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7 Reasons Why You’re Doing Everything Badly

7 Reasons Why You’re Doing Everything Badly

Only going through the motions can lead to a poor life. Step away from the fear and the multi-tasking. Doing everything badly doesn’t have to be a lifestyle.

1. Rushing ahead has become your go-to action.

Doing everything badly is one part mental and one part physical. If your mind is always on the finish line, you won’t be in the present. And you won’t be alert to the details or what’s going on around you. If you are rushing through your work or projects, you may be getting involved with things that you have no true passion for because you are not relishing in all the various aspects of the topic or activity at hand. This is a sure path to failure and discontent.

You will continue to do everything badly if you insist on this pattern. If you spend your time engaging in activities to please others or to merely complete a goal, you may find yourself going through the motions, but only half alive. You will begin to live like this, as well. The quality of your work will suffer and eventually your health.

Rushing through things or producing poor work creates tension and anxiety, which leads to even more stress. Rushing ahead and prizing quantity over quality only adds to stress. A frenzied outlook will spread to those around you, and in the end your productivity will dwindle. Living and working on autopilot will not serve you well and is a way many continue to do everything badly.

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2. Too much multi-tasking.

Multi-tasking doesn’t mean taking care of multiple things in a day. It means doing multiple tasks at once, often poorly. It’s exhausting just writing about it.

If you volunteer yourself for more work or responsibilities before you have even completed the ones in front of you, or if you are attempting to do several chores or activities at once, you will notice quickly that it’s nearly impossible to provide each activity with the same quality of attention, and in the end, you will find yourself doing everything badly. It will nag at your self-confidence and you’ll burn out.

In some cultures or societies, being over-committed shows you care or you are capable or you are important. It’s time to challenge this behavior and stop doing everything badly. Neurologists have come to the conclusion one can’t be truly successful if they have spread their thinking across a myriad of goals at once. Stop for a moment, and think about how draining it is to multi-task daily. If you want to stop doing everything badly, find more positive ways to delegate chores or tasks throughout your day, instead of all at once.

3. All work, no play.

We all need downtime. Treating ourselves like machines and demanding we are always on, ready to produce, perform and please will only encourage us to continue doing everything badly. Many successful people throughout history have benefitted from scheduling light hearted activities into their busy lives.

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Those bits of free time dispersed throughout the day can make room for creativity, insightfulness and even make us “more ethical”, according to scientists at the University of Southern California. Rest, quiet time or a little playfulness can aide in mental and physical health. It’s time you took playtime seriously. Playtime can help you stop doing everything badly.

4. You’ve come to expect only one outcome.

Thinking that you already know how things will turn out, or expecting one outcome over all else, will perpetuate you doing everything badly. With age, I have come to understand that life is constantly challenging what I expect and demand of it. Life is unruly and offers many plot twists.

Writer Kathryn Schulz notes in a TED presentation that we are often relying on an internal guide to rightness that is often out of touch with our external world. We get stuck, realize we are doing things badly, and begin thinking we are what’s wrong. We must acknowledge our fallibility but also step outside of it, stop over-reacting to our failures and when we let go of what is supposed to be, we encounter what will really be.

5. You’ve begun to rely on fear and are losing curiosity.

Plotting your goals and life plans based on fears or expectations is a slow and vicious death. It is one of the reasons we do things badly. A life without curiosity will lead to quick stagnation and monotony. You’ve compared yourself to others, tried to live someone else’s dream or became apathetic and retreated to your shell. You don’t want to know anything else, you don’t want to feel anything else. We have all been there.

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When you get into a psychological rhythm of chastising yourself or approaching everything with suspicion instead of curiosity, you will continue doing things badly. You begin to think that it’s better to not even try lest you fail.

6. Avoiding the lesson at the end of each failure keeps you doing everything badly.

F. Scott Fitzgerald once wrote, “Never confuse a single failure with a final defeat.” Just because you have been failing doesn’t mean it’s the end of everything. The most important part of your journey, will be in accepting the lessons that you encounter with each disappointment. These lessons are what will empower you to prepare for and attempt another path.

Not learning anything new is akin to paralysis. You remain frozen in time, reliving the same things over and over again, and continuously doing everything badly, with no change in sight. Sometimes the lesson will be painful. But it will always make us stronger in the wounded parts.

7. Practicing Has Become Just Another Boring Chore. 

Practice makes better. No one is perfect. Perfection can be an elusive goal that you spend your whole life chasing after. Practicing a skill or learning to code a new computer language requires diligence, time allotted for mastery and not focusing on perfection itself, but rather the quality of the work.

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If you are thinking that you will fail anyways, or that it is too hard to become a master or even proficient at something, you will have already decided to not even start. If you are committing yourself to practicing something you have no interest in, you should ask why you even picked it up in the first place.

