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10 Things People Do Every Day Which Make Them Unproductive

10 Things People Do Every Day Which Make Them Unproductive

How do you define success? What distinguishes the successful and the unsuccessful may be that thin line of getting more done in less time. Successful people are more productive and do not do these things daily.

1.Not getting enough sleep

Sleep is essential to your well being. Sometimes people tend to take this for granted. They think the less sleep you have the more time you have to work. However, when you sleep between 7-9 hours a night, you are more energized to complete your work during the day. You are focused and energized as you optimize your sleep.

2.Multitasking

The brain can only focus on one thing at a time. When you try to do two things at once, you alter your productivity. Some may feel doing so much at once could prove efficiency and get more done, but studies on multitasking reveal that such reduces your efficiency and performance. Even when you might be able to proceed on many fronts at once, it is still a slow and an error-prone way of working. It is better for you to focus solely on one task which will get you all the work done much faster.

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3.Having a negative mindset

No matter how productive you want your day to be, if you do not possess a positive mindset, nothing will seem to work. Negative opinions or negative thoughts of how things will turn out will limit what you can achieve so try and encourage yourself to possess only positive thoughts. Change your mindset, believe in what you can achieve daily.

4.Noise

Noise can be devastating. Some people think that noise can make you improve and the pressure determines how much work you can accomplish. It is understandable that certain noise is part of our lives. But we can get thrown off by the slightest commotion like swinging doors, frequent phone calls, or street noise. Productivity can be altered by such disruptions so it is better we do well to reduce the noise around us. If it is within our control, make sure you fight them off with some noise reduction methods. Perhaps you need to switch off the TV, or get yourself noise canceling headphones, try to reduce the noise around you.

5.Trying to be perfect

In a bid to try to reach perfection we spend so much time fixing every little detail of a task that we do not have enough time for more important tasks. When you try to perfect things you deter yourself from getting more done in less time. Perfection is a dreaded unicorn and doesn’t lead us anywhere but in circles. It is better you understand your limitations and offer the best you can and move on to the next task.

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6.Not prioritizing

Prioritizing means getting the most important things done first. Yet what is urgent may not be important and what is important may not be urgent. Trying to make a balance between what is important and urgent allows you to delegate tasks and pay attention to what should be done immediately.

7.Social networking

We all want to be on top of what is going on within our social circles. We feel it is an obligation or mandatory to get plugged into Facebook, Twitter or Instagram at least once a day. But the sorry news is that these social media sites are designed to cut down on the much work you can get done during your day.

8.A cluttered workspace

It is easy to judge a productive person or not by the workspace he works from. According to a survey by OfficeMax many Americans believe clutter has a negative impact on their lives and work. Workplace clutter damages productivity and hurts your professional image. Try to clean up your workspace at least once a week to improve your productivity daily.

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9.Not asking for help

Asking for help doesn’t make you stupid or less smart. Rather it does make you productive and efficient. There is no shame in needing help with something. It only signals your limitations. Rather than beating yourself in confusion, seek help and direction, and you will get more done in less time.

10.Setting too many goals

There are only a number of goals we can reach within a set time. Yet people chase after quantity. Being productive however should focus on quality over quantity. This means being realistic and more purposeful in your approach to hit goals. Setting too many goals doesn’t get more done rather it leaves you divided. Set fewer goals that are attainable within the time frame allotted for them.

Reach maximum efficiency, be more productive and do not do any of these things.

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Featured photo credit: hikabu via flickr.com

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Casey Imafidon

Specialized in motivation and personal growth, providing advice to make readers fulfilled and spurred on to achieve all that they desire in life.

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Last Updated on September 11, 2019

Why To-Do Lists Don’t Work (And How to Change That)

Why To-Do Lists Don’t Work (And How to Change That)

How often do you feel overwhelmed and disorganized in life, whether at work or home? We all seem to struggle with time management in some area of our life; one of the most common phrases besides “I love you” is “I don’t have time”. Everyone suggests working from a to-do list to start getting your life more organized, but why do these lists also have a negative connotation to them?

