4 Simple Habits That Will Make You More Productive

#3: Energize your environment

Nick Wignall
7 min readOct 1


Photo by Ivan Babydov

Most people assume that the secret to productivity is hard work. But here’s the thing about hard work…

Working hard easily turns into being hard on yourself.

And though it might feel motivating initially, being hard on yourself actually makes you less productive in the long run:

  • Self-criticism can feel motivating in the moment. But in the end it just leads to shame and self-directed anger — both of which make it harder to stay focused and do good work.
  • Perfectionism can making you feel more in control. But in the end it just makes you anxious, stressed-out, and less likely to produce good work.
  • Chronic self-doubt can masquerade as healthy reflection. But in the end it just leads to low self-worth and poor confidence which doesn’t help your work.

Here are 4 ways to get more done without being hard on yourself…

1. Stop fighting with procrastination

We all feel the urge to procrastinate but it’s how we respond to that urge that matters.

The desire to procrastinate is normal. It’s often your mind expressing its natural desire for novelty and curiosity. And no matter how committed to a piece of work, you will occasionally feel the urge to put off getting to work in favor of something more immediately enjoyable.

The key to staying productive in the long run is to acknowledge the urge to procrastinate instead of fighting with it.

Often the people who struggle the most with procrastination have judgmental beliefs about what it means to even feel like procrastinating. These beliefs come out in the form of negative self-talk:

  • Look at Jane. She’s such a machine. She just sits down and gets things done. I wish I was as focused as she is.
  • Here I go again… Why do I have to be such a procrastinator!
  • What’s wrong with you?! Why can’t I just get it together and focus!

The problem with all the judgmental negative self-talk is that it adds a second layer of painful…



Nick Wignall

Psychologist and writer sharing practical advice for emotional health and well-being: https://thefriendlymind.com