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Five things smart people don't do to make them more productive!




Many people want to improve their productivity and are looking for simple steps they can take to achieve their goals. Here are the tips of productivity experts, based on following common sense, as a guideline for people who really want to be successful:

1. No overtime

Learning to say no to more work allows us to reduce our commitments and achieve greater focus, according to research by Morten Hansen, a professor at the University of California and author of Great at Work: How Top Performers Do Less Work Better, and Achieve More. Those who find it difficult to say no are more likely to experience stress, burnout, and even depression.

The late Steve Jobs was a staunch proponent of this strategy. At the 1997 Apple Worldwide Developers Conference, Jobs cited this wisdom about what true focus entails, saying: "People think focus means saying yes to the thing you have to focus on. But that's not what it means at all. It means saying no to a hundred thoughts." "You have to choose carefully. I'm actually as proud of the things we didn't do as the ones I did."

It is also important to note that there is a common misconception that taking on more projects or working more hours will lead to more productivity. According to Hansen, "As you get closer to the 50- to 65-hour mark, the benefits of those extra hours start to diminish, and once you clock in 65 hours or more, your overall performance declines."


“Good work requires focus, and focus requires doing little,” says Hansen.

2. No to the “autopilot” mentality

In his new book Intrinsic Motivation: Learn to Love Your Work and Succeed as Never Before, internationally recognized human performance expert Stefan Falk reveals several key dos and don'ts for top performers.

According to Falk, we need to avoid going into business on "autopilot". Work, like a pilot operating autopilot, allows us to shut down our brains and makes it easier to sink into boredom as we go through our familiar daily tasks.

For those who love what they do, "boredom" isn't simply one of their vocabulary, even when faced with the most daunting task they've taken on a thousand times, they set deliberate goals every day.

3. No workplace drama

Many encounter drama in the workplace, which can be in many forms including, but not limited to, malicious gossip, colleagues resisting change, constant arguments and bickering, or disgruntled workers disrupting the course of work, to name a few.

Being caught up in the whirlwind of workplace drama will overburden a person and take their attention and focus away from the most important elements, which are their work and duty. Time lost in workplace drama costs a lot of effort and money. Researcher Cy Wakeman, author of No Ego: How Leaders Can Cut the Cost of Workplace Drama, End Entitlement, and Drive Big Results, writes that these negative models lead to "mentally wasteful thought processes or unproductive behavior," and productive outcomes can be achieved.


Drama at workplace, can affect morale, destroy culture, and lead to reduced employee productivity and lost revenue.

4. No caffeine and sugar

One of the productivity mistakes many people make is working for hours on end without taking frequent breaks, sometimes even during the lunch hour. Our bodies send clear signs that we need a break, including fidgeting, hunger, sleepiness and loss of focus, says Tony Schwartz, CEO of the Energy Project and author of The Way We're Working Isn't Working, But often these signs are bypassed by ways to increase energy such as caffeine and foods high in sugar and simple carbohydrates.

Schwartz adds working at maximum intensity in the morning hours for 90 minutes and then taking a break helps keep the mind focused and accomplish even the most difficult and important tasks.

5. No crowd culture

Living an inclusive lifestyle with limits on the number of hours you work helps a person to be a productive human being - in all aspects of their lives, including work.

Active, productive professionals set clear boundaries on which work priorities to focus on during a reasonable eight to 10 hour work day. Then they work smartly and efficiently to achieve more productivity and success.

in conclusion, one needs to take care of oneself. Paying attention to general health and moral well-being is essential to counteract the hustle and bustle culture and reduce fatigue.


Experts recommend taking short breaks throughout the day, exercising, eating a healthy balanced diet, recharging on weekends, and of course, getting enough quality sleep.

Source - Al Arabiya Publised on 24FEBRUARY2023

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