7 Innocent Habits that Kill Your Productivity


The 3 elements of a super productive day

I know your intentions are good. That’s not the problem.

You want to be super productive, you want to get lots of work done, and you want to move ahead. You want to be successful and happy.

Setting a good intention is essential to massive productivity but if your innocent little habits are tearing your intentions inch by inch, then you need a new plan of attack. Let’s build that together today.

I believe this is the 3-pronged make-up of a super productive day:

1. A strong heart-felt intention to set the stage.

Example: My intention is to feel grounded and confident about my work, to make progress in my book, and to serve my ideal client.

2. A detailed plan of what to accomplish.

Example: Today’s plan is:

1. Write 2000 words for my book.
2. Do the consult and book the client.
3. Write up 2 newsletters and schedule them out.

3. A clarity on what not to do in the process.

Example: [Drawing a blank?]

The intention and the plan are pretty self-explanatory – if you are not doing them, I really think they can be useful so give them a try. But they are not complete without the third element: the clarity on what not to do in the process of doing #1 and #2.

It’s not the big stuff that kills our productivity, it’s the small stuff. See, we are not robots. We cannot expect our mind to regroup and refocus on the task at hand immediately after getting interrupted by something else. It’s just not how it works.

Logic may tell you that writing 1000 words should only take you 20 minutes if your average writing speed is 50 words per minute. But is that true? Have you tried writing 1000 words in 20 minutes? Can you then do 3000 in 1 hour? You may just be able to knock out a 50,000-word book in less than a week!

By that logic, we are all slacking off at a ridiculous rate.

Not really!! That’s not how life works and you are not a robot but you can still write a lot of words  – I wrote 5000+ words per day to meet the publisher deadline my little darling, The Healthy Juicer’s Bible. It’s a peak performance level that is achievable.

However, first you have got to account for all the external factors that interrupt the flow of natural productivity, because you and I are not operating in a vacuum. Life happens around us and inside us (our bodies, our minds) all day long.

Some of it, you cannot control so let those be and react as best as you can. But what about the stuff you can do something about?

Let’s focus on what’s within your power, mainly the innocent little habits that sneak up on you and move you further and further away from your true productivity.

7 innocent habits that kill your productivity inch by inch

How many hours, days and even years have you lost to these habits that have killed your productivity? What if you could make a shift, create momentum, and triple your productivity with small changes in your habits?

I believe you can. Let’s crush those little habits that do such enormous damage.

1. The craving to listen to your mind tricks:

The mind tricks that say “You are tired, you are not ready, this is too hard, this is silly, why am I doing this, let’s do something else, I’m bored, I’m frustrated.” Listen to them come and let them go. Do not act on them. They are perfectly disguised lies!

2. The urge to get a drink or a snack or run to the loo:

Yes of course you can drink and eat and be productive, but beware of when your emotions want to interrupt the flow of productivity. Make sure there is also a physical need to address.

3. The need to start up chatter or conversation with someone:

You get excited, you get down, and you need to talk it out and be heard. The desire to constantly be in conversation with the world around us – physical or online. Ignore it until the work is done.

4. The routine of staring into space or out the window:

I’m thinking, we tell ourselves, but a lot of the staring is just that – staring. We zone out sure, but is it directly useful to the productivity or just a little habit? Beware!

5. The habit of overloading your computer and phone:

Do you need all those apps and gadgets and tools? Simplify, and simplify some more. Go down to the essentials if you want to maximize your throughput.

6. The presumed hunger for distraction:

You think you might just starve if you don’t have at least one distraction. Whatever your current addiction – okay I admit, mine is Instagram, care to follow me? – you have to keep it in check or else it will take over your productivity and your life. Enough said.

7. The resistance to productivity above a threshold:

Ah the best for last. This is our resistance to success, to breaking our own boundaries, this is when we stand up firmly in our own way and say, “No way you can go this way! You are not prepared to succeed that high, to go that far, to win that much!” And to that, you must have a firm confident answer, because you are meant for so much more. Stop putting so many limits and boundaries in your way. Be on your own side, will you?

Okay now you know the habits. What next?

Being aware of the habits is only the first step to overcoming their power. Habits form your comfort zones and you are not going to stop any of these just by reading this blog post.


So what can you do? Build the opposite habit of each. Here’s my suggestions for the 3 opposite habits you need to build t start counteracting the force of your harmful innocent habits.

