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28 Signs You’re Becoming a Productivity Junkie

28 Signs You’re Becoming a Productivity Junkie
Todo List

If you are a frequent visitor of Lifehack.org, then it is probably
safe to say that you thrive on productivity tips, lifehacks,
the latest tech tools, and all things GTD. However, how do
you know when you’ve crossed over to becoming a
productivity junkie? This article will point out some of
the warning signs to look for.

1. You have a shortcut created for every program on your
computer.

2. You try out a new productivity tool at least once a week.

3. LifeHack.org has become your second home.

4. You get excited about crossing off one of your to-dos.

5. You organize your desk at least once a day.

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6. You have your RSS feeds organized by priority and
filtered by keywords.

7. Your friends think you’re in a cult called GTD.

8. You’re training your kids to become future GTD masters.

9. You argue with your friends about which GTD system is the
best.

10. A few hours away from your PDA puts you into
withdrawals.

11. You’ve learned every Gmail hack in the book and you now
wear a t-shirt that proclaims your official title of Gmail
master.

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12. You have performed in-depth studies to find out when
your peak cycles of productivity occur throughout the day.

13. The timer has become your new best friend.

14. You know exactly which type of music puts you at the
highest level of productivity.

15. An empty inbox gives you a pleasant satisfaction
that you still can’t quite explain to your family.

16. You plan on naming all of your future kids after
productivity principles: Pareto, Zen, and of course, the
great GTD master himself, David Allen.

17. You have read “Getting Things Done” multiple times and
every page is covered with notes and references.

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18. Whenever a friend or family has a birthday, you give
them a productivity gift basket composed of a planner,
calendar, to-do lists, and your favorite productivity
books.

19. You’ve delegated all of your lower-level tasks to your
kids. They now run all of your errands while you work on
your most important to-dos.

20. You reminisce about the bygone days of procrastination.

21. You listen to educational audio books in the car to
insure that you don’t miss a minute of potential
productivity.

22. Your closet is organized by color and all of the most
worn clothing is placed in the most convenient and
reachable spots.

23. You have over clocked all of the toothbrushes in the
house. Your kids are thrilled with the idea but your wife
has now put all of her personal belongings under lock and
key.

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24. Friends and family are beginning to set up appointments
for allotted times in order to fit into your schedule.

25. On your next vacation, you are planning to take the
whole family to a GTD seminar.

26. You’ve started your own book club for all thing related
to productivity and GTD.

27. You’re now starting to wonder if your fascination with
productivity is actually making you less productive.

28. You’re thinking about joining a support group to
recover from this addiction.

Kim Roach is a productivity junkie who blogs regularly at
The Optimized Life. Read her articles on 50 Essential
GTD Resources
, How to Have a 46 Hour Day, Do You Need
a Braindump
, What They Don’t Teach You in School,
and Free Yourself From the Inbox.

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The Gentle Art of Saying No

The Gentle Art of Saying No

No!

It’s a simple fact that you can never be productive if you take on too many commitments — you simply spread yourself too thin and will not be able to get anything done, at least not well or on time.

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But requests for your time are coming in all the time — through phone, email, IM or in person. To stay productive, and minimize stress, you have to learn the Gentle Art of Saying No — an art that many people have problems with.

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What’s so hard about saying no? Well, to start with, it can hurt, anger or disappoint the person you’re saying “no” to, and that’s not usually a fun task. Second, if you hope to work with that person in the future, you’ll want to continue to have a good relationship with that person, and saying “no” in the wrong way can jeopardize that.

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But it doesn’t have to be difficult or hard on your relationship. Here are the Top 10 tips for learning the Gentle Art of Saying No:

  1. Value your time. Know your commitments, and how valuable your precious time is. Then, when someone asks you to dedicate some of your time to a new commitment, you’ll know that you simply cannot do it. And tell them that: “I just can’t right now … my plate is overloaded as it is.”
  2. Know your priorities. Even if you do have some extra time (which for many of us is rare), is this new commitment really the way you want to spend that time? For myself, I know that more commitments means less time with my wife and kids, who are more important to me than anything.
  3. Practice saying no. Practice makes perfect. Saying “no” as often as you can is a great way to get better at it and more comfortable with saying the word. And sometimes, repeating the word is the only way to get a message through to extremely persistent people. When they keep insisting, just keep saying no. Eventually, they’ll get the message.
  4. Don’t apologize. A common way to start out is “I’m sorry but …” as people think that it sounds more polite. While politeness is important, apologizing just makes it sound weaker. You need to be firm, and unapologetic about guarding your time.
  5. Stop being nice. Again, it’s important to be polite, but being nice by saying yes all the time only hurts you. When you make it easy for people to grab your time (or money), they will continue to do it. But if you erect a wall, they will look for easier targets. Show them that your time is well guarded by being firm and turning down as many requests (that are not on your top priority list) as possible.
  6. Say no to your boss. Sometimes we feel that we have to say yes to our boss — they’re our boss, right? And if we say “no” then we look like we can’t handle the work — at least, that’s the common reasoning. But in fact, it’s the opposite — explain to your boss that by taking on too many commitments, you are weakening your productivity and jeopardizing your existing commitments. If your boss insists that you take on the project, go over your project or task list and ask him/her to re-prioritize, explaining that there’s only so much you can take on at one time.
  7. Pre-empting. It’s often much easier to pre-empt requests than to say “no” to them after the request has been made. If you know that requests are likely to be made, perhaps in a meeting, just say to everyone as soon as you come into the meeting, “Look guys, just to let you know, my week is booked full with some urgent projects and I won’t be able to take on any new requests.”
  8. Get back to you. Instead of providing an answer then and there, it’s often better to tell the person you’ll give their request some thought and get back to them. This will allow you to give it some consideration, and check your commitments and priorities. Then, if you can’t take on the request, simply tell them: “After giving this some thought, and checking my commitments, I won’t be able to accommodate the request at this time.” At least you gave it some consideration.
  9. Maybe later. If this is an option that you’d like to keep open, instead of just shutting the door on the person, it’s often better to just say, “This sounds like an interesting opportunity, but I just don’t have the time at the moment. Perhaps you could check back with me in [give a time frame].” Next time, when they check back with you, you might have some free time on your hands.
  10. It’s not you, it’s me. This classic dating rejection can work in other situations. Don’t be insincere about it, though. Often the person or project is a good one, but it’s just not right for you, at least not at this time. Simply say so — you can compliment the idea, the project, the person, the organization … but say that it’s not the right fit, or it’s not what you’re looking for at this time. Only say this if it’s true — people can sense insincerity.

Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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