Let’s say you have a strong desire to turn this situation around with all your good intentions—you may then take out a piece of paper and pen to start tackling this intangible mess with a to-do list. What usually happens, is that you either get so overwhelmed seeing everything on your list, which leaves you feeling worse than you did before, or you make the list but are completely stuck on how to execute it effectively.

To-do lists can work for you, but if you are not using them effectively, they can actually leave you feeling more disillusioned and stressed than you did before. Think of a filing system: the concept is good, but if you merely file papers away with no structure or system, the filing system will have an adverse effect. It’s the same with to-do lists—you can put one together, but if you don’t do it right, it is a fruitless exercise.

Why Some People Find That General To-Do Lists Don’t Work?

Most people find that general to-do lists don’t work because:

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  • They get so overwhelmed just by looking at all the things they need to do.
  • They don’t know how to prioritize the items on list.
  • They feel that they are continuously adding to their list but not reducing it.
  • There’s a sense of confusion seeing home tasks mixed with work tasks.

Benefits of Using a To-Do List

However, there are many advantages working from a to-do list:

  • You have clarity on what you need to get done.
  • You will feel less stressed because all your ‘to do’s are on paper and out of your mind.
  • It helps you to prioritize your actions.
  • You don’t overlook so many tasks and forget anything.
  • You feel more organized.
  • It helps you with planning.

4 Golden Rules to Make a To-Do List Work

Here are my golden rules for making a “to-do” list work:

1. Categorize

Studies have shown that your brain gets overwhelmed when it sees a list of 7 or 8 options; it wants to shut down.[1] For this reason, you need to work from different lists. Separate them into different categories and don’t have more than 7 or 8 tasks on each one.

It might work well for you to have a “project” list, a “follow-up” list, and a “don’t forget” list; you will know what will work best for you, as these titles will be different for everybody.

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2. Add Estimations

You don’t merely need to know what has to be done, but how long it will take as well in order to plan effectively.

Imagine on your list you have one task that will take 30 minutes, another that could take 1 hour, and another that could take 4 hours. You need to know the moment you look at the task, otherwise you undermine your planning, so add an extra column to your list and include your estimation of how long you think the task will take, and be realistic!

Tip: If you find it a challenge to estimate accurately, then start by building this skill on a daily basis. Estimate how long it will take to get ready, cook dinner, go for a walk, etc., and then compare this to the actual time it took you. You will start to get more accurate in your estimations.

3. Prioritize

To effectively select what you should work on, you need to take into consideration: priority, sequence and estimated time. Add another column to your list for priority. Divide your tasks into four categories:

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  • Important and urgent
  • Not urgent but important
  • Not important but urgent
  • Not important or urgent

You want to work on tasks that are urgent and important of course, but also, select some tasks that are important and not urgent. Why? Because these tasks are normally related to long-term goals, and when you only work on tasks that are urgent and important, you’ll feel like your day is spent putting out fires. You’ll end up neglecting other important areas which most often end up having negative consequences.

Most of your time should be spent on the first two categories.

4.  Review

To make this list work effectively for you, it needs to become a daily tool that you use to manage your time and you review it regularly. There is no point in only having the list to record everything that you need to do, but you don’t utilize it as part of your bigger time management plan.

For example: At the end of every week, review the list and use it to plan the week ahead. Select what you want to work on taking into consideration priority, time and sequence and then schedule these items into your calendar. Golden rule in planning: don’t schedule more than 75% of your time.

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Bottom Line

So grab a pen and paper and give yourself the gift of a calm and clear mind by unloading everything in there and onto a list as now, you have all the tools you need for it to work. Knowledge is useless unless it is applied—how badly do you want more time?

To your success!

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Featured photo credit: Emma Matthews via unsplash.com

Reference

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