11 Things That Can Ruin Your Productivity At Work

Photo by Elisa Ventur on Unsplash

Are you worried that you are sabotaging yourself at work with bad habits? This should be concerning, as it is often negative habits that determine your productivity, and to be successful, you need to drop them. Here, we look at 10 things that can ruin your productivity at work.

1. Alcohol and drug abuse

Do you like your drink a little too much, or have you ever asked yourself, “Am I an alcoholic?” Many people who have a stable job may not realize they have an alcohol or drug use problem until it is too late. This is popularly referred to as high-functioning alcoholism or drug addiction, where you can maintain a job or even become a high achiever while coping with an addiction. This never lasts forever, and a lasting solution to this problem is seeking help as early as possible before the severity of addiction ruins your professional and personal life.

2. Spending too much time on the internet

The new drug of the century doesn’t lie in bottles or capsules, but rather in addiction to the internet. What often starts as a way to pass time can gradually become a habit that limits your productivity. If you can never put your phone down for the entire day and find yourself constantly spending time online instead of working, you need a digital detox and possibly professional help.

3. Excessive multitasking

If you constantly find yourself trying to do more than one task at a time, you are impairing your productivity. Multitasking overworks your brain and reduces your attention span, causing you to take longer to complete your tasks. One method to help you avoid multitasking is to create a to-do list for a more controlled handling of your duties.

4. Constant interruptions

How many times do you have to receive non-work-related calls or have your co-workers interrupt you? Studies show that constant interruptions are a major cause of low productivity as they cause your attention to shift from your primary task. Since it only takes a few seconds to lose focus, you have to regain your train of thought after every interruption before you can resume your duties. In the end, failure to avoid constant interruptions throughout the day can see you drop your productivity by over 60%.

5. Having too much on your hands

One of the secrets to staying productive is limiting the number of tasks you accept at work. The best way to do this is to master the best ways of making value-based decisions and avoid the urge to please your supervisors by doing everything. Remember, having more duties than you can accomplish only leads to burnout and frustrations that will severely impact the quality of your output.

6. Not getting enough sleep

Your level of productivity is directly determined by how re-energized and focused you are each day. To maintain this consistency, you need to get a good night’s sleep, which is vital for your physical and mental health. Some methods for getting enough sleep include:

  • Avoiding bringing your work home whenever possible
  • Having a power-down routine where you get your body and mind ready for sleep
  • Fighting insomnia by using remedies such as CBD oil, mindfulness meditation, yoga, and setting up better sleep schedules
  • Making your bedroom comfortable and quiet

7. Bad morning habits

You need to rethink your morning habits to attain the mental focus and physical strength needed for productivity. How you start your mornings can either derail or amplify your day, since it determines your mood and mindset. Some of the habits to drop if you want to start your days on the right foot include:

  • Hitting snooze
  • Checking your phone
  • Not planning your day
  • Not having a proper breakfast
  • Doing chores that you hate
  • Rushing your mornings
  • Forgetting to stretch or exercise
  • Starting your day with negative thoughts and complains

8. Over-planning or under-planning

Planning your day is vital if you want to be productive, but how you do it has a greater impact on your performance. There are two extremes to avoid, and these are:

  • Under-planning: The problem with under-planning is that it will either make your duties seem so light and lead to procrastination or make you overlook short-term goals, thereby affecting your output.
  • Over-planning: This is a common problem with overzealous people, and it involves filling your day with too many duties that limit your flexibility. It eventually gets you on overdrive, and once you wear out, your performance will start crumbling.

To remain productive, you need to find a balance while planning your day. Avoid overlooking essentials while not allowing yourself to be too engrossed in utilizing every minute.

9. Failure to prioritize important tasks

Regardless of how many tasks you need to accomplish in a day, handling the most important job first will help you tackle the rest of your priorities efficiently. Start your day at the office by completing the most time-consuming tasks that require maximum attention. This way, you can efficiently manage the remaining tasks without feeling pressured.

10. Lack of exercise

Even as the debate continues regarding what a post-pandemic workplace should look like, you can make the most of your current work environment by staying fit and mentally active. Avoid sitting all day and over-burdening yourself with never-ending tasks to reduce the chances of burning out or developing lifestyle diseases. Instead, make it a habit to take short breaks from time to time without affecting your overall workflow. Most importantly, make exercising an integral part of your daily activities to assist in stress release, becoming physically fit, improving mental stamina, and getting better sleep.

11. Poor eating habits

Poor eating habits such as overeating or eating too much junk food can hurt your productivity, as they can make you feel tired and sluggish, making it difficult to concentrate or focus. Observe good eating habits during the day to ensure you have the necessary energy to get your work done. 


You cannot be productive all the time, but it is possible to be consistent in your delivery. Set yourself up for success by avoiding these habits and maintaining a better work-life balance.