7 Things You Need To Stop Doing To Be More Productive (Backed By Science)
In a 2012 study published in the Journal of Consumer Research, researchers split 120 students in 2 groups. One group was trained to use “I can’t”, while the other was trained to use “I don’t”. The results were interesting:
The students who told themselves “I can’t eat X” chose to eat the chocolate candy bar 61% of the time. Meanwhile, the students who told themselves “I don’t eat X” chose to eat the chocolate candy bars only 36% of the time. This simple change in terminology significantly improved the odds that each person would make a more healthy food choice.
Next time you need to avoid saying yes, say “I don’t”.
Another great trick to avoid activities that don’t add enough value into your life is the 20-second rule: give yourself 20 seconds longer for activities you shouldn’t be doing.
Lower the activation energy for habits you want to adopt and raise it for habits you want to avoid. The more we can lower or even eliminate the activation energy for our desired actions, the more we enhance our ability to jump-start positive change.
3. Stop doing everything yourself and start letting people help you
At some point in my career, I was managing a very large community and couldn’t handle it. I tried to do everything myself. I burnt out, but the community ended up taking over and managing itself. Surprisingly, members did a better job than I have ever done. I learned the power of community and why brands need user-generated content.
Consumers understand what they want and how they want it better than any marketer. Did you know that, according to Octoly, user-generated videos are viewed 10 times more than brand-generated videos on YouTube? When seeking information about a particular brand,over half (51%) of Americans trust user-generated content more than the content on the brand website (16%) or media coverage on the brand (14%). It’s important for marketers to open up and seek help from the brand’s community.
Being a great content marketer is not about creating the best content, but building a great community that will generate high-quality content for you.
It’s important for us to realize we can seek help when needed. We cannot do everything ourselves. It is better for you to let someone who can do a better job taking over some of your tasks. It will give you more time to focus on your most important tasks. Instead of wasting your time trying to figure something out yourself, let the experts help you.
A lot of time, even if your friends can’t help you, having them around can help you become more productive.
Just having friends nearby can push you toward productivity. “There’s a concept in ADHD treatment called the ‘body double,’ ” says David Nowell, Ph.D., a clinical neuropsychologist from Worcester, Massachusetts. “Distractable people get more done when there is someone else there, even if he isn’t coaching or assisting them.” If you’re facing a task that is dull or difficult, such as cleaning out your closets or pulling together your receipts for tax time, get a friend to be your body double.
4. Stop being a perfectionist
“We found that perfectionism trips up professors on the way to research productivity. The more perfectionistic the professor, the less productive they are,” Dr. Simon Sherry, a Dalhousie University Psychology Professor who conducted a study on perfectionism and productivity, tells University Affairs magazine. Dr. Sherry found a robust correlation between increased perfectionism and decreased productivity.
Here are some problems associated with being a perfectionist:
- They spend more time than required on a task.
- They procrastinate and wait for the perfect moment. In business, if it is the perfect moment, you are too late.
- They miss the big picture while being too focused on small things.
Marketers often wait for the perfect moment. In doing so, they end up missing it.
The perfect moment is NOW.
5. Stop doing repetitive tasks and start automating it.
According to a research study conducted by Tethys Solutions, A team of 5 people who spent 3%, 20%, 25%, 30% and 70% of their time on repetitive tasks respectively reduced this time to 3%, 10%, 15%, 15% and 10% after 2 months of enhancing their productivity.