If it truly was not of your volition, find another skill or hobby that was your intention. When you do not like what you are doing, everyone can see it. You will not be successful at anything when frowning in disgust. And you will not be happy, either. Doing everything badly is a pattern you can break, by replacing poor productivity and action for the sake of action with tried and true authenticity.

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Last Updated on January 6, 2021

14 Ideas on How to Measure Productivity to Make Progress

14 Ideas on How to Measure Productivity to Make Progress

Everyone has heard the term productivity, and people talk about it in terms of how high it is and how to improve it. But fewer know how to measure productivity, or even what exactly we are talking about when using the term “productivity.”

In its simplest form, the productivity formula looks like this: Output ÷ Input = Productivity.

For example, you have two salespeople each making 10 calls to customers per week. The first one averages 2 sales per week and the second one averages 3 sales per week. By plugging in the numbers we get the following productivity levels for each sales person.

For salesperson one, the output is 2 sales and the input is 10 sales: 2 ÷ 10 = .2 or 20% productivity. For salesperson two, the output is 3 sales and the input is 10 sales: 3 ÷ 10 = .3 or 30% productivity.

Knowing how to measure and interpret productivity is an invaluable asset for any manager or business owner in today’s world. As an example, in the above scenario, salesperson #1 is clearly not doing as well as salesperson #2.

Knowing this information we can now better determine what course of action to take with salesperson #1.

Some possible outcomes might be to require more in-house training for that salesperson, or to have them accompany the more productive salesperson to learn a better technique. It might be that salesperson #1 just isn’t suited for sales and would do a better job in a different position.

How to Measure Productivity With Management Techniques

Knowing how to measure productivity allows you to fine tune your business by minimizing costs and maximizing profits:

1. Identify Long and Short-Term Goals

Having a good understanding of what you (or your company’s) goals are is key to measuring productivity.

For example, if your company’s goal is to maximize market share, you’ll want to measure your team’s productivity by their ability to acquire new customers, not necessarily on actual sales made.

2. Break Down Goals Into Smaller Weekly Objectives

Your long-term goal might be to get 1,000 new customers in a year. That’s going to be 20 new customers per week. If you have 5 people on your team, then each one needs to bring in 4 new customers per week.

Now that you’ve broken it down, you can track each person’s productivity week-by-week just by plugging in the numbers:

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Productivity = number of new customers ÷ number of sales calls made

3. Create a System

Have you ever noticed that whenever you walk into a McDonald’s, the French fry machine is always to your left? 

This is because McDonald’s created a system. They have determined that the most efficient way to set up a kitchen is to always have the French fry machine on the left when you walk in.

You can do the same thing and just adapt it to your business.

Let’s say that you know that your most productive salespeople are making the most sales between the hours of 3 and 7 pm. If the other salespeople are working from 9 am to 4 pm, you can potentially increase productivity through something as simple as adjusting the workday.

Knowing how to measure productivity allows you to set up, monitor, and fine tune systems to maximize output.

4. Evaluate, Evaluate, Evaluate!

We’ve already touched on using these productivity numbers to evaluate and monitor your employees, but don’t forget to evaluate yourself using these same measurements.

If you have set up a system to track and measure employees’ performance, but you’re still not meeting goals, it may be time to look at your management style. After all, your management is a big part of the input side of our equation.

Are you more of a carrot or a stick type of manager? Maybe you can try being more of the opposite type to see if that changes productivity. Are you managing your employees as a group? Perhaps taking a more one-on-one approach would be a better way to utilize each individual’s strengths and weaknesses.

Just remember that you and your management style contribute directly to your employees’ productivity.

5. Use a Ratings Scale

Having clear and concise objectives for individual employees is a crucial part of any attempt to increase workplace productivity. Once you have set the goals or objectives, it’s important that your employees are given regular feedback regarding their progress.

Using a ratings scale is a good way to provide a standardized visual representation of progress. Using a scale of 1-5 or 1-10 is a good way to give clear and concise feedback on an individual basis.

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It’s also a good way to track long-term progress and growth in areas that need improvement.

6. Hire “Mystery Shoppers”

This is especially helpful in retail operations where customer service is critical. A mystery shopper can give feedback based on what a typical customer is likely to experience.

You can hire your own shopper, or there are firms that will provide them for you. No matter which route you choose, it’s important that the mystery shoppers have a standardized checklist for their evaluation.

You can request evaluations for your employees friendliness, how long it took to greet the shopper, employees’ knowledge of the products or services, and just about anything else that’s important to a retail operation.

7. Offer Feedback Forms

Using a feedback form is a great way to get direct input from existing customers. There are just a couple of things to keep in mind when using feedback forms.

First, keep the form short, 2-3 questions max with a space for any additional comments. Asking people to fill out a long form with lots of questions will significantly reduce the amount of information you receive.

