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Latest insights and trends in Personal Analytics, Operational Intelligence, and Workplace Productivity.

Nov 14
What Not To Do In Modern Productivity Based On Self-Tracking


After a recent post covering tips in modern productivity based on self-tracking technology, I received a lot of feedback from readers on these original pieces of advice. I must say that these tips are geared toward the average person and are less accurate than if you catalogued your own data independently. And that's the secret of self-tracking. The more data you collect analyzing your own working habits, the more clearly you will be able to identify aspects that could use some improvement.  That being said, here are some major working habits to stop doing in order to be more productive.

1. Do not procrastinate...or maybe just a little.

Once again, this is something that is best customized to the individual through self-tracking data. Personally, I work well with a little procrastination as it gives me a minor adrenaline rush to complete the task at hand. I find that I am more focused and not as easily distracted by outside thoughts.

2. Do not constantly check email throughout the day.

Dedicate a certain time or times to focus on email communication. Many feel an urge to answer emails as soon as they are received. This leads to an enormous amount of time trying to navigate through which emails are crucial and which ones are not. Instead, try setting aside certain times to occupy yourself with email only tasks, for example 1 hour in the morning and 1 hour in the evening.

3. Do not overstress.

I will admit that this one is difficult for me to handle at times. Stress is a naturally occurring emotion that when managed correctly, can actually steer us to be more efficient. It is the training coach yelling at us on the field to run faster and work harder. However, if left unchecked, too much stress can bring our productivity level to zero or even to counter productivity. According to an OmniContext Personal Analytics study, on days of extreme stress, workers are 45% less likely to come up with a new idea or solve a work related problem.

4. Stop working overtime and increase your productivity.

Numerous studies have shown that people working 60 hour work weeks, could easily accomplish the same level of productive output in 40 hours, if they knew how to better manage their time and resources. If you 

2. Don't say "yes" too often

As a young professional at the start of my career, I constantly find myself wanting to take on any task that is given to me. This is a strong feature in terms of motivation, but can quickly build a perpetual wall between you and efficiency. It is important to be able to identify which tasks are feasible and considered priority, and which ones we can either avoid or put on the backburner.

3. Stop doing everything yourself and start letting people help you

This is a trait that is often seen in managers or employers within companies. Once we have accumulated a system of working habits within our occupation, we tend to be hesitant in delegating tasks that originally we were doing ourselves. Learn to trust your fellow colleagues with tasks that don't particularly require your expertise. This will free up a good portion of your time and allow you to complete objectives more efficiently.

6. Stop guessing and start backing up your decisions with data

The availability of devices and apps to assist you in self-tracking your own data has made it easier than ever to hone in on individual discrepancies and competences. We spend countless hours trying to optimize external aspects of productivity, but with self-tracking (or personal analytics) we are now able to turn that focus back on ourselves. We must learn our strengths and our faults with the most precise insights possible…through data. It is essential to measure our daily working habits and learn how to improve on these movements. This is the largest key factor in optimizing productivity.

Start seeing your own data of productivity with OmniContext Personal Analytics. ​



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