To be productive is to be successful. Some may take a pessimistic approach and say something like “not every idea is a good idea,” but to be productive at all is a small — or large — success in and of itself.
As a stand alone achievement, productivity isn’t celebrated as much as it should be. We assume small productivity moments are just that: small. Simultaneously, however, not being productive is a huge blow. The absence of productivity is seen as very, very negative.
In order to be productive and able to celebrate this productivity, it’s important to examine why you aren’t being productive in the first place. Certain habits actually hinder us from being completely productive, so it’s important that we examine ourselves and see how many apply to us.
Relying On Phones
Smartphones can be an incredible resource when it comes to being productive. With apps and scheduling tools that can go anywhere with you, chat devices that enhance and simplify calls and group contact meetings and constant mobility and ease of access, smartphones have proven to be the perfect tool for almost all professionals. However, as useful as phones may be, they also come with some added hindrances.
For instance, we often put our productivity apps right next to social media time sink apps, like Twitter and Instagram. Some use these apps for business, but others find themselves getting lost in personal chatter. Internet browsers and games are both timesink culprits
SOLUTION: Move all of your timesink apps to one folder and put them on the furthest window on your smartphone. When you make them hard to reach, you keep them out of mind.
Sometimes what we need to be truly productive is a schedule related to our productivity. Keeping things to a routine helps us know when to work, when to rest, when to push and when to play. Those who frequently break out of that routine, a la “I can watch TV for five more minutes,” are commonly those who aren’t productive.
SOLUTION: Make a schedule and stick to it. Know how much time you need during the day to get things done while still allowing yourself ample room for play.
Multitasking Too Much
It’s often thought that multitasking is a good thing to do, but this only works if you’re truly able to multitask. Typical multitasking means doing a lot of tasks in bits and pieces at a time, like typing 100 words for one article and then 100 words for another — both tasks aren’t being done simultaneously, so you’re not truly being as productive as you think you’re being.
SOLUTION: Set aside time to focus on one task at a time. If you’re having to push yourself to try and work on multiple things at once to meet deadlines, consider revisiting your workload and schedule.
Padding Your To-Do List
In order to make ourselves feel more productive, sometimes we add in little obvious tasks to our to-do list. “Brush truth” may squeeze it’s way in next to “Edit project documents” — one is obviously a work task, while the other is something that we (hopefully) accomplish every day regardless of routine.
SOLUTION: Keep to-do list items relevant to important, abnormal or work related topics. If you do it every day and it only benefits yourself, keep it off.