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8 Productivity Mistakes You Might Be Making Every Day

8 Productivity Mistakes You Might Be Making Every Day

Do you ever find there aren’t enough hours is the day? While many people try hard to be as productive as possible, they often find themselves getting distracted. However, making every day fruitful is much easier if you can first ditch productivity-sucking activities.

Check out these eight common mistakes people make when it comes to productivity.

1. Treating cheating as a reward

People often decide to treat themselves if they are doing something they find difficult, such as dieting, saving money, exercising or working. However, if someone treats themselves to a dress after a week of saving, this undermines the achievement they have made. It can even encourage you to ditch your plan entirely, as you’ve already been ‘bad’.

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Try to view the act of you achieving your goals as the treat. You wanted to improve yourself – and now you are well on your way!

2. Planning unnecessary meetings

Unnecessary meetings can suck all of the productivity out of someone’s working day. Often meetings are overly long and pointless, pulling people away from the tasks they were working on. A good solution to this is instead of arranging a meeting, see if you can speak with the person in another way. Skype, texting, emailing and phone calls are all efficient ways to communicate on important matters, while still focusing on your own projects.

3. Multitasking

While many people believe that they can do two tasks at once with ease, research has discovered that most people become less efficient while attempting to multitask. Doing multiple tasks tends to decrease their attention span and productivity, so try concentrating on one task at a time for great, productive results.

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4. Browsing the web

As most people have access to the web at both work and home, it can be easy to get side-tracked and find yourself online. Many people plan on briefly checking social media or checking the answer to a question, but end up staying online for much longer than intended.

A good solution to this productivity mistake is to write down what you wanted to look at online, put it to the side, and then finish off the task you were doing before checking.

5. Putting off hard tasks

People are often tempted to start their days with their easiest tasks. However, saving the hard jobs for later in the day can mean they don’t actually get finished at all. The best time to do the hard work is first thing, as that is when you have the most willpower. On top of that, getting your least favorite job out of the way is likely to put you in a great mood for the rest of the day!

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6. Over-planning

When people have a busy day coming up, they tend to plan every hour of the day in advance so they can fit everything in. However if you start running behind on schedule, you can find yourself becoming stressed out and failing to achieve everything you wanted to do.

Try to plan about five hours of important work to do, and leave the rest of the day to deal with any other issues. This means you get both elements of control and flexibility.

7. Hitting the snooze button

Most people like to hit the snooze button and get an extra 10 minutes in bed. Even though it can be tempting to hit the snooze button every morning, it is actually better for you to get up.

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When you first wake up, your body starts releasing alertness hormones to get you up and ready for the day. Every time you go hit snooze, you slow down this process – and as you are only snoozing, it is unlikely you are getting any essential extra sleep anyway.

8. Thinking about the big picture

Having a life or work plan is a fantastic way to make sure you keep progressing towards your goals. However, thinking about the big picture while you’re working can leave you feeling worried and overwhelmed. Save the life planning for when you aren’t working, and while you are working, try to focus on the immediate task you are doing. Every task you do is working towards your goals – slowly but surely, you are on your way!

Do you have any tips for productivity? Comment below!

More by this author

Amy Johnson

Amy is a writer who blogs about relationships and lifestyle advice.

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Published on July 22, 2019

The Secret to Success Is Failure

The Secret to Success Is Failure

You see a job that you’d love to do; and, you decide to go for it.

You submit your application, and then are pleased to find a few days later that you’re invited for an interview. This goes well, and you begin to have quiet optimism that a job offer will be coming your way soon…

It doesn’t.

Instead, you receive a letter saying thank you — but, they’ve decided to go with another candidate.

At this point, you could allow yourself to feel defeated, sad, and perhaps even a little angry. These are normal responses to bad news. Yet, it’s not wise to let them fester and disrupt your goals. Successful people don’t let failures kill their dreams.

Sure, they might temporarily feel deflated. But, very quickly, they pick themselves back up again and begin planning their next steps towards success.

