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Productivity Hacks: 8 Things That Are Hurting Your Productivity

Productivity Hacks: 8 Things That Are Hurting Your Productivity

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    Not feeling productive enough?

    Yeah, this can happen to the best of us. Our life gets tangled into so much clutter that eventually getting out of it seems like an impossible task.

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    Take some hard steps today. Waiting for things to improve, especially when you know that waiting is certainly not going to help, is only going to make things slower for you. To make your life more productive, take strong decisions and do not overlook minor issues. While big problems need bigger fixes, small ones can just go unnoticed and continue to hamper your productivity.

    1. Dump Someone Today

    Let’s start with the big point first. Our productivity gets hurt the most from things that are either very minor or often is overlooked, or they are due to someone else’s fault. Here are a few ways to deal with each one.

    1. Kids in your home – While this one is a bit too deep (and surely I could come up with an entire article dedicated to this point alone) here in this article I am going to just point out one tip for all those that are working from home: Get out and go somewhere else! This might sound odd to many, but if you are serious about your productivity then it is better to just find a rented space and stay there during your work hours. Handling kids in your home office is just not possible, many have tried it and failed. Trust me on this.
    2. Older parents – Again, a point that will never get many votes, but this is a very important one. An example of this is Jennifer Gresham, who fired her father — and that was her best career move ever.

    Let’s come back to some of the minor points that affect our productivity in more than ways we can handle. Fixing them is easy — the problem is that we start dealing with it and take it for granted.

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    2. Kill That Noise

    Certain noise is part of our lives. It can be anything — perhaps your computer fan, or the computer table whose repair you kept postponing. Small noises can be very distracting, and in the long term they can hamper your productivity. Here’s how you can combat that:

    • Shout out to your neighbors. If your neighbor’s kid is bothering you with yelling or their pet keeps barking all day long, consider some serious action against them. Don’t let other people bother you.
    • Install a noise reduction mechanism. Some noise you can deal with, others you just have to live with. If the traffic outside is your concern and it can’t be helped, try fighting it off with some noise reduction methods.
    • Switch off that TV in the next room. A low-sound television or music player being enjoyed in the next room can still steal some of your valuable concentration. If the program is not important enough, try switching it off. Better still, try lowering the sound further and closing the door to make sure that it does not entertain you.
    • Get a peaceful computer.  Don’t we all want a Mac? So get it.

    3. Pet Management

    Barking dogs are never my cup of tea. But if your pet is important to you, then it is time to learn some lessons on pet management. Get “offline” help from your local pet expert. There are many things that you do not know about pets, and perhaps that is the reason why your beloved pet is not really happy with you.

    4. Snacks

    This is an excellent choice when it comes to watching TV, films or sports — but when it comes to getting some work done, snacks are just another distraction. The simple reason is that entertainment and work are totally different things and thus a different kind of concentration is required to get the work done.

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    5. Overall Health

    Poor health can be a big reason for your productivity drop. Have you put on some extra weight? Is your lack of exercise a reason why you might be having stomach and gastric problems? Without getting into some real health tips here — just make sure to exercise a bit, get enough green vegetables in your daily food intake, and increase your water consumption for a bit of health improvement.

    • Lack of sleep. 8 hours a day of sleep is important to keep your spirits high. While that extra hour of late night work might sound like a good idea when running late on a deadline, the quality of work will surely take a beating — if not instantly, in the long haul. Do yourself a favor: don’t mess around with your sleeping routine. Fix it…while you still can.
    • Is something bothering you? If that is the case, then get that fixed first. In case you can’t fix it, stop thinking about it. And that’s that. Here is a small mantra that you should follow.

    Stop thinking about things beyond your control and you will be fine.

    6. Your Workplace Setup

    Yaro Starak has a standing setup at his workplace. That is, he does all his computer related work standing. The point is — feel free to do that which improves your productivity.

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    7. Quit Your Addictions

    While tea and coffee can sometimes help in increasing your productivity, I doubt very much that alcohol or smoking will.

    8. Time Management

    Is your workload killing your productivity? Setting up a timetable properly will help you to improve your overall productivity. Start doing all the creative work at the start of the day. If the extra hour of late night work is really important, allocate email checking and other “junk” work for that time period. (Note: If this article was not written in the early hours of the day, it would have surely lacked in its flavor.)

    Fixing minor issues can sometimes play a big role in enhancing your overall productivity and allow your creativity to flow like never before.

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    Last Updated on February 21, 2019

    How to Stop Information Overload

    How to Stop Information Overload

    Information overload is a creature that has been growing on the Internet’s back since its beginnings. The bigger the Internet gets, the more information there is. The more quality information we see, the more we want to consume it. The more we want to consume it, the more overloaded we feel.

    This has to stop somewhere. And it can.

    As the year comes to a close, there’s no time like the present to make the overloading stop.

    But before I explain exactly what I mean, let’s discuss information overload in general.

    How Serious Is Information Overload?

    The sole fact that there’s more and more information published online every single day is not the actual problem. Only the quality information becomes the problem.

    This sounds kind of strange…but bear with me.

