Movement, Posture, Ergonomics, Mindset, Nutrition

8 Common Habits of Unproductive People

Groups of people that have similar results have similar habits. Thin people have similar habits. Overweight people have similar habits. Productive people have several habits in common. Likewise, unsuccessful people have several habits in common, too. If you’re struggling with your productivity, this article is for you. 

While we’re all capable of doing some amazing things from time to time, it’s the things we do each and every day that have the greatest influence on our results in life. You simply need a different set of habits if you want to be more productive.  Adding new habits can be a challenge, and many of us are good at procrastinating and avoiding things.  Let's consider avoiding the habits that don't support us...


For your best results, avoid these habits of unsuccessful people:

 1. Failing to learn. People fail to become more productive if they fail to learn and develop. Try to be the best at what you do. Learn from each day.

  • Read a book, research evidence based articles on the internet, or watch a video on productivity tips. You’ll likely learn something that will help you to be more productive.
  • Start a journal to reflect on your wins for the day.  This can help you become more confident in your abilities to succeed, and notice what you enjoy.  Learning more about yourself can be the most valuable learning. 

Productive people are always learning things that will allow them to be more productive. Find some resources that of interest to you!

2. Giving in to distractions. We seem to have more distractions than ever before, and many of these are far more interesting in the moment than anything that needs to get done.  How do you avoid these distractions?

  • Remove as many distractions from the area as possible.
  • Shut off vibrations for your phone and smart watch so your body isn't being 'buzzed' and distracting you automatically. 
  • Turn off the immediate notifications for every social media post, disconnect your smart watch or place your phone away from you to avoid the temptation to check those notes.  
  • For those tasks that you are easily distracted from, what positive outcomes can come from getting it completed?  

Plan time to engage in your distractions. It’s easier to avoid distractions if you know that you can engage in them at a later time. This is especially helpful for emails.  Schedule a block of time, even if it is the first 10 minutes of every hour to address emails.  Jumping onto the next email and working in reaction mode can increase stress, and teaches other people that you are ready and waiting to jump at their request.  When you continually put other people's needs first, you aren't looking after your own.


3. A lack of emphasis on taking action. Unproductive people often like to plan and learn. Some people love the strategic side of things. However, these same people have a lot less interest in taking action. Planning has its place. Learning is great. Eventually, though, things have to get done if productivity is important.

Get clear in your mind why the action step is important for all your planning!


4. Failing to make a plan for the day. Unproductive people often don’t know what to do. They don’t have a clear vision or plan. Have a plan for the day, the week, or even just the next few hours.

  • Be clear at the start of your day what actually 'needs' to get done.  This will help make it easier for you to focus on it.  Crossing items off the list can feel accomplishing.

Make a plan and follow it until you’re done!


5. Majoring in minor things. Many productive people are quite busy, and even look busy to others. But, being busy and being productive aren’t the same thing.

  • Avoid any activities that don’t provide significant results for the amount of time required.

Focus on the most effective course of action.

6. Giving up. You can’t be productive if you give up too soon. Productivity is about what you do, how well you do it, how fast you do it, and how much time you spend doing it. You can’t get a lot done if you don’t put in the time.

Acknowledge small chunks of time as accomplishments, let go of the all or nothing idea that leads to giving up!


7. Worrying.  It’s fine to have concern and then address those concerns. However, worrying is an unproductive habit. It wastes time and makes you less effective.

  • Consider the positive things you accomplished by worrying, and the time it consumes. 
  • Is the worrysome idea really a problem?  If it's someone else's response, words or ideas, does it really affect you, or is it just their opinion?  
  • Recognizing that other people's ideas and opinions usually have nothing to do with you can help you free your mind.

Reframe the situation from others perspective.  Can you use that worry time to let go of the worry, identify if it is a problem, address the concerns, and find a solution? 

8. Procrastination. You can’t get anything accomplished if you never even get started. Procrastination is a productivity killer.

  • Notice what is happening in your body, mind and thoughts when you procrastinate.  Is it always the same time of day, in the same environment, the same task?
  • Paying attention and practicing mindfulness in these moments can help you to determine what the underlying issue is. 

If you must procrastinate, at least use the time to do something else that's productive. Going for a run is a better way of procrastinating than eating a hot fudge sundae.


We all have the same amount of time each day (168 hours/ week). The most productive people are also the most successful. If you have big goals, and you are productive in working toward those goals, you’re going to be a highly successful person.


Eliminate the habits that are reducing your productivity, and you’ll be in the best position to start getting more things done. You’ll be surprised by how much you can accomplish.


50% Complete

Two Step

Register below, then add [email protected] to your contacts to be sure you receive access to this free recipe pack!