How to Stop Being Unproductive

We don’t get enough of one thing, ever, time. The Babylonians categorized time into minutes and hours, but time is life. 

Yes, it is, and while you are reading this, you’re using it. Don’t worry, though, am all into making it productive. 

After all, it’s not how many hours, days, or years we’ve or we’ll spend, but it’s what we did in that time that defines us and our personality. Considering this, the worst we can be is unproductive. 

Need to be Productive

You see, the more productive you are, the more powerful you feel, and the more you can utilize your life. If you’re wasting time on small issues or not worthy aspects, it’s spoiling your personal productivity.

In a nutshell, unproductiveness doesn’t spoil time; it ruins your life. 

Forget reaching the level of satisfaction in your life if you’re unproductive. Thinking about the guilt of not being productive also hinders your sense of bravery to take action, hence making you anxious.

But guess what? you can always improve yourself, even if it’s right now.

Why is productivity so difficult?

Productivity is difficult to maintain because being unproductive is very accessible, available, and easy. being surrounded by so many distractions, especially in this age of modern electronic gadgets you just don’t realize when did your focus slip from your work to something unproductive.

And this situation of being unaware of being unproductive makes it more difficult. Shifting to such small tasks multiples times adds up to a considerable loss to productivity.

How to measure your productivity?

It’s like we check the efficiency of machines, but humans being more complicated, so is to calculate their efficiency, because a lot of other factors are to be considered.

To keep it simple, real productive work done, or the tasks achieved by the time allotted is your productivity. Like if you’re reading books see how many pages have you read in an hour, now create a chart below and compare your productivity.

SlPages readTimeProductivity
11560 minutes0.25
218 60 minutes 0.3
322 60 minutes 0.36


That being said, let’s jump to what makes us unproductive? Why am I so barren? Gosh!

1. Don’t multitask:

Don’t you now try to convince me that wasn’t I talking about doing more in life? And what could be better than multitasking?

Just that you’re bestowed with only one brain, a wonderful one, though, but remember, one wonder at a time. Your personal productivity might allow you to do some tasks simultaneously, but not the important ones.

How productive could you be trying to write with both hands? (Unless you’re Leonardo da Vinci)  What about writing about two different topics? What say now, Mr. Leonardo?

2. Being good is good, but:

But you are not compromising your work. If you’re that very, very good guy who’s always available for everyone, taken for granted, good guy, you’re going to be forced into unproductivity.

I’m not that evil preacher you think I am. It’s good to be good. Don’t be a volunteer for everything. Just don’t be too nice to get exploited.

3. Learn to say NO

How to be productive [13 best tips]

You need to deny your time for others if you don’t have enough for yourself. It’s relevant to the previous point, let’s say it’s the execution part. 

Moreover, it may not be as important as always, having exceptions still. Or it may have been perceived as necessary by someone who will have no idea how important work you’re already busy doing. And focusing on small issues is unproductive, have priorities. 

4. Schedule message checking sessions.

time management

You’re sitting doing some productive work, important. All of a sudden, maybe you get a notification, or you get a feeling that you must’ve got some messages or emails. So what would you do next? 

How many times a day do you get compelled for a distraction like this in disguise? More, the worst. I understand that you must have lots of relevant emails and messages from your clients or customers; of course, I do.

But, hope they can wait if it was that urgent they would’ve called you instead, wouldn’t they? Focusing on small issues is unproductive.

Have a schedule for mail and message checking, maybe twice or thrice a day at most, give them all the attention they need without sacrificing your productivity. This way, you’ll stop being unproductive.

5. Listen to your body’s call for rest.

Life with inferiority complex

A healthy mind needs a healthy body; all work and no play make Jack a dull boy. Yes, you got it, give your body some leisure and give it some rest. And the same goes for your brain, or even more. 

Now everyone has a different necessity as we all are different, both physiologically and psychologically. We have different personalities based on the determinants of the character we’ve had in our lives.

