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9 Habits you Always Thought Were Productive but Aren’t

9 Habits you Always Thought Were Productive but Aren’t

In this fast-paced world, we are prone to a seemingly endless number of possibilities and therefore we can become overwhelmed extremely quickly. The problem with this is that there are so many things out there for us to try we might never find the method that works best for us.

But rest assured, there are many ways that you can increase productivity in your life without having to make any major changes.

Many techniques are thought to aid in productivity, but the truth is that it is hindering us from achieving our full potential. Below, I have listed 9 habits you always thought were productive but, in fact, aren’t. You might be surprised.

1. Scheduling Everything

schedule

    There is a difference between going after your goal without giving up, and being so inflexible and unwilling to change your plans that you never try anything new. When we have a goal in mind, we should be conscious of the fact that if we lay out exactly how we want something to be enacted, that leaves no room for expansion.

    There is no room for expansion because the predetermined plan has already been crafted. This can serve as good in some cases, but for the most part, it will ultimately hold us back from ever reaching our true productivity potential.

    2. Multitasking

    multitasking

      Multitasking is one of the most common things we all do in our daily lives. The problem with Multitasking is that it sounds good on paper, getting several things completed at once, but it’s not really practical.

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      We don’t fully get to focus on one specific thing while multitasking. There are so many thoughts floating around in our head and we want to act on them all, at once! But we are met with fierce anxiety and stress as the tasks don’t seem to get done, even though we had such good intentions before we started.

      The problem also lies in trying to set too many goals that leads us to multitask. There is so much to do and such little time to do it. How will I ever get anything done?

      I have thought that to myself hundreds of times, but the problem wasn’t an issue with time, it was an issue with the personal goals that I had set for myself. Focus on one specific goal and figure out how you want to reach that goal. Anything other than this will backfire in terms of reduced productivity.

      If you set too many, you will quickly see that you become overwhelmed very easily. It’s easy to venture off in search of one thing and to come back with another. Instead, try identifying what message you want to send to yourself or others. Then, focus on that specific goal. Move on to other goals later.

      3. Doing The Stuff you are Already Good at Again and Again

      Each of us has our own set of skills and talents. Our strengths are something that we should focus on. But even if we are good at something, we should not continue doing it if it is not promoting our personal growth.

      Diversifying always enhances productivity. This is because if you focus on only one skill and make mistakes or do not keep up with the latest updates on such field, your whole work will be affected. Having differnet skills prevents you from having a single point of failure.

      Not only that, but expanding your skills also enhances productivity through potential crossed knowledge within a project where different skills come into action.

      When a task becomes so easy you don’t even have to think about it, then you know you should either do something different or look for ways to improve upon it. We should never stop growing, no matter what!

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      4. Being Too Concrete with your Goals

      concrete

        Concrete is something that is so hard it’s impenetrable by some of the strongest forces. When you have concrete goals, no other idea can enter through your unbreakable belief system. Your goals become so fixated that you lose sight of all other possibilities.

        Goals are something that we should all have, because they give purpose and meaning to our lives.

        When you set a goal, it isn’t always going to work out as smoothly as you want. Some goals are more flexible than others, but some require you to take smaller action steps that you might dread. Procrastination then sets in, and you end up not accomplishing the initial task. Setting a goal is a good thing to do, but be careful. If you become too locked into obtaining a goal, you might miss out on other opportunities that may help you on boosting your overall productivity.

        5. Paying Too Much Attention to Detail

        When we set out in pursuit of a goal, we often become so entangled in the small details that we forget to look at the big picture . When we are paying too close attention to the details, when we make decisions, these decisions can result in a particular outcome not in alignment with your original goal, and therefore results in you wasting your time and compromising your productivity.

        You begin focusing on the wrong things and before you know it, you’re back to square one. There is a fine line between figuring out what we should focus on and what we shouldn’t. But we must consider the possibilities of how something can turn out in the grand scheme of things. Looking at things from a small-minded viewpoint can plague our ability for expansion and growth.

        6. Aiming for Perfection

        progress

          Progress and perfection have never gone hand in hand. While perfection in essence does not exist, it is true is that very efficient processes can be achieved, but never brought about by  careful planning and thoughtful consideration but from testing, trial and error and customer feedback.

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          The outcome cannot always be foreseen, and therefore experimenting with your new ventures and ideas is essential in terms of productivity, efficiency and success

          7. Saying “Yes” to Everything

          You are a dependable person, so does that mean you should always say “yes” when someone asks a favor of you? Of course not!

          As much as we would love to help others out in their time of need, we have our own busy lives to worry about. Learn to say “No” and become a bit more selfish. You must first focus on what is going to increase your own productivity, rather than taking up crazy amounts of workload or commitments. “Yes” is a word that people like to hear. But if you say “yes” to people too often, then they will become dependent upon your consensus.

          You will become known as the “yes” guy that will do anything for anybody. By doing this, you are falling short of being productive in your own goals and assignments.

          8. Working Hard, Hard, Hard

          At first thought, it would seem like a good idea to start something and not stop until we finish it. But have you ever had to type a paper for school or work and you waited till the last minute to start it? Scrambling around, you try to whip up a ten page paper in only a few short hours.

          This, as you have probably guessed, is not a good method to use because our attention span only lasts for an extended period of time. After that we lose focus and creativity.

          The longer we sit there, the more constricted our creativity muscle becomes.

          Focusing on one thing for too long will cause you to retain less information and make fewer connections in the brain, and therefore affecting your productivity, and the final product will become of lower quality, less innovative, and due to the long hours worked on it, more expensive.

