While most of us work really hard through weeks and years to achieve those audacious goals in career and in life, there are many little things we do that slow us down and we don’t even realize it. On the one hand you are disciplined around your working hours, paying bills on time, planning your finances in advance and so on, and on the other we tend to slip into time sucking activities which plummet our productivity, cause a drain on our energy and before we know it we are tired. And the worse thing is, the fatigue has not got anything to do with the to do list work, because nothing got done on that day!
Welcome to the ways of productivity suckers! Here are 3 things you may be doing that are sabotaging your productivity.
Research shows that during an average working day, you tend to open your mail box over 18 times and spend over 3 hours or more flipping through them. And in these 3 hours, there is a little chance that you may have actually taken action on any of the mails, like sending that quote, writing that recommendation, filling out the tax form, replying to a client and the list goes on.
The best way to end this sabotage is to remember, if there is a life and death situation, people know where to call you and will not necessarily wait for you to respond to their mail – so relax! Check your mail first thing when you get to work, not spending more than 10 minutes by the clock on them – make a list of replies you need to make and write the amount of time this activity will need. Now shut your mail and get down to doing your most productive work for the day. An income generation activity or high value activity should be your preferred pick at this hour.
Too many things on your to do list
We under estimate what we can do in a year and over estimate what we can accomplish in a day. The to do list is an ever growing list of tasks that need to be done. And when you see this list everyday, it can be quite heavy on your energy. Personally, when is see a long list and only 8 hours to accomplish it, I know I’m going to have a lousy day, with many things not getting done.
The best way to combat this stress is to prioritize the tasks on hand, assign the time each task will require and then make a realistic schedule. This won’t get all things done, but it will for sure, clear up your mind and allow you to single mindedly focus on the first priority on hand and work on it without getting pulled in different directions. Multi tasking is one of the biggest myths of our times!
Working without a break
Most of us think we are doing a good job when we work with our head inside that monitor from 9 to 6, eating on the desk, not meeting other colleagues or taking a break to go out and get some fresh air in. After the first hour, you are pretty much lugging yourself through the day, going uphill like a lone soldier and ending the day with low energy and a sense of loneliness.
Remember the 90 – 15 – 90 rule! Working in spurts of high energy is a great way to get a whole lot done. For example, when I sat down to write this blog, I clearly put away everything else that I needed to do and set myself on a timer of 90 minutes, to write, edit, create a poster and upload it on the website and then schedule it to appear on my social media pages. When you work in time blocks, you keep your energies high because you give your mind a healthy break of 15 minutes, after every 90 minutes of work.
There are many more such energy suckers in your day. Get aware to where you are spending most of your time and how your energy feels when you do those things. This is a great indicator to tell you what to stop and what to do more of in your days to make them more productive and happy!