Imagine how much time you could save if you were a little more productive. Instead of a wishy-washy post about the things you should do in order to increase your productivity–here are a five things you should avoid and be aware of.

Do you know that your mind is the biggest productivity killer?

The human attention span is as little as ten minutes. It is hard for anyone to concentrate on anything for more than ten minutes none stop. But, how do people drive for days at a time? Worryingly, the people who do this are going to spend a lot of their time distracted. The mind only wanders a little after ten minutes of non-stop concentration, and most people can recover from it.

But, knowing this fact is part of the control process. If you are aware that every hour your mind is going to find six reasons to distract you, then you may learn how to control it. Possibly try changing topics or tasks every ten minutes. Jump from reading back to writing, or working back to planning. If you are aware of the fact that you are going to become distracted, then you find ways of controlling it.

Facebook, Twitter and email are not distractions

People often say that social media and emails are big distractions when working on a computer. There is even software that hides notifications from you so that you cannot be distracted. But, the fact is that your brain is becoming distracted and is looking for things to service its distraction. If you had a mirror on your desk then you would look into it and check yourself, or if a fly is in the room then it will suddenly become more annoying than it otherwise should be.

This is all your brain looking for things to distract it. Your job is to recognize this and simply get on with your work. Luckily, when you are in this sort of mood, you are not lacking motivation. If anything, you have a little bit too much energy for the task at hand. All you need to do is to keep consciously focusing your energy on the task at hand and not allow yourself to take up any further tasks until it is done.

Tiredness is a big productivity killer

Nobody needs to read through files full of universities reviews in order to figure out that tiredness is bad for your productivity. Even taking a quick sleep for an hour or two is going to make you more productive and save you time during the day. You will become more efficient when you wake up than you ever would have been if you had continued to work through your tiredness.

Your lack of routine may be killing your productivity

The lack of a routine or an ad-hoc play-it-by-year routine is going to kill your productivity. People are always more productive if they have a routine that they follow every day. This is why it is possible to have a lot of sleep one night and still be unproductive in the morning and for the rest of the day. Setting a routine will make you subconsciously motivated (for reasons we cannot understand). Set a routine and your productivity will soar.

Avoid addiction

You may have an addiction that you do not realize is causing you problems. Has your new job caused you to gain weight (food addiction), become more aggressive (rage addiction), or become more reclusive (depressive addiction)? When you are in the throes of an unknown addiction, you will feel certain withdrawal feelings such as a feeling that you simply do not have the energy or attention span to complete a certain task.

You can fix this by identifying what is making you feel helpless. With a student, it may simply be a looming coursework deadline that gets worse as the student finds it harder and harder to concentrate on the coursework work. With an adult, he or she may feel trapped by the job he or she has.

If you come to realize that your feelings of “I can’t be bothered” or “I can’t do this” come from an insidious addiction, you will be able to master your feelings of helplessness. You will recognize that you are irritable because of your feelings of helplessness and not because you are hungry. You will see how you are not really as angry at your spouse or co-worker, and that your anger is the result of you trying to take control of your own feelings of helplessness.

Avoiding these sneaky productivity killers will change your life for better. What other distractions have made you less productive?