Three Unproductive Habits You Should Quit Today

April 25, 2016

Three Unproductive Habits You Should Quit Today


We are strange creatures – human beings.

Most of us invest more time and effort into appearing to be something we’re not, instead of figuring out what we are.

It’s an endless cycle of pageantry that pleases everyone but the performer, leaving us exhausted and ready to collapse into bed every evening feeling dissatisfied and unfulfilled.

We all face the same challenge, especially at work. It’s easier to get wrapped up in what people are saying about you at the water cooler than to focus on what really matters – making things happen.

I’m taking a philosophical detour here. The hard reality is that you probably spend more time ‘frontin’ – in the wise, wise words of Pharrell ft Jay-Z, than you do getting things done.

This manifests in a few common workplace behaviours that I’m actively trying to avoid:

Telling Everyone How Busy You Are

Me: “Hey! How’s it going?”

Another Person: “I’m just slammed. It’s SO busy at the moment”

We discuss our frantic and demanding schedules like the Brits do the weather – with artificial, yet good-mannered interest.

Here’s a secret – the busiest people you know don’t tell you how busy they are. Why? It’s just not that important.

Critically – it tells your subconscious to hit the ‘panic!’ switch, wasting valuable energy on maintaining ‘fight or flight’ mode throughout day. It’s a bit like thinking in capital letters.


Start focusing on actually doing – not just talking about it.

Doing Things, Instead of Creating Things

This is important.

Anyone can do things. You can review a report, you can make a cup of coffee, you can have an ‘emergency’ meeting with a colleague.

That’s all fine and well – but you’re not creating anything.

Human beings are born to generate value by creating things – ideas, paintings, blogs, songs, strategies etc.

Wading through email isn’t creation – it’s tennis.

Start carving out a piece of each day to create something of value. Even if it’s just for one person. Focus on putting your heart and soul into it. You’ll be surprised how much of an impact it has on your entire life.

Choices, Choices, Choices

There is a reason – supposedly, why Mark Zuckerberg wears the same grey T-shirt, jeans and trainers every day.

He’s trying to avoid decision fatigue.

You have a finite amount of mental energy to expend each day before your brain turns into a mushy bowl of microwavable mashed potatoes.

Focus on making choices that matter and avoiding those that don’t.

Delegation has a huge role to play here. It’s impossible to be everything to everyone – give your team the opportunity and space they need to make their own decisions and avoid micromanagement.


By Tom Manners, Managing Director at Clockwork Media

Tom Manners