8 Things People Do That Are Actually Not Productive

There are only 24 hours in a day; and even though that may seem like a lot of time, it actually is not. Time just seems to fly by so quickly, and before we know it, it’s already past 8 PM!

While we get in the habit of making everyday to-do lists to help us organize and prioritize our daily tasks, we don’t think to realize some of the things we do may be less beneficial for us in both short and long term runs.

 So while you think about it for a second, here are 8 things you should stop doing:

1. Downloading and Using Specialized Productivity Apps

While there are thousands of productivity apps and business tools to use, it may be best to stick to the old fashion way and jot down your ideas and notes in a planner or calendar. Yes, these apps can help you stay organized but using a bunch of apps might instead create madness and less organized. Plus, what if your phone happens to shut down or break, all of your important notes will be gone. Stay organized with sticky notes or a planner instead.

2. Multitasking

Multitasking can be great when wanting to get multiple tasks done, but juggling a bunch of little or big tasks can easily result in a recipe for disaster. For example, as a business owner, it’s important to give your full focus on tasks because you do not want to make an unwise mistake or accidentally mess something up.

3. Working Overtime

Believe it or not, the more you work, the less effective and productive you are going to become over both the short and long term. Why? We shouldn’t be overworking our bodies and instead should be getting enough sleep in order to maintain a high level of productivity.

4. Being a “Yes-Man”

Stop saying “yes” to everything – don’t worry it’s okay to say no once in a while. Sometimes people tend to just say yes because it’s the nicest and easiest way out. But saying yes to everything will only affect the quality of your work and time long-term. And trust me, people won’t think of you as anything less by saying no. 

Start by figuring out what tasks are worth or not worth your time and go from there.

5. Doing Everything Yourself and Never Asking for Help

Many business owners tend to do this, they think they can manage to do everything themselves, but in reality, it only sets you up for failure, not to mention, you will eventually burn yourself out, so why bother.

It’s okay to ask for help or let people help you when it’s needed. Don’t be shy, asking never hurts and people who care for you will always be there to help you.

6. Rushing Through Tasks to Reach a Goal

Faster is better, right? WRONG! Rushing through anything will only make things worse while adding towards your anxiety and will not be beneficial for you in the long run. It’s tough when you just want to get things done right away, but focusing on better quality is way more effective and efficient.

7. Checking Emails as They Come In

As it may seem like this could be very productive, it actually is not. I mean think about it, you are on your computer the entire day and receive pop notifications for an email and respond every time as the day goes by. It will definitely allow you to respond to that person quickly, but it also will take away focus on whatever you were doing at the time you received that email.

Instead of checking your email every time you receive one, maybe limit it to every 2-4 hours.

8. Being a Perfectionist

It’s not uncommon to be a perfectionist as an entrepreneur or a business owner; however, it may just be hurting your productivity daily. Stop wasting extra time on perfecting your task or project, and learn to let go and move on to the next phase.

Do you relate to any of the things above? If you answered yes, don’t be surprised, instead start being aware of them and get out of the habit of doing them. Remember time is money and you want to always get the most out of your day!


Erin shows overscheduled, overwhelmed women how to do less so that they can achieve more. Traditional productivity books—written by men—barely touch the tangle of cultural pressures that women feel when facing down a to-do list. How to Get Sh*t Done will teach you how to zero in on the three areas of your life where you want to excel, and then it will show you how to off-load, outsource, or just stop giving a damn about the rest.

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