7 Enemies of Productivity

Updated: October 19, 2021

A lot of people struggle on being productive. And it’s not simply because they have too many things to do and there’s too little time.

All of us get 24 hours a day and yet, why do some people manage to produce results one after the other, while the rest fumbles and end the day without even crossing off a single task in their to-do list?

If being productive feels like a daily struggle to you, then knowing these 7 enemies of productivity can definitely help. By knowing what they are, you are already one step ahead of getting more things done.

1. Failing to plan

Planning your day takes only a few minutes, usually not more than 10. Additionally, writing a “road map” of the things you need to do will make sure that you won’t forget anything important.

Also, having a visual overview of your daily, weekly and even monthly schedule will subconsciously trigger your mind to already prepare for the tasks ahead.

2. Giving in to distractions

You’re quietly working when suddenly, a friend sends a text message. You pick up your phone, send a reply, and then before you know it, you’ve just wasted half an hour exchanging unimportant SMS and getting no work done.

It will help to switch your phone to silent mode or disconnecting your computer from the internet, but you also need to exercise and build up that willpower against giving in to these distractions.


3. Allowing interruptons

You’re concentrating on finishing that report when suddenly an officemate calls you to look at funny videos on Facebook. Just politely decline and don’t break your momentum.

When other people see that you’re actually working, then there will be no reason for them to take the snub negatively.

4. Procrastinating on important stuff

People tend to delay doing things that are difficult, boring, or overwhelming, and unfortunately, most of these are the important tasks that really need to be done.

A very simple way to combat procrastination is to break down your tasks into smaller tasks, and then just start doing them until the Zeigarnik Effect takes over.

5. Multitasking

Instead of multitasking, you should do serial single-tasking. This means giving your full attention to starting and finishing one task after the other.

You’ll accomplish more things this way than juggling several tasks at once. Plus, your output will be better.

6. Refusing to delegate

Your time is important and it should be spent on things that only you can do. Don’t be afraid to delegate or outsource tasks that can be done with simple instructions.

Did you know that I have a virtual assistant that manages my email? So that when I log in, everything’s already sorted according to importance and unwelcome solicitations, already deleted.


7. Ignoring the need to rest

Have you heard of the Pomodoro Technique? It says that for every 25 minutes of work, you should take a 5-minute break. I love doing this technique and you should try it.

Not only does this help you replenish your energy, but it also allows you to finally check that SMS, or look at that funny video that your officemate wants you to see. Just make sure to be strict with your time and go back to work once your break is done.

Be productive, instead of just busy

By being aware of these 7 enemies of productivity, I hope I was able to help you become better at time management and to realize that being busy is not as important as being productive.

Do you have productivity tips that you want to share? Write them in the comments section below.

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Photo credits: johanl and thomashawk


  1. This is exactly what I needed to read today. I am presently juggling my work, studies, and kids that I find it impossible to do everything at once. I know it’s not because of the many tasks to do, but simply because of not managing my time properly. Thank you for this posting this guide.

  2. Perhaps it is my age group but I have NEVER signed up for any of the social media platforms. I saw a huge potential to waste time, be distracted and possibly become involved in some the negatives we have seen in recent days. Both my beautiful bride and I work home base so we are each others only major distraction. One technique we use: after all expected deliveries for the week are in, we lock the front gate on the outside and keep any noise to a minimum. Most casual visitors that drop by unannounced think we are out of the home. We enjoy peace and quite for my wife to work during the day. The bulk of my work is after 9:30 Pm so I am relatively safe from unwanted distractions.

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