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8 Simple Ways We Don’t Realize We’re Holding Ourselves Back From Success

8 Simple Ways We Don’t Realize We’re Holding Ourselves Back From Success

In an increasingly fast-paced world, there’s more pressure than ever to be your most successful self. While many of us think we are doing all we can to get there, there are several things holding us back that are easy to miss. Whether it’s bad habits, flaws in our thinking, or lack of bravery, it’s easy to get comfortable with where you are and forget where you’re trying to go. Whether you’re pursuing new professional heights or a well-rounded, emotional view of success, avoiding these pitfalls can make all the difference in your road to success.

1. Overthinking holds us back.

One of the more common ways to keep yourself from success is by hesitating instead of acting. One fundamental rule of business states that if you have imagined a solution or product, it’s likely that someone, somewhere in the world, is working on the same thing. In order to be truly successful in your line of work, it’s important to jump in as soon as you have a good idea.

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2. Fear is our worst enemy.

Another way we shortchange ourselves out of success is by being afraid to follow our ambitions. Whether coworkers, the task at hand, or personal insecurities are at the heart of our anxieties, it’s important to recognize when you are afraid for no good reason. Fear of the unknown can prevent you from taking the leap of faith you need to catapult yourself to real success.

3. Procrastination is self-sabotage.

Another way we sabotage our own success is by procrastinating the crucial tasks in our lives. Procratination is a bad habit that’s easy to sink into. It’s easy to get carried away with day-to-day errands that take time away from commitments that are more important. Avoid getting caught in a vortex of email, spending too much time cleaning, and being overly social, if you really want to find your road to success.

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4. Those who self-obsess miss out on great oppurtunities.

Just as important as avoiding being overly social, is making sure you are not overly self-obsessed. By not being dedicated to your friends, or being disingenuine with your coworkers, you may lose connections that may have otherwise helped your career. Professional networking is important, but some of our best opportunities sometimes come from our personal social circles. Try and avoid being to self-obsessed, and be genuine with your social circles so they know you will be there for them professionally, as well as personally.

5. Busyness is not the same thing as success.

Another all too common way to take time away from working toward success, is to mistake busywork for important work. Avoid over cluttering your life with errands in order to make time for the unexpected problems and commitments you’ll need to tackle on your way to personal and professional success.

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6. You know what’s best for you.

Another way to cheat yourself out of success is to be overly cautious and avoid going with your gut. Following the rulebook is important in any professional setting, but real rewards await those who are creative and innovative. Following your gut may be scary or unconventional, but ultimately will be the most rewarding path.

7. If we only accept perfection, we can’t appreciate what we already have.

Another simple way that we are unaware of standing in the way of our own success, is by failing to value our accomplishments. Being overly concerned with perfection, or undervaluing the progress we’ve made so far, gives yourself less credit than you deserve. By failing to see what we’ve already done, we may find ourselves with a lower self-esteem, or lower confidence, and may be less willing to go after challenges in the future.

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8. Hesitating is the death of initiative.

Finally one of the most important things to make yourself successful is to take initiative. In a world of ever-increasing connectivity, learning new skills only takes a click of a button. Take initiative to go after the skills you need in order to take the next step in your life. If you jump at the opportunities you have now, you will find that success is soon much closer.

Featured photo credit: hotblack via morguefile.com

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Alicia Prince

A writer, filmmaker, and artist who shares about lifestyle tips and inspirations on Lifehack.

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Last Updated on December 1, 2020

Productivity Can Be Improved By These 10 Actionable Steps

Productivity Can Be Improved By These 10 Actionable Steps

If there is any challenge that is common to everyone apart from staying happy, it’s improving personal productivity.

Nothing stimulates joy like getting things done and doing the right things. You become happier when you are focused and productive.

So what is productivity and how do we improve it?

What is Personal Productivity?

Personal productivity means different things to different individuals. Some might define personal productivity as accomplishing your milestones without failing, or setting goals and completing them.

So what, then, is personal productivity?

Personal productivity can be thought of as completing a set of tasks that moves you forward in the direction of your life purpose without causing you to sacrifice other life aspects.

Personal productivity can be improved by identifying your key objectives and what actionable steps you need to take to fulfill them.

In all of this, it’s important to remember that personal productivity is different than workplace productivity. Here’s why.

Personal Productivity Vs. Workplace Productivity

Workplace productivity deals with your level of efficiency in accomplishing corporate goals and providing goods or top-notch solutions for customers. For instance, productivity in the workplace could incorporate the speed at which you respond to a query as a customer service assistant or design a website for a web development agency.

The 4 Components of Productivity

Penny Zenker, a notable Productivity Coach, propounded four essential components of productivity: purpose, language, focus, and physiology. Let’s break these down.

Purpose

According to Penny,

“When you are on a course or purpose that goes beyond what’s in it for you or what you need to do, you gain a higher sense of being more productive and a feeling that you are working on something significant.”[1]

One way to find your sense of purpose is by answering your “Whys.”

Language

Language is another crucial component. It’s how you express yourself in describing the world around you.

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Any time you utilize negative words during self-talk, you are conditioning yourself to produce negative situations.

Productivity can be improved by paying attention to the language you use. That way, you can change your words consciously and then talk yourself into becoming more productive.

Therefore, try to change your language to improve your output!

Focus

You only have 24 hours each day. How do you guide your energy within this limited time-frame? The answer lies in being focused.

Focus is the art of directing your energy towards your objectives. It is eliminating every form of distraction and achieving your set goals.

Physiology

You need a great body to be productive. That’s why your physiology influences your level of productivity.

For instance, what you eat affects what you can do. If you continuously neglect the habit of eating healthy, you will continually undermine your performance and efficiency.

