We are all trying to do our best and get ahead. But even so, there are mistakes we make every day that  hinder our performance, slow our productivity and waste time. They are, however, mistakes that are easily avoidable once we become aware of them. Here are a few to watch out for.


Studies have shown that we are about 400 percent more productive today than we were in 1950. But most of us still work 50 to 60 hours a week. The problem is, there is a point where you reach diminishing returns. All of those extra hours may not result in all that much productivity.

The key is working smarter, not always longer. Get organized, set goals, prioritize your tasks, schedule your time, reflect on what you have done and whether you can do it better.

Pushing yourself.

Many workers eat lunch at their desks. They do not want to take the time to leave off working. But this actually does more harm than good. We are more productive if we take breaks. Our brains are not made to focus intently for more than about an hour.

Taking a break gives you time to recover and recharge and return to work with renewed vigor.

Not getting enough sleep.

Many people still feel that sleep is something they can do without. But the research on the subject is clear – sleep is absolutely necessary if we are going to perform our best. Lack of sleep hurts our productivity. We cannot remember things as well and we think less clearly.

Writing too much.

There is no need for chit-chat when you send emails. Keep them short and to the point, no more than 300 words. Say what you need to say, then stop. The recipient will appreciate it. Plus, people are much more likely to read shorter emails than ones that go on forever.

Looking for work.

One survey showed that three of every ten employees are looking for work while on the job. Don’t you be one of them. You may get caught.

Perusing Facebook.

One survey showed that about 40 percent of employees look at Facebook during work. This is something else to avoid. Your boss may be reading your posts.


No one likes a whiner. Some people just enjoy complaining. They constantly come up with reasons why something cannot be done, rather than finding ways to do it.

Not preparing for meetings.

If you are meeting with your supervisor about a project, make sure you are ready to explain it and answer any questions he or she may have. Think about what questions and concerns he might have and have an answer ready.

Not writing things down.

Ideas pop into our heads when we least expect them to. Keep a little notebook and pen with you to write  down your ideas or reminders when they pop into your head. Take notes about conversations and meetings.


This may seem trivial, but you need to pay attention to body language. It communicates things to people just as clearly as speaking. Slouching tells people your are a low energy person, someone who is content to sit back, not assertive or aggressive.

About Winston Resources

If you want to be productive in your job search, Winston Resources can help you get the job you want. Winston is a leading staffing firm in the New York City area, with the resources to help you. Give Winston a call today.

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