Many people realize that their productivity isn’t what it should be and wish there were more hours in the day to get things done. But how efficient are they at managing their time and actually boosting their productivity?
The fact is, many people struggle with bad habits that are holding them back from the success they deserve. Here are several productivity killers to watch out for.
Trying to pack too much into one day is frustrating, stressful, and can lead to procrastination. You’ll never get it all done, you think, so why do anything at all. Avoid overscheduling and paralysis by setting a realistic timetable for yourself that helps you achieve a work/life balance.
We’re told this is a valuable skill to have in our lives but the truth is, it’s a myth. When you multitask you’re not actually doing more than one task at the same time. Your brain is just trying to switch from one chore to the next. The trouble is, it will then take you twice as long to complete as compared with working straight through. Focus on one thing at a time and keep working until it is done.
3. Not Having a Timetable Each Day
If you have a lot of external meetings and calls, this will create the general shape of your day. Whatever time you have during the day not dictated to by other people should be used in an organized manner.
The Pomodoro method can be extremely useful. Pomodoro is Italian for tomato, and refers to a small, red timer similar to one. Set the timer for 25 minutes. Take a 5-minute break, then start again. At the end of three “Pomodoros,” you get a 30-minute break. Continue this throughout the day and see how much more you can get done.
4. Answering Calls and Emails All Day
As part of your timetable, set aside three slots per day to take care of these chores, such as at the start of your day, around lunchtime, and towards the end of your work day. In most cases, there’s no need to have all sorts of bells and whistles going off — most things will rarely be that urgent.
5. Eating Up Time on Social Media
Schedule slots for social media as well. Update your accounts regularly using a scheduler like Buffer.com or Hootsuite.com. Interact as needed with those engaging with you at your account. But be sure you set the timer so your few minutes doesn’t become hours of work.
6. Getting Distracted
Turn off the TV, loud vocal music and all your ringers and pingers. Also avoid colleagues who always ask if you have a minute. Don’t stop what you are doing to talk to them unless you have reached a natural stopping point. Otherwise, suggest you meet at a certain time and try to round up things by then.
7. Not Practicing Good Project Management
In many cases, your important tasks can actually be broken down into smaller ones. In addition, some will depend on other parts getting done first. If you are working solo, make a to-do list of everything you need. If you are working as part of a team, use file sharing and project management software in order to stay on top of everything and meet your deadlines.
8. Not Keeping a To-Do List
Write it all down so you don’t forget or strain your memory trying to remember. There’s also nothing more satisfying than crossing chores off your list.
9. Being a Perfectionist
It doesn’t have to be perfect; it just had to get done by your deadline.
10. Not Automating tasks
If you are running a small business, automate as many of the essential tasks related to it as possible.
Get rid of these habits and you’ll be surprised how much more productive you will be.