6 Reasons You Keep Making Decisions That Work Against You - Deepstash

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6 Reasons You Keep Making Decisions That Work Against You

https://www.themuse.com/advice/6-reasons-you-keep-making-decisions-that-work-against-you

themuse.com

6 Reasons You Keep Making Decisions That Work Against You
If you're like me, you work long hours every day and are constantly busy. Why is it then that we often feel fully busy, but unproductive? Why is it that given the amount of work we are trying to produce, we find it so hard to devote time to the activities that are most important to our long-term happiness and wellbeing?

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Not using our time well

Instead of immediately focusing on email, meetings, and other activities, we would be better off spending the morning doing productive work that requires a higher cognitive capacity (thinking, planning, calculating, for example), and delaying the tasks that don’t require as much mental energy to the hours when our capacity is diminished.

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We seek immediate rewards

Unlike small, unimportant tasks, the challenge with our most important tasks is that our efforts aren’t immediately rewarded with visible progress.

The key to success here is to break down the big rocks into smaller milestones so that you can feel a sense of progress.

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Waiting for inspiration

... is a common excuse we tell ourselves to avoid difficult tasks.

Set aside time, jump in and get done what you can. The best step we can take is to simply make a plan and start. 

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Structured procrastination

We engage in tasks that give us the sense we’re achieving something when in fact we’re not.

If you feel the need to get those small things done, get to them only after you have made real progress on an important task first.

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Choosing the wrong things

Our most important tasks often don’t find their ways to our calendar. 

Our calendars show us mostly meetings, and the time needed for important stuff is usually the empty space between meetings. But when we see the empty time, we think that we have extra time and we add more meetings.

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Overwhelming to-do lists

With a long, overwhelming list of to-do items, it becomes more tempting to tackle the small, easy things in order to make visible progress.

There’s nothing wrong with keeping a to-do list, but we need to make sure that the joy of erasing things from our to-do list is not shifting the way we spend our time.

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There isn’t enough time

Complaining that you don’t have enough time is not getting to the root problem. It may be that you’re lousy at time management. Admit to yourself that there is enough time -- you just don’t know how t...

A one size fits all solution

Instead of relying on a tool with all the bells and whistles, find out where you’re struggling and what’s essential for you. 

For example, if scheduling is taking you away from product development, then you could use a scheduling tool that uses machine learning to automate most of your scheduling needs. If you’re wasting too much time on email, then consider using a tool to help tame your inbox.

Less anxiety

Time management is only useful when you’re aware of your limitations and don't let the system dictate your entire life. 

In other words, when you don’t tread lightly (especially at first), time management can add more stress to your life.

Attention Managemenet

Attention Managemenet

Managing our time is not enough, and it’s increasingly important to manage our attention and be intentional about how we respond to all the distractions.

We may be vict...

Attention Management: Individuals Vs Teams

  • Individuals can manage their attention by optimizing their to-do list and doing focus work with the help of curated tasks and flow-friendly work environments, and by not multitasking.
  • Teams have a more challenging time managing their attention as one has to take into account the inter-relatedness and interdependency of the group while having less agility. Example: In order for an entire team to deliver on a deadline, they would need to say no to requests from other teams for work that will distract from the main project.

Scaling Up: Attention Management For Teams

  • Each team member must have a shared understanding of the ‘why’ of the big task and have a sense of commitment and purpose.
  • The main objectives should be prioritized, and with each objective, a couple of measurable results should be defined. These actionable items related to the main objective help the team move forward. The Eisenhower Matrix can be used to diagrammatically list the urgency and importance of all the work on the plate.
  • Let the team have time and space to complete the actionable tasks, being free to be in the no-disturbance flow mode for several hours a day.
  • Chat and email notifications can be checked in separate blocks of time and a phone call can be only for emergencies.

The "frog"

It is your biggest, most important task, the one you are most likely to procrastinate on if you don't do something about it.

It is also the one task that can have the greatest positiv...

Brian Tracy

Brian Tracy

"One of the very worst uses of time is to do something very well that need not be done at all".

The ABCDE prioritization approach

  • A items : Things you must do, which will have a serious positive or negative consequence.
  • B items : Things you should do, that have minor consequences.
  • C items : Things that are nice to do but don’t have any real consequences when they’re done.
  • D items : Things to delegate so you can free up more time to do A tasks.
  • E items : Things to eliminate. Generally stuff you do out of habit.