16 Things You Should Stop Doing To Have A More Productive Life

Categories: Tips & Tricks


We have done things because of habits, because our parents did, because it's what we learned, but technology has changed some things for the better, and it could help all of us to forget some of the old ways...

  1. Manually Depositing a Paycheck — That is what direct deposit is for.  If you spend 15 minutes every two weeks dealing with depositing your paycheck that is 65 hours over the next 10 years. Put this time to better use.
  2. Writing Checks for Bills — That is what the bill pay service from your bank is for. Use this time for something worthwhile.
  3. Partially Filling Up with Gas — Yes it might go down 3 cents next week, but how much is your time really worth.
  4. Looking for your Keys or Cellphone — Always put them in the same place (hook by the door, etc).
  5. Unpacking your Laptop Power Adaptor — If you go from work to home with your laptop, get an extra adaptor for each work area so you don’t have to unpack and crawl under the desk each time.
  6. Check Multiple Email Boxes — Get a program that will show you all your email in one place or filter by individual accounts. Apple Mail, Gmail and several other products do this.
  7. Watching Commercials — Use Tivo to skip them.  Use Netflix and just skip television all together.  Buy the shows you want to watch off iTunes, Hulo, or Vudu.  If you had a friend who spent 20% to 30% of your time trying to sell you things you didn’t really need, would you put up with it? (If you have a friend in network marketing, you may have already experienced this.)
  8. Losing Telephone Numbers — Your cell phone should sync with your computer.  We are past the days where a phone only held 25 numbers.  If someone calls, take the few seconds to record their name in your phone, so it will be transferred next time you sync your computer.  Some phones come with a service that automatically backs up everything.  For instance Samsung Galaxy comes with a login to Samsung that will re-load everything to your next phone if one is lost, broken, or stolen.  
  9. Commuting to College — Take your classes online.  Spend your commute time studying instead of driving.
  10. Commuting Through Heavy Traffic — Talk to your boss about working from home–even for just a few days a week.  Shift your schedule to miss rush hour.
  11. Dialing into Voice Mail — Get Google Voice or a similar voice-to-text system so that your voice messages are transcribed to text, and sent to your phone as a message.  If you are on a call, you can still read your voice messages that are coming through so you can deal with important things quickly.  Other features include the ability to listen live to a message being left, and break in and begin speaking, call recording, and all messages are saved online in voice and text format for easy filing, reviewing, and searching by key words.  
  12. Backing Up to CDs or Disks — Get an external hard drive. It will be fast enough that maybe you’ll go ahead and backup more often. Plus if you do it right, you can create a working version of your entire computer on the hard drive.  If you laptop is stolen you can start working from your last backup with all your programs and settings just as they were.   Look for wireless hard drives and connect up to 8 devices wirelessly to a stand alone battery-powered hard drive you can take with you.  (Here are some more tips about relying on technology.)

  13. Visiting Lots of Blogs — Use a news reader like Google Reader. Most people don’t realize how much time they waste looking at the same sites over and over again to see if there is anything new.  With a newsreader you’ll know whenever something new is posted.
  14. Removing Spyware — Use a computer or web browser that doesn’t get infected.
  15. Wasting Time in the Car — Subscribe to podcasts and get a connector for your MP3 player in your car. Spend your time learning instead of just sitting there driving.
  16. Getting Lost in the Car — Even in your home territory, the use of a GPS can introduce you to shorter routes than you've used before, and save you in time and gas everywhere you go.  If you,re taking a long trip, it can save you hundreds of miles versus the old map-in-hand vacation. source:  this was an adaptation from productivity 501
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