A quick Google search reveals that people across the globe are struggling with procrastination. Could it be our world of nonstop connections? An overstimulation of technology? Whatever the reasons may be, it is clear that we as humans experience the challenge of working hard, often even when the focus is a subject we’re passionate about.
Even if it isn’t procrastination that is getting in the way of your success, you may not be doing all you’d like to be doing in a day. It’s time to take a long, hard look at your habits. Perhaps you’re unknowingly sabotaging yourself daily. Productivity experts suggest there are several tendencies of those who frequently find themselves putting off work or other important tasks. These habits are impediments and should be stopped immediately.
Do you recognise any of these productivity-draining habits in yourself?
Checking email or social media first thing in the morning.
Mobile devices make it easier now than ever to stay continuously connected. Many of us fall asleep with our phones next to us on the pillow. Looking at your phone right before bed is one problem; this can lead to poor sleep and an overstimulated nervous system. Waking up and checking email or using your phone first thing in the AM is similarly draining. This prevents you from having any time for personal reflection.
Instead, consider waking up and journalling for 10 minutes, or spending time in simple meditation. This will refocus you in a positive manner. Yoga or other forms of exercise are also an excellent way to get your blood pumping and your day started off on an active note.
Starting with smaller, easier items on your to do list.
That to do list sure looks daunting, hey? Perhaps knocking a few small items off will make tackling that big project a little less overwhelming. While this can be a good approach in theory, in practice it typically does not work out that way. By the time you’ve completed a variety of small tasks, your energy has been dribbled away incrementally, and handling the sizeable project feels like even more of a challenge. A better method is to start with the largest or most intimidating item on the list. Use your morning energy where it’s needed. Once this is out of the way, everything else will be a breeze.
Multitasking seems like a way to be even more productive, but experts suggest this is far less effective than focusing on a single task at a time. When multitasking, you cannot possibly give 100% to the many things you’re trying to do at once. This means you’re unable to give your best, and are more prone to making careless errors. Rather than having your attention divided between a number of items, make a commitment to work on only one task, and see it through to completion. You’ll likely find that you get just as much (if not more) done this way, but can pay more attention to the details.
Giving into enticing distractions.
We’ve all done it. That cat video on YouTube that your friend just emailed you. The addictive game on your Smartphone. These distractions can be a lot of fun, but they pull your attention away from your goals. It isn’t always easy to just say no to these distractions. Fortunately, there are a lot of apps and tools available to help you be more focused. From timers to social media blocking programs, there is a resource out there which will aid you in eradicating your productivity-crushing bad habits.
Never saying no.
Sometimes the nicest people end up being the least productive. Ambitious people want to be go-getters, taking on every possible project and saying yes to every opportunity that presents itself. Though well-intentioned, this can end up a disaster. If you overcommit yourself to too many activities and tasks, your efforts will be diffused amongst each item. Thus, you’re less attentive and the quality of your work is going to suffer. Instead, learn how much you can appropriately handle, and don’t be afraid to say no to a request. If you would love to take on a project but don’t have the time, it can be helpful to suggest an alternative individual who may have a schedule with more availability.
Are these habits bringing you down? Now that you’ve pinpointed them you can make a concerted effort to change. A more productive future is possible!
Published by: LMIT