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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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Last Updated on January 21, 2020

What Is Creativity? We All Have It, and Need It

What Is Creativity? We All Have It, and Need It

Do you think of yourself as a creative person? Do you play the drums or do watercolor paintings? Perhaps compose songs or direct plays? Can you even relate to any of these so called ‘creative’ experiences? Growing up, did you ever have that ‘artistic’ sibling or friend who excelled in drawing, playing instruments or literature? And you maybe wondered why you can’t even compose a birthday card greeting–or that drawing stick figures is the furthest you’ll ever get to drawing a family portrait. Many people have this common assumption that creativity is an inborn talent; only a special group of people are inherently creative, and everyone else just unfortunately does not have that special ability. You either have that creative flair or instinct, or you don’t. But, this is far from the truth! So what is creativity?

Can I Be Creative?

The fact is, that everyone has an innate creative ability. Despite what most people may think, creativity is a skill that everyone can learn and hone on. It’s a skill with huge leverage that allows you to generate enormous amounts of value from relatively little input. How is that so? You’ll have to start by expanding your definition of creativity. Ironically, you have to be creative and ‘think out of the box’ with the definition! Creativity at its heart, is being able to see things in a way that others cannot. It’s a skill that helps you find new perspectives to create new possibilities and solutions to different problems. So, if you encounter different challenges and problems that need solving on a regular basis, then creativity is an invaluable skill to have.Let’s say, for example, that you work in sales. Having creativity will help you to look for new ways to approach and reach out to potential customers. Or perhaps you’re a teacher. In this role you have to constantly look for new ways to deliver your message and educate your students.

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How Creativity Works

Let me break another misconception about creativity, which is that it’s only used to create completely “new” or “original” things. Again, this is far from the truth. Because nothing is ever completely new or original. Everything, including works of art, doesn’t come from nothing. Everything derives from some sort of inspiration. That means that creativity works by connecting things together in order to derive new meaning or value.From this perspective, you can see a lot of creativity in action. In technology, Apple combines traditional computers with design and aesthetics to create new ways to use digital products. In music, a musician may be inspired by various styles of music, instruments and rhythms to create an entirely new type of song. All of these examples are about connecting different ideas, finding common ground amongst the differences, and creating a completely new idea out of them.

What Really Is Creativity?

Creativity Needs an Intention

Another misconception about the creative process is that you can just be in a general “creative” state. Real creativity isn’t about coming up with “eureka!” moments for random ideas. Instead, to be truly creative, you need to have a direction. You have to ask yourself this question: “What problem am I trying to solve?” Only by knowing the answer to this question can you start flexing your creativity muscles. Often times, the idea of creativity is associated with the ‘Right’ brain, with intuition and imagination. Hence a lot of focus is placed on the ‘Right’ brain when it comes to creativity. But, to get the most out of creativity, you need to utilize both sides of your brain–Right and Left–which means using the analytical and logical part of your brain, too. This may sound surprising to you, but creativity has a lot to do with problem solving. And, problem solving inherently involves logic and analysis. So instead of throwing out the ‘Left’ brain, full creativity needs them to work in unison. For example, when you’re looking for new ideas, your ‘Left’ brain will guide you to a place of focus, which is based on your objective behind the ideas you’re searching for. The ‘Right’ brain then guides you to gather and explore based on your current focus. And when you decide to try out these new ideas, your ‘Right’ brain will give you novel solutions outside of the ones you already know. Your ‘Left’ brain then helps you evaluate and tune the solutions to work better in practice. So, logic and creativity actually work hand in hand, and not one at the expense of the other.

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Creativity Is a Skill

At the end of the day, creativity is a skill. It’s not some innate or natural born talent that some have over others. What this means is that creativity and innovation can be practiced and improved upon systematically.A skill can be learned and practiced by applying your strongest learning styles. Want to know what your learning style is? Try this test. A skill can be measured and improved through a Feedback Loop, and can be continuously upgraded over time by regular practice. Through regular practice, your creativity goes through different stages of proficiency. This means that you can become more and more creative! If you never thought that creativity was relevant to you, or that you don’t have a knack for being creative… think again! You can use creativity in any aspect of your life. In fact you should use it, as it will allow you to to break through your usual loop, get you out of your comfort zone, and inspire you to grow and try new things. Creativity will definitely give you an edge when you’re trying to solve a problem or come up with new solutions.

Start Connecting the Dots

Excited to start honing your creativity? Here at Lifehack, we’ve got a wealth of knowledge to help you get started. We understand that creativity is a matter of connecting things together in order to derive new meaning or value. So, if you want to learn how to start connecting the dots, check out these tips:

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Featured photo credit: rawpixel via unsplash.com

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