5 Small (But Easily Fixable) Mistakes Most Engineers Make That Are Killing Their Productivity

Luis Duque
2 min readSep 28, 2022


Getting promoted oftentimes isn’t about being “the best.”

It’s actually far more about being reliable — and people being able to trust that you won’t make little mistakes.

For anyone working in engineering, these are the 5 small (but easily fixable) mistakes most people make — and why, if you can avoid these, your career is going to accelerate exponentially:

Mistake #1: Saying “yes” to everything

People will constantly try to steal your time.

They will ask for favors, ask for help, and this slowly eats your productive hours.

Remember, for every “yes” you give, you are also saying “no” to something else.

Mistake #2: Waiting for the right time

There is no right time to do X, you create your own right time.

Sometimes you may feel like you are not ready, but that is how you know it is important.

Mistake #3: Not planning your days

If you fail to plan, you plan for failure.

Get in the habit of spending 5 minutes a day looking at the day ahead and making a plan for it.

At a minimum, prioritize your tasks so you do the most important task first.

Mistake #4: Doing more shallow work

Shallow work is the activities that bring no value to your work.

We tend to do shallow work when work is challenging, we are tired, or simply can’t focus.

On the other hand, deep work is all about focusing on a single task at a time without distractions.

Mistake #5: Having your phone beside you when working

Phones and apps are designed to addict you and suck the life out of you if you don’t use them right.

Get your phone out of sight while working. It takes you on average 25 minutes to get back on tasks after you get distracted.

Read this post and more on my Typeshare Social Blog



Luis Duque

I am full-time bridge engineer looking to make the world a better place. I volunteer with Engineers Without Borders with projects in South and Central America.