easy, but it makes a world of difference if you can develop the self-control to do (and NOT do) a few simple actions that make a big impact on your quality of work. 

Here are 3 habits you need to kick if you want to boost your work productivity: 

1. Overusing Email 

Email has become such a prevalent form of communication for entrepreneurs and big corporate hubs alike. Sure, it may be better than phone and fax (or snail mail) but that doesn’t mean it’s the only form of instant communication out there. Any good self-starter will know that innovativeness is key to success. When you’re looking for new ways to explore e- communication, consider the variety of productivity-boosting apps that are available to you. 

Something as simple as swapping email for Slack can save you loads of time. If you just need a quick update, note or FYI—try Slack or Google messenger. If something needs to be in-depth or requires multiple attachments, then—and only then—you should send an email. 

2. Too Much Multitasking 

If you are going to do a task, the focus wholly on that task—and nothing else. As an entrepreneur, it’s tempting to multitask constantly. You wear many different hats, you are in charge of many different “departments” (marketing, sales, accounting, design, and so on), and you have lots to do. However, multitasking detracts from the amount of energy and focus you can put into each project and lowers your productivity overall. 

This might mean setting aside time to answer emails at the end of your day instead of letting them interrupt you throughout or putting your phone on night mode when you are meeting a client or engaging in a sales pitch. Whatever you do, do it well. And that involves 100% of your attention. 

3. Skipping Breaks 

When you’re right in the middle of something it can be excruciatingly hard to put down the mouse and keyboard and step away for a brain break or a bite to eat. Counter to what you may think, working through breaks or lunch hours actually makes you less productive. Stepping away from your screen, stretching your legs, and refueling will do wonders for your afternoon task list. You don’t have to break at traditional times (like noon for lunch), just make sure you schedule in some sort of breather. 

Leave yourself some downtime throughout the day. Leave your office to grab a coffee. Take a quick walk around the block. Eat your lunch at a park. Then, when you return to work you will be recharged and way more productive than if you had skipped your much-needed rest periods. 


Productivity comes in all shapes and sizes and you will need to experiment to find out how to best structure your day. As an entrepreneur, you are probably used to a lot of guess-and-check work and are an expert in course correction. Once you find out what habits enrich your productivity, you can incorporate them fully into your day-to-day action plan. 

Be sure to try out my suggestions above—what works best for you when it comes to productivity and focus?

ben aston digital project manager business blogger

Ben Aston: The Digital Project Manager

I’m Ben Aston, a digital project manager and founder of The Digital Project Manager, one of the fastest growing online resources for digital project managers. I've been in the industry for 15 years at top digital agencies including Dare, Wunderman, Lowe and DDB. I’ve delivered everything from video virals to CMS, flash games, banner ads, eCRM and eCommerce sites across automotive, utility, FMCG, and consumer electronics brands. 

I hope you enjoyed this blog post about the major bad habits you need to kick to improve your productivity at work.

Interested in more articles about improving business productivity?

Read Related Resources:

How To Improve Work Productivity This Year

Tips To Be More Efficient In The Office And Boardroom 

• Strategies To Be More Productive When Working From Home

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