    When we see some half-baked blog posts we don’t even consider reading, we just skip to the next thing. But when we see something truly interesting — maybe even epic — we want to consume it.

    We even feel like we have to consume it. And that’s the real problem.

    No matter what topic we’re interested in, there are always hundreds of quality blogs publishing entries every single day (or every other day). Not to mention all the forums, message boards, social news sites, and so on.

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    The amount of epic content on the Internet these days is so big that it’s virtually impossible for us to digest it all. But we try anyway.

    That’s when we feel overloaded. If you’re not careful, one day you’ll find yourself reading the 15th blog post in a row on some nice WordPress tweaking techniques because you feel that for some reason, “you need to know this.”

    Information overload is a plague. There’s no vaccine, there’s no cure. The only thing you have is self-control.

    Luckily, you’re not on your own. There are some tips you can follow to protect yourself from information overload and, ultimately, fight it.

    But first, admit that information overload is really bad for you.

    Why Information Overload Is Bad for You

    Information overload stops you from taking action. That’s the biggest problem here.

    When you try to consume more and more information every day, you start to notice that even though you’ve been reading tons of articles, watching tons of videos and listening to tons of podcasts, the stream of incoming information seems to be infinite.

    Therefore, you convince yourself that you need to be on a constant lookout for new information if you want to be able to accomplish anything in your life, work and/or passion. The final result is that you are consuming way too much information, and taking way too little action because you don’t have enough time for it.

    The belief that you need to be on this constant lookout for information is just not true.

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    You don’t need every piece of advice possible to live your life, do your work or enjoy your passion.

    How to Stop Information Overload (And Start to Achieve More)

    So how to recognize the portion of information that you really need? Start with setting goals.

    1. Set Your Goals

    If you don’t have your goals put in place, you’ll be just running around grabbing every possible advice and thinking that it’s “just what you’ve been looking for.”

    Setting goals is a much more profound task than just a way to get rid of information overload. Now by “goals” I don’t mean things like “get rich, have kids, and live a good life”. I mean something much more within your immediate grasp. Something that can be achieved in the near future — like within a month (or a year) at most.

    Basically, something that you want to attract to your life, and you already have some plan on how you’re going to make it happen. So no hopes and dreams, just actionable, precise goals.

    Then once you have your goals, they become a set of strategies and tactics you need to act upon.

    2. Know What to Skip When Facing New Information

    Once you have your goals, plans, strategies and tasks, you can use them to decide what information is really crucial.

    First of all, if the information you’re about to read has nothing to do with your current goals and plans, then skip it. You don’t need it.

    If it does, then ask yourself these questions:

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    • Will you be able to put this information into action immediately?
    • Does it have the potential to maybe alter your nearest actions/tasks?
    • Is it so incredible that you absolutely need to take action on it right away?

    If the information is not actionable in a day or two, then skip it.

    (You’ll forget about it anyway.)

    And that’s basically it. Digest only what can be used immediately. If you have a task that you need to do, consume only the information necessary for getting this one task done, nothing more.

    You need to be focused in order to have clear judgment, and be able to decide whether some piece of information is mandatory or redundant.

    Self-control comes handy too. It’s quite easy to convince yourself that you really need something just because of poor self-control. Try to fight this temptation, and be as ruthless about it as possible – if the information is not matching your goals and plans, and you can’t take action on it in the near future, then SKIP IT.

    3. Be Aware of the Minimal Effective Dose

    There’s a thing called the MED – Minimal Effective Dose. I was first introduced to this idea by Tim Ferriss. In his book The 4-Hour BodyTim illustrates the minimal effective dose by talking about medical drugs.

    Everybody knows that every pill has a MED, and after that specific dose, no other positive effects occur, only some negative side effects if you overdose big.

    Consuming information is somewhat similar. You need just a precise amount of it to help you to achieve your goals and put your plans into life.

    Everything more than that amount won’t improve your results any further. And if you try to consume too much of it, it will eventually stop you from taking any action altogether.

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    4. Don’t Procrastinate by Consuming More Information

    Probably one of the most common causes of consuming ridiculous amounts of information is the need to procrastinate. By reading yet another article, we often feel that we are indeed working, and that we’re doing something good – we’re learning, which in result will make us a more complete and educated person.

    This is just self-deception. The truth is we’re simply procrastinating. We don’t feel like doing what really needs to be done – the important stuff – so instead we find something else, and convince ourselves that “that thing” is equally important. Which is just not true.

    Don’t consume information just for the sake of it. It gets you nowhere.

    The focus of this article is not on how to stop procrastinating, but if you’re having such issue, I recommend you read this:

    Procrastination – A Step-By-Step Guide to Stop Procrastinating

    Summing It Up

    As you can see, information overload can be a real problem and it can have a sever impact on your productivity and overall performance.

    I know I have had my share of problems with it (and probably still have from time to time). But creating this simple set of rules helps me to fight it, and to keep my lizard brain from taking over.

    I hope it helps you too, especially as we head into a new year with a new chance at setting ourselves up for success.

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    Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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