So what’s the way forward?

Take good care of your body!

Productivity can be improved by eating healthy, exercising regularly, and spending time with nature.

How to Evaluate Productivity

Evaluating your productivity is an important step as it helps you keep track of what you’re doing right and wrong on your journey to completing your goals. Try these five proven steps to keep you on track.

1. Review Your Completed To-Do Lists

One of the strategic means of assessing your productivity is by examining your completed to-do lists. You can accurately look at your activities in the past two to three weeks. Find out what you have accomplished. Estimate how many tasks, how long each task took you, and find the ones you failed to complete.

Were you distracted? Busy? Or lacking sufficient time? The essence of this assessment is to enable you find a solution that can assist you in completing your objectives on time.

2. Track Your Time

Tracking your time is highly crucial to determining your productivity level. You only have 24 hours, just like any other person. How you spend each second is what differentiates you from the rest of the world.

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While some are experts at managing their time productively, others retire at night without any significant thing they have accomplished all day.

You just can’t live your life like that.

Track your time to derive an accurate evaluation of your accomplishments and performance in your workplace.

3. Practice Accountability

While you can collaborate with an accountability partner to monitor your progress, Jones Loflin, a keynote speaker and a prolific author, also recommends that you ask yourself some reflective questions daily[2]:

  • Was I productive today or reactive?
  • Have I accomplished any of my short-term goals?
  • What took my time today?
  • Who is excited that I was part of their day?
  • What did I accomplish today that will relieve me of stress tomorrow?
  • What did I fail to do that can make my tomorrow worse off?

While you don’t have to ask all these questions each day, you can ask them at intervals throughout the week.

You can also practice journaling or blog about your experience.

4. Allocate a Time-frame for Your Goals

Establishing a timeline is one of the requirements for creating SMART goals. You can determine if you have accomplished your objectives when you have a time period as a point of reference. You provide yourself a timeline to implement your tasks when you assign deadlines for all your milestones.

That way, you can detect when you are not meeting your deadlines and quickly get back on track.

5. Complete a Weekly Review

The best time to audit your accomplishment is the weekend and not the end of the year. Create time each week to evaluate your objectives and track your outcomes. Find out which stage you are in, and determine how you can tweak your schedules and routines to better achieve your aims.

How to Improve Productivity

Tracking productivity is important, but it’s all for naught if you’re unable to improve your productivity in the face of difficulties. Productivity can be improved by incorporating these simple things into your life.

1. Exercise

Do this first thing when you wake up. According to research, exercise, especially team exercise, can enhance your mood for up to 12 hours after a workout.[3]

Therefore, if you care to have a productive day, invest your first 20 minutes in physical exercises.

Nothing energizes you like physical exercises, and productivity can be improved by a boost in your energy level.

2. Prioritize the Most Critical Tasks

Everyone has specific activities that count the most. An important step is to identify three things that add value to your life’s purpose.

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What three things produce the most income?

What three things generate the highest impact?

Delete the “additional stuff” as much as you can. This action will enable you to enjoy the importance of focusing on your most important activities.

3. Allocate Less Time for Major Projects

Time is like a new mansion. You fill a new house with furniture and fittings, just as you load each block of your time with activities.

So here’s a practical approach you can apply.

Reduce the amount of time you assign for a critical task.

That will help you to focus and stay productive. It will also optimize your energy level and help you get things done faster.

4. Chunk Your House Chores

Now that you are working from home, housekeeping activities can become your greatest distractions.

You don’t have to worry about that.

Instead of performing those tasks at any time of the day, sort them out in an organized block. Then, schedule the blocks and take them out when you are tired or need a mental break.

5. Learn to Say No

That does not mean you are not polite. It’s important to protect your time by saying no as often as you say yes.

Time is a great asset; you cannot waste it trying to please everyone.

6. Schedule Free Time

Don’t let your free time just happen. It should not also be a product of “if you have a chance.”

Plan it!

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Set out fun things to do during those free periods. It could be watching a new movie or playing an exciting game. Let it be something that you love so you can anticipate it.

Productivity can be improved by an increased level of happiness, which we can improve during those crucial moments of free time.

7. Take a Productivity Nap

A quick nap has the ability to boost your creativity, retention, and focus.[4]

Midday siestas can supercharge your productivity, so don’t overwork yourself; take a nap!

8. Use Your Mind to Think, Not to Recollect

Never clutter your mind with mental lists of things you need to remember.

Instead, write those things down and focus your mind on how to do them better. Avoid wasting your mental energy on remembering important ideas, and let papers take care of that.

9. Turn off Notifications

Turn off email dings, phone buzzes, and pop-ups. Every notification distracts you from the most important task, so eliminating them is an important step if you want to focus your energy.

Go notification-free, and once or twice each out, check for a few minutes if you’ve missed an urgent call or a message.

Most of the time, you will discover you haven’t missed anything and that the time you gained was better spent being productive.

10. Create Room for Reflection

Block about 20 to 30 minutes of your working time for reflection.

Close the door and reflect. You can also take a walk during this period. Exercising this way can aid your thinking as it encourages focused energy and relaxation.[5]

Bonus Point: Use the 2-Minute Rule

In his book Getting Things Done, David Allen recommends:

“When an activity requires less than two minutes, do not schedule it, do not set it aside for a later time, do not set a reminder — just do them instantly.”

Bottom Line

Productivity can be improved by the ten actionable steps mentioned above. Don’t forget to do the most important things first, allocate limited time for them, and focus like a laser to achieve your milestones.

Don’t forget the two-minute rule! If you can get it done quickly, get it done now.

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Featured photo credit: Carl Heyerdahl via unsplash.com

Reference

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