How about you? Do you currently feel embarrassed or guilty about failing?

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Don’t worry if you do, as most of us have been programmed since childhood to see failure as a bad thing. Yet, as I’m going to show you in the next few minutes, this programming is dead wrong — failure is actually an essential part of success.

Don’t Be Tempted by Perfection

The first thing I want you to think about is this:

Resisting failure is, at its core, seeking perfection. And, perfection doesn’t exist.

That’s why perfectionists are also likely to be chronic procrastinators.

As Psychology Today noted in their article Pitfalls of Perfectionism, people who constantly seek for perfection stop themselves from engaging in challenging experiences.[1] That’s because these perfectionists are less creative and innovative than the average person — plus they’re less likely to take risks. Add these factors together, and you have someone who is overly focused on their own performance and is always quick to defend themselves. Unfortunately, these traits prevent them from having the necessary focus when it comes to learning new tasks.

Let me be clear: Striving for perfection is not the same as striving for excellence.

The former is a fool’s quest for the unattainable; while the latter is really just about doing our very best (which we can all obtain).

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And, there’s another problem that perfectionists have to deal with. Namely, when they fail to reach their ideal, they feel dejected and defeated. And — as you can imagine — repeat this often enough, and these people can end up feeling bitter and depressed about their lives.

So, forget about seeking perfection, and instead, focus on always doing your very best.

Why Failure Is Good

I recently came across a Forbes article Failing Your Way To Success: Why Failure Is A Crucial Ingredient For Success[2] that helped explain why most people are opposed to failure.

The article referenced the work of two world-renowned psychologists (Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky), who were awarded a Nobel Prize for their work. They discovered something very interesting: the effect of a loss is twice as great as the gain from a win.

Have you ever thought about that before?

What it means is that failure has a far greater negative impact on us than the positive impact of an equivalent win. It’s no wonder then that most people are afraid to fail.

And, here’s where it gets interesting…

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Amazon (which along with Apple, Facebook and Google, is considered one of the Big Four technology companies) has a culture that is tolerant of failure. And Jeff Bezos — Amazon’s founder and CEO — believes that this culture is one of the main reasons for the company’s big achievements over the last 25 years. In a letter to shareholders, he said:

“Failure comes part and parcel with invention. It’s not optional. We understand that and believe in failing early and iterating until we get it right.” 

The truth is, failure can open up a world of exciting opportunities for you.

How does it do this?

By constantly showing you new avenues to travel on. And, by helping you learn from your mistakes — so you can be better next time around. It also helps you identify what’s not working for your life, and what is.

So instead of seeing something as detrimental to success, you should see it as a tool FOR success. A tool that will help you to continually refine your journey in life.

If you still need some convincing that the secret to success is failure, then take a look at the following excerpts from our article 10 Famous Failures to Success Stories That Will Inspire You to Carry On:

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• J.K. Rowling encountered a catalog of failures shortly after graduating from college, including: being jobless, the breakdown of her marriage, and living as a lone parent. However, instead of giving up on life, she used these failures to propel her to write the Harry Potter fantasy series — the best-selling book series in history.

• Walt Disney didn’t have an easy start either. He dropped out of school at a young age in a failed attempt to join the army. Later, one of his early business ventures, Laugh-o-Gram Studios, went bankrupt. He was also fired from a Missouri newspaper for “not being creative enough.” (Yes, you read that correctly.) Was he defeated by these failures? Just ask Mickey Mouse.

• Michael Jordan had this to say about the power of failure: “I’ve missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game-winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”

Embrace Failure, and Prepare for Success

I hope this has been an eye-opener for you.

Failure has long been branded a leper; but in reality, it’s a healthy, essential component of success.

The trick of course is to develop the mindset of a winner. Someone who sees failures as stepping stones to success — and defeats as important learning experiences.

So, are you ready to embrace your failures and take the proud road to success?

I sincerely hope so.

Featured photo credit: Bruce Mars via unsplash.com

Reference

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