The Not-To-Do List: 4 Habits to Avoid 🚀

How to optimize your mid-afternoon, why you should avoid perfect work environments, the importance of an "end of work" time, along with roles at AngelList, At One Ventures, and more!

What's up, Next Gen Fam!

There are a few work habits that may feel productive but actually reduce your overall output. These habits are subtle and may be quietly holding you back. 

Here are the four habits to avoid! 


1. Don't chase the perfect work environment. 

A long "pre-work-routine" may feel productive, but they're usually a sneaky form of procrastination. Let's say that before working, you need to journal, exercise, find a spot at a cafe, and grab a coffee. Before you know it, you may've lost over an hour just getting ready to work. So don't chase the perfect environment. When it's time to start working, just get started!

2. Don't work those extra minutes at night.  

It’s time to begin winding down, but you just want to finish that task. “It’ll only take five minutes, I’ll be ok.” This is the urge to avoid. Five minutes usually becomes half an hour and reduces your sleep quality. In fact, those extra minutes of evening work may sacrifice hours of productivity the next day. Set a hard “end of work” time and stick to it.

3. Use the mid-afternoon productively. 

If you're less productive in the mid-afternoon, step away from cognitively challenging tasks. Instead, spend that time on easier work, like admin duties. Now, when you get a second wind later in the day, you'll have the mental energy to crush those tougher tasks and produce higher quality results. 

4. Avoid responding to every message immediately. 

When you respond to every message immediately, you may feel the need to be consistent and always answer right away. But this habit can really lower your output. Most pings don't require immediate attention and can distract you from productive work. Whether it’s email, slack, or text, batch your messaging so you can focus on key priorities.


  • 🧘🏽‍♀️ Zen Habits — You can complement the tips above with this popular article, The Little Habits.

  • 📈 AngelList, a network for startups and investors, is hiring for a Venture Associate.

  • 🌎 At One Ventures, an investment firm focused on climate-tech, is hiring a Climate VC Fellow.

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