Secondly, be aware that customers are much more likely to submit feedback forms when they are unhappy or have a complaint than when they are satisfied.

You can offset this tendency by asking everyone to take the survey at the end of their interaction. This will increase compliance and give you a broader range of customer experiences, which will help as you’re learning how to measure productivity.

8. Track Cost Effectiveness

This is a great metric to have, especially if your employees have some discretion over their budgets. You can track how much each person spends and how they spend it against their productivity.

Again, this one is easy to plug into the equation: Productivity = amount of money brought in ÷ amount of money spent.

Having this information is very useful in forecasting expenses and estimating budgets.

9. Use Self-Evaluations

Asking your staff to do self evaluations can be a win-win for everyone. Studies have shown that when employees feel that they are involved and their input is taken seriously, morale improves. And as we all know, high employee morale translates into higher productivity.

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Using self-evaluations is also a good way to make sure that the employees and employers goals are in alignment.

10. Monitor Time Management

This is the number one killer of productivity in the workplace. Time spent browsing the internet, playing games, checking email, and making personal calls all contribute to lower productivity[1].

Time Management Tips to Improve Productivity

    The trick is to limit these activities without becoming overbearing and affecting morale. Studies have shown that most people will adhere to rules that they feel are fair and applied to everyone equally.

    While ideally, we may think that none of these activities should be done on company time, employees will almost certainly have a different opinion. From a productivity standpoint, it is best to have policies and rules that are seen as fair to both sides as you’re learning how to measure productivity.

    11. Analyze New Customer Acquisition

    We’ve all heard the phrase that “It’s more expensive to get a new customer than it is to keep an existing one.” And while that is very true, in order for your business to keep growing, you will need to continually add new customers.

    Knowing how to measure productivity via new customer acquisition will make sure that your marketing dollars are being spent in the most efficient way possible. This is another metric that’s easy to plug into the formula: Productivity = number of new customers ÷ amount of money spent to acquire those customers.

    For example, if you run any kind of advertising campaign, you can compare results and base your future spending accordingly.

    Let’s say that your total advertising budget is $3,000. You put $2,000 into television ads, $700 into radio ads, and $300 into print ads. When you track the results, you find that your television ad produced 50 new customers, your radio ad produced 15 new customers, and your print ad produced 9 new customers.

    Let’s plug those numbers into our equation. Television produced 50 new customers at a cost of $2,000 (50 ÷ 2000 = .025, or a productivity rate of 2.5%). The radio ads produced 15 new customers and cost $700 (15 ÷ 700 = .022, or a 2.2% productivity rate). Print ads brought in 9 new customers and cost $300 (9 ÷ 300 = .03, or a 3% return on productivity).

    From this analysis, it is clear that you would be getting the biggest bang for your advertising dollar using print ads.

    12. Utilize Peer Feedback

    This is especially useful when people who work in teams or groups. While self-assessments can be very useful, the average person is notoriously bad at assessing their own abilities.

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    Just ask a room full of people how many consider themselves to be an above average driver and you’ll see 70% of the hands go up[2]! Now we clearly know that in reality about 25% of drivers are below average, 25% are above average, and 50% are average.

    Are all these people lying? No, they just don’t have an accurate assessment of their own abilities.

    It’s the same in the workplace. Using peer feedback will often provide a more accurate assessment of a person’s ability than a self-assessment would.

    13. Encourage Innovation and Don’t Penalize Failure

    When it comes to productivity, encouraging employee input and adopting their ideas can be a great way to boost productivity. Just make sure that any changes you adopt translate into higher productivity.

    Let’s say that someone comes to you requesting an entertainment budget so that they can take potential customers golfing or out to dinner. By utilizing simple productivity metrics, you can easily produce a cost benefit analysis and either expand the program to the rest of the sales team, or terminate it completely.

    Either way, you have gained valuable knowledge and boosted morale by including employees in the decision-making process.

    14. Use an External Evaluator

    Using an external evaluator is the pinnacle of objective evaluations. Firms that provide professional evaluations use highly trained personnel that even specialize in specific industries.

    They will design a complete analysis of your business’ productivity level. In their final report, they will offer suggestions and recommendations on how to improve productivity.

    While the benefits of a professional evaluation are many, their costs make them prohibitive for most businesses.

    Final Thoughts

    These are just a few of the things you can do when learning how to measure productivity. Some may work for your particular situation, and some may not.

    The most important thing to remember when deciding how to track productivity is to choose a method consistent with your goals. Once you’ve decided on that, it’s just a matter of continuously monitoring your progress, making minor adjustments, and analyzing the results of those adjustments.

    The business world is changing fast, and having the right tools to track and monitor your productivity can give you the edge over your competition.

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    Featured photo credit: William Iven via unsplash.com

    Reference

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