Trying to be your most productive self? Yay! Good for you.
But sometimes that’s easier said than done. Well, let others be your guide on what not to do. Here are 10 lies that unproductive people tell themselves. Avoid telling yourself these lies and you’ll be all set to get some real work done.
1. “I’ll do it in an hour.”
As soon as you tell yourself that you’re going to do something later, it’s easy to keep on doing it. Once you have a task, try to tackle it as soon as you can. Try the 50/10 rule: work intensely for 50 minutes and then take a 10 minute break. This ensures that you get a lot of work done without burning out too quickly.
2. “I’m too tired.”
This is possibly the oldest excuse in the book. I’m guilty of using this excuse myself, but often I’m not actually too tired; it’s easy to confuse laziness and sleepiness. If you’re truly feeling tired and it’s the middle of the day, try drinking some coffee or taking a power nap. Otherwise, try to look past your “tiredness” and power through to getting some work done.
3. “Maybe someone else will do it.”
Take responsibility for the tasks that you need completed. This one is a big problem with tasks that are perhaps traded around among a group of people, such as taking out the trash in your office’s kitchen. Just get it done and everyone, including yourself, will thank you later.
4. “What if I don’t do it right?”
You’ll never know if you’re wrong if you don’t try first. Fear of messing up is not going to get you anywhere, so try to power ahead and ignore that nagging doubt. And if you do mess up a little bit, don’t worry about it! Just go for it and fix your mistakes later if you make any.
5. “What if I fail?”
Fear of failure is even worse than a fear of making a few little mistakes. Yes, it can be really embarrassing to fail. But chances are, you won’t. If you’re really worried, just ask someone for a little guidance. It’s likely that that person will be happy to help.
6. “This won’t be my best work.”
If everyone were worried about not doing their best, nothing would ever get done. That’s the point of something being your “best work.” In order for it to be the best, other things have to be less stellar. But that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t give it a go and try your best.
7. “Now it’ll be late.”
Better late than never, right? Not doing work should not be an option. Even if your work is late, face the consequences of that and move on. You shouldn’t let that hold you back from finishing a task that’s given to you, especially if it’s at your job. Keep in mind, though, that you shouldn’t let lateness become a habit. Try to keep on top of your work, and soon timeliness will become second nature.
8. “What’s in it for me?”
Honestly, your satisfaction should come from a job well done. It’s hard to look past that sometimes, because many people today rely on praise or other rewards to encourage them to do their work in a timely manner. However, try to find happiness in other aspects of your work and have the rewards be internal.
9. “I shouldn’t start until I have all the pieces of the puzzle.”
You can make really good progress without having all the information you need. Focus on getting just a little work done and work on the task as more pieces of the puzzle come your way. This is also a good way to complete an assignment without really feeling like you’re tackling a big project. It automatically cuts things into bite-sized pieces.
10. “I’m not _____ enough.”
Smart enough, clever enough, fast enough, good enough, etc. None of this is true. Just because you’re not the best at something doesn’t mean you can’t do a good job if you work hard enough. So just give it a go and stop putting it off!
Featured photo credit: Graham Reznick via flickr.com