By having different needs, your body is customized for you. You’ll just know when it is the time to rest. Oh, very important is to see the difference between the urge for procrastination or social loafing and the genuine need for rest. I trust you’re smart enough. 

6. Don’t be obsessed with your work’s outcome. 

Have an automation system or an app that tracks your progress. Know where you need to focus. Find an app that will track your progress and provide you a report based on what work you’re doing at the end of the day. 

This activity will relieve your subconscious mind of the pain of being engaged in analyzing the progress made. This way, you can be less unproductive and more productive. 

The subconscious mind is a vast resource, and keeping it occupied in unnecessary things is a massive reason for unproductivity. If you ask yourself, “ why am I so unproductive?” give this aspect a check, it might just be the reason behind it.

7. Have a routine

Productivity is all about making sure that you minimize your utilization of time in unproductive activities and worthless things. To make sure you don’t, you need a schedule that keeps you glued to work and hence productivity. Time management is life management.

It’s a lot difficult to take action imminently when you don’t have a plan. You might end up overthinking which will drain you out.

8. Have a task list, but be flexible.

You can’t finish a day’s task sometimes, which will get you depressed. We can’t plan a life and stick to it because we can’t predict the future. We don’t know what’s coming ahead. What are the real-time challenges and difficulties that await you when you’re in the field of action? We know life isn’t all sunshine and rainbows, don’t we?

Therefore things might not go as planned, and if it’s not intentional, then there’s no problem with that. Hence don’t worry, there are a lot of tasks that can’t be listed down as they are unpredictable. 

And sometimes you’ll have to slot these with the already existing ones, can’t help it, perfectly normal. And in no way is this unproductive, it would be if you are the reason behind that, keep an eye on yourself. 

9. How many distractions do you have during work? Internet access?

Apart from the messages and emails, you also have many other distractions, a friend sitting beside you whom you ask a question, and you both have such a rapport that the conversation takes minutes, if not hours. And the fun part is that you forget where it started and the end, it was irrelevant by now. 

Or could it be that you went to find something valuable on the internet but ended up falling prey to the bait which lingers around the whole of the internet in the name of suggestions? Or social media maybe, you just feel like scrolling, but the never-ending loop ends you nowhere, seriously unproductive. 

10. Do you read the news? Be picky

No, I am not suggesting you stay uninformed, or isolate yourself from the civilization or current affairs. Just understand that not every piece of news is useful; some do more harm than good, they’re counterproductive. 

See what effect it has on your emotions, or what value it’s adding to your knowledge. Avoid all the unproductive information out there; be choosy. 

11. Focusing on small issues is unproductive. Prioritize

priority checklist

Prioritize your list while you plan. Or else you’ll get confused while doing it. If you make a list of things to do, I strongly recommend you give it a priority and understand your file.

To do isn’t the sequence of events one after the other. You might have days when you won’t be able to finish them, as we already discussed.

Worst, you might get into a situation where following the sequence, anyone takes an unpredictable time. As a result, you’re left with lesser time for the others, which might turn out to be more critical. And in this case, it will leave you with a very unproductive day to remorse. Have your tasks in priority. 

Bonus tip, in a nutshell, value your time, give it the importance it’s worth and it will revert the same.

Is focusing on small issues unproductive?

It certainly is because no matter small or big, they consume time and you might end up losing time. Losing it so much so that you may not have enough for the more important ones which demand more time.

Why is personal productivity important?

It is important because it is directly proportional to the desired outcomes in your life. The more personally productive you are, the more you can achieve your life. Being in control of your time and how you utilize is critical in productivity.

Why is productivity so difficult?

We being surrounded by so many distractions which call for unproductivity it gets difficult to maintain our personal productivity. What makes it even more difficult is our unawareness of the situation.

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4 Comments

  • Nice

  • Thank you, good to know that

  • Thanks for sharing.

    • Thanks for your appreciation.

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