1. Keeping your vision and dream within sight at all times.

Where is your vision? Only in your head? Not enough! Bring it into your workspace. I use my big board to write out and even draw my vision. Put your vision in a place that you can see it frequently.

2. Learning deep concentration and focus through an unrelated task to your work.

I use yoga and meditation to improve my concentration. What do you do? Use any form of grounding, focusing, and physically challenging exercise to improve your concentration muscles.

3. Building confidence and getting comfortable with success.

Without confidence, productivity cannot stand a chance and you cannot show up in the world with all your gifts. Build your confidence, don’t tear it down, build yourself, don’t root against you, and get super comfortable with success, because it’s going to come and get you only when you are ready for it.

Get Confident in 21 Easy Steps

  • http://blog.fluenthistorian.com/ Natalie

    Yep, I’ve definitely had problems with all seven of those habits. I will try your three suggestions because I really want to finish a first draft of my book this year. :)

    • http://www.prolificliving.com/blog Farnoosh

      You have to finish the book @nataliemk:disqus Your readers await! :)

  • Kelvin

    You are so right! It’s those little things that kill our
    productivity. I do struggle with a few on your list. I will agree, keeping the vision and dream in sight helps me stay on
    track. Also doing my most important tasks super early in the morning
    while the family is still sleeping is key for me.

    • http://www.prolificliving.com/blog Farnoosh

      Thanks @disqus_PnlaImHvJU:disqus and brilliant of you to set aside time where it’s just you and your work! Keep it up!

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  • Juan

    wow, you able to write 2000 words, so far I’m only able to write max 800 word only. I hope i can extend it further

    • http://www.prolificliving.com/blog Farnoosh

      Don’t “hope” – just do it @disqus_25p8Q9VuiW:disqus I bet you will surprise yourself.

  • http://learnasyouwrite.com/ Shaquanda Dalton

    I love this advice. I’m always struggling with productivity. I’m always so sleepy.

    • http://www.prolificliving.com/blog Farnoosh

      Thanks @Shaquanda:disqus and I bet you can kill sleepiness with some rest and these tips.

  • aatiya19 .

    Hi Farnoosh!!

    I love this article. I can’t tell you how much I
    have struggled with each of these. My intention for the day is always
    to exercise and remain as active as possible, because only when I am fitI am able to juggle with a million of thing. Howmuchever I use my
    diaries, planners and affirmations they don’t really help because I have
    already contaminated my body with junk food which drags me to ground

    The best part of the article which I really adored is #7
    ‘The resistance to productivity above a threshold’. Whenever I’m in peak level of health or at the peak in terms of career or relationships. I
    just find it difficult to maintain the flow. I can’t tell you how many
    times I had to start all over just because I slipped off my diet, gave
    in to a nuisance distraction and got detracted from my goal.

    I’m preparing for my PhD entrance examination and every time the ‘ over confidence bug’ bites me saying that I’m fully prepared and I don’t haveto study more. Self sabotage doesn’t always have to be negative. It can also be a demon disguised as an angel telling that we are fully
    prepared even though we still need to put adequate efforts. But thanks
    to you and your lovely blog which keeps me sane and reminds me that even I’m capable of achieving greatest feats in my life.

    Thank you!!

    • http://www.prolificliving.com/blog Farnoosh

      Dear @aatiya19:disqus, I meant to respond to this comment – I’m so very glad this post spoke to you. And that process about resistance to the peaks is so true for all of us – but why is that? Well I hope that your PhD entrance exam went great and that you are staying inspired and motivated. Much much love to you and come back often :)!

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  • Amy

    Love this! :)
    I highly recommend the book The Big Leap in which the author talks about
    exactly this problem he calls The Upper Limit Problem – of reaching
    high levels of greatness and then self-sabotaging it all for various
    reasons we all carry around with us, waiting to strike when things get
    good! :) xo

    • http://www.prolificliving.com/blog Farnoosh

      Oh Thank you so much! I will definitely check it out @disqus_FDTJQrlLsQ:disqus – so very nice to hear this spoke to you. We shan’t give up on those high levels of greatness, though, right? :)

      • Amy

        Absolutely! Awareness of the ways you might be limiting yourself is key. Here’s to some serious Greatness! :) xo