These 5 Mistakes Are Killing Your Productivity
Ever feel like there’s just not enough time in the day?
Sure, we all do. And looking at that to-do list with tasks left undone can be a bit disheartening.
Am I wasting time?
Did I get off task?
Were there too many things on my list?
Those questions can swirl in your head as you write tomorrow’s list, which is now longer because it includes all the things you didn’t get done today.
If you feel like you’re not getting it all done, you may be making one of these common mistakes that sap your daily productivity.
But before we go over these mistakes, let’s define what productivity is.
What Is Productivity?
Often when we think of a productive person, we think of someone who is constantly on the go, getting things done, doing a hundred tasks and running non-stop.
But that’s not really productive – it’s busy. Just because you’re busy doesn’t mean you’re productive.
Productivity means efficiency. Getting the most done with the limited time you have each day. And that means you have to put every minute to work in the most productive way.
And to do that, you must avoid these mistakes:
Mistake #1: Overestimating Your Productive Time
We don’t have as much productive time per day as we think. This is often referred to as “focused time” and many of us only get between 60 – 90 minutes of it a day.
Distractions are everywhere. Your cell phone, emails, meetings, phone calls and little emergencies all eat into your time for focused work.
There’s no escaping them, but what you can do is be brutal about your time management. Prioritize your most important tasks for the day and get them done first.
Mistake #2: Multi-tasking
You’re on a call, answering emails, searching the internet and checking your to-do list. You’re multi-tasking, crushing it and getting so much done.
But it’s a lie that’s killing your productivity.
Neuroscientists have discovered that the brain can’t do more than one thing at a time. What it can do is hop very quickly between different jobs – it’s called task switching.
The bad thing about task switching is that you’re not giving your full attention to each task and thus wasting productivity.
Make a habit of concentrating on one task at a time to give each one your full attention and get it done quicker.
Mistake #3: Skipping The Small Steps
You try to make sweeping changes instead of sticking to the basics like:
- Making a to-do list
- Turning off your cell phone or removing it from your work area during times you need to be focused
- Ending your day by making a plan for the next day
- Using a daily planner
- Organizing your time into blocks set aside for each activity
The tried and true basics are still around for a reason – they work. Don’t forget to use them.
Mistake #4: Breaking The Flow
Ever feel like you’re in a good work flow – in the zone? Well that’s an actual state our minds get into where we are working at peak performance. If you allow distractions to break this flow, you’re robbing yourself of this productive state.
Don’t allow little interruptions (emails, cell phone, people, etc.) to break your flow.
Some people need to shut the office door, some people like to plug in headphones and listen to music. Find something that works for you.
Mistake #5: Not Taking Breaks
It may sound counterintuitive, but taking short breaks (10-15 minutes) from time to time can actually increase your productivity.
Wait, but I’m not working. True, but you’re giving yourself time to reset and refocus on the task at hand with a clear head.
Don’t go on a break if you’re in the flow, in that peak zone of productivity. But if you feel like you’re hitting a wall, stand up, walk around or go outside. Take a quick breather, try to empty your mind for a second then get back to it.
If you see a common theme between these mistakes, you’re right. It all comes down to focus. How you keep yourself on task.
A big part of that is getting organized, focusing on the task at hand and avoiding distractions.
So keep these five mistakes in mind while you’re making your to-do list and planning your day.
Stay focused, get in the flow and be more productive than ever.
Looking for a modern apartment home in Atlanta, GA where you can let your productivity flow? Dunwoody Village apartment homes offer you spacious furnished and unfurnished floor plans, exclusive amenities, a relaxed community all in a convenient location.