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5 Mindless Habits That Are Making You Unproductive At Work

You know, just before writing this article, I was distracted for a while and I think this happens to every other working day because c’mon, most of the times things are mundane. Eventually, you adopt habits that are not at all productive and instead you are not fruitful at your workplace.

Research conducted at the University of California by a researcher called Irvine told Fast Company those employees who get constant phone calls or emails between their work need at least 23 minutes on average to get back to work. This leads to employees feeling frustrated and gives them more stress than their peers.


Check out the research paper here.

Sometimes, if you are working in an office, chatty co-workers, unreasonable bosses can be some interruptions but some mindless habits may hamper your productivity.

  • Checking your phone even in the shortest breaks

This is very much related to reducing the attention span of humans in the digital world. Even you and I are guilty of checking our phones when there is a short break (short as in when a webpage is loading slowly) yes I am talking about such short breaks. Anna Dearman Kornick who is a time management coach said in an interview that people who take such breaks mostly scroll Instagram and the short 2 minute break turns into a long 10 minute break. She further added that instead of scrolling Instagram, scroll time as you will get an indication of how little time is left for your deadline.

  • Doing unrelated tasks that will take ‘only a second’

One task never sticks to one task, you then further end up doing online window shopping, writing down grocery lists, and forgetting the actual work you have to do. We think that the tasks won’t take a lot of time and then end up losing a lot of time behind them. Time is money and we must plan it very well so that everything is done smoothly and perfectly.


Even if you focus for 90 minutes uninterrupted, you will get a lot of work done than thinking about 10 things together where you get work done in 3 hours. The best way to handle it is to make a daily checklist of things you have to finish and when you can finish it.

  • Too many tabs on your browser

Working on thousand different tabs means your attention is diverted in 1000 different directions. The inventor of tabs of browsers, Adam Stiles explained to HuffPost once that some people can’t handle the freedom of unlimited tabs and that it is ‘too much’ for them.

  • Checking and replying to work chats instantly

No matter how diligent and good that sounds, it might hamper your performance. Replying to work requests instantly means you are ready to give away your time to fulfil someone else’s request rather than focusing on your project. This will let other co-workers think you are always ready to work on requests and that can hamper your performance. So yes, a balance that helpful nature of yours, it is important to think about your work too!

  • Scheduling unnecessary meetings

In 2012, a survey by Salary.com said that 47% of workers that ‘too many meetings’ was a major workplace distraction for them. If you are in a position of power to handle meetings then you must take feedback from employees about how productive are the meetings and how much longer they should be.


So, these are a few habits that you might adopt unconsciously but you must overcome them.

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