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          9. Being up to Date with Everything

          uptodate

            Information overload is one of the biggest problems we have in today’s digital world. It’s so easy to start searching for one thing and within an hour you have navigated to a website completely irrelevant to the initial topic you were focused on.

            It might seem like you are learning a lot by taking in more information, but when you consume too much too fast, you end up not retaining much information at all.

            I always feel the need to want to learn everything, but I have to remind myself that I can come back to that information later. Focus on the necessary information you need, make a mental note about the information you stumbled upon, then come back to it later.

            Focus on your current goal, there is not that much information to be swallowed in order to increase your productivity.

            Keep your mind focused on the task at hand if you wish to stay productive. In order for you to reach your full potential, minimize the distractions and cut the unproductive habits out of your life. The important thing to keep in mind is that we all have our strengths and weaknesses. If we wish to truly shine, we must be willing to focus our attention on the appropriate things necessary to complete our tasks in the timeliest manner possible.

            Being productive is just like anything else we do in life, meaning that it will take practice in order to perfect. If you follow the tips outlined in this article, you will be well on your way to the path of success.

            Featured photo credit: http://blog.proofhq.com via blog.proofhq.com

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            Last Updated on September 17, 2018

            How to Stop Multitasking and Become Way More Productive

            How to Stop Multitasking and Become Way More Productive

            Today we are expected to work in highly disruptive environments. We sit down at our desks, turn on our computer and immediately we are hit with hundreds of emails all vying for our attention.

            Our phones are beeping and pinging with new alerts to messages, likes and comments and our colleagues are complaining about the latest company initiative is designed to get us to do more work and spend less time at home.

            All these distractions result in us multitasking where our attention is switching between one crisis and the next.

            Multitasking is a problem. But how to stop multitasking?

            How bad really is multitasking?

            It dilutes your focus and attention so even the easiest of tasks become much harder and take longer to complete.

            Studies have shown that while you think you are multitasking, you are in fact task switching, which means your attention is switching between two or more pieces of work and that depletes the energy resources you have to do your work.

            This is why, even though you may have done little to no physical activity, you arrive home at the end of the day feeling exhausted and not in the mood to do anything.

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            We know it is not a good way to get quality work done, but the demands for out attention persist and rather than reduce, are likely to increase as the years go by.

            So what to do about it?

            Ways to stop multitasking and increase productivity

            Now, forget about how to multitask!

            Here are a few strategies on how to stop multitasking so you can get better quality and more work done in the time you have each working day:

            1. Get enough rest

            When you are tired, your brain has less strength to resist even the tiniest attention seeker. This is why when you find your mind wandering, it is a sign your brain is tired and time to take a break.

            This does not just mean taking breaks throughout the day, it also means making sure you get enough sleep every day.

            When you are well rested and take short regular breaks throughout the day your brain is fully refuelled and ready to focus in on the work that is important.

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            2. Plan your day

            When you don’t have a plan for the day, the day will create a plan for you. When you allow outside influences to take control of your day, it is very hard not to be dragged off in all directions.

            When you have a plan for the day, when you arrive at work your brain knows exactly what it is you want to accomplish and will subconsciously have prepared itself for a sustained period of focused work.

            Your resistance to distractions and other work will be high and you will focus much better on the work that needs doing.

            3. Remove everything from your desk and screen except for the work you are doing

            I learned this one a long time ago. In my previous work, I worked in a law office and I had case files to deal with. If I had more than one case file on my desk at any one time, I would find my eyes wandering over the other case files on my desk when I had something difficult to do.

            I was looking for something easier. This meant often I was working on three or four cases at one time and that always led to mistakes and slower completion.

            Now when I am working on something, I am in full-screen mode where all I can see is the work I am working on right now.

            4. When at your desk, do work

            We are creatures of habit. If we do our online shopping and news reading at our desks as well as our work, we will always have the temptation to be doing stuff that we should not be doing at that moment.

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            Do your online shopping from another place—your home or from your phone when you are having a break—and only do your work when at your desk. This conditions your brain to focus in on your work and not other distractions.

            5. Learn to say no

            Whenever you hear the phrase “learn to say no,” it does not mean going about being rude to everyone. What it does mean is delay saying yes.

            Most problems occur when we say “yes” immediately. We then have to spend an inordinate amount of energy thinking of ways to get ourselves out of the commitment we made.

            By saying “let me think about it” or “can I let you know later” gives you time to evaluate the offer and allows you to get back to what you were doing quicker.

            6. Turn off notifications on your computer

            For most of us, we still use computers to do our work. When you have email alert pop-ups and other notifications turned on, they will distract you no matter how strong you feel.

            Turn them off and schedule email reviewing for times between doing your focused work. Doing this will give you a lot of time back because you will be able to remain focused on the work in front of you.

            7. Find a quiet place to do your most important work

            Most workplaces have meeting rooms that are vacant. If you do have important work to get done, ask if you can use one of those rooms and do your work there.

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            You can close the door, put on your headphones and just focus on what is important. This is a great way to remove all the other, non-important, tasks demanding your attention and just focus on one piece of work.

            The bottom line

            Focusing on one piece of work at a time can be hard but the benefits to the amount of work you get done are worth it. You will make fewer mistakes, you will get more done and will feel a lot less tired at the end of the day.

            Make a list of the four or five things you want to get done the next day before you finish your work for the day and when you start the day, begin at the top of the list with the first item.

            Don’t start anything else until you have finished the first one and then move on to the second one. This one trick will help you to become way more productive.

            Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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