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Increase Your Productivity by Saying Goodbye to Drains and Incompletions

https://99u.adobe.com/articles/64825/increase-your-productivity-by-saying-goodbye-to-drains-and-incompletions

99u.adobe.com

Increase Your Productivity by Saying Goodbye to Drains and Incompletions
"My to-do list is constantly growing and I feel overwhelmed." "I want to feel more productive and accomplished at work." "I'm spread so thin that I'm not successful at anything." Sound familiar? You're not the only one. Over the past two years since beginning my coaching practice, I've worked with nearly 100 creatives.

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Feeling less productive

Many people feel unable to find time in the day to do their most important work. Research reveals that on average, in an 8-hour day, employees are only productive for 3 hours.

  • Look at how you are spending your days. 
  • Examine the drains and incompletions that often leave you with little to no energy to complete the important work. 

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Drains and Incompletions

  • Drains are the tasks you have to do (commuting, personal admin, email correspondence, meetings, calls). These tasks drain your time and energy that you want to spend on priority work.
  • Incompletions are the items on your to-do list that you have not yet completed. They are related to work and personal items (responding to a simple email, or it can be a dream you keep putting off).

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Identify drains and incompletions

If you are spending your time, energy, and attention on tasks that don't support your overall goal or priorities, it's time to re-evaluate.

  • Set aside 20 minutes on your calendar and minimize distractions.
  • List all of your drains and incompletions. Write every last item you can think of, including the light bulb that needs replacing, and the conversation you need to have with a co-worker.

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What you can control

Determine what you can control and what you cannot. It is easy to feel overwhelmed, to worry and try to solve what you cannot control.

Now, cross off all of the items you have no control over. Commit to focus your energy on the things you can control.

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A plan of action that works

Look at what is left on your drains and incompletions list. Consider if they are all items you do have control over. 

  • Tackle your incompletions list: delegate or outsource, identify if you’re missing a resource to complete the item and, if so, how you’ll find the resource(s) and put an end to perfectionism that causes you to wait until the “perfect” time.
  • Address the drains: set clear boundaries around what you are available for and when, change the way you use your time (i.e. find a way to make your commute more relaxing) and limit time spent on drains that can consume your day.

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Motivation for Change

Addressing drains and incompletions can feel overwhelming at first, especially if you already feel tired.

Take action to see results. A short-term investment in completing this task will give you a long-term reward that will dramatically improve your workflow and energy.

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SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

The Pressure Of Time

Most leaders have familiar approaches to managing time: setting goals, planning, delegating, tracking commitments, and creating to-do lists. While these approaches do help in self-organization, the...

Sustainable Productivity

Instead of increasing the number of productive hours, we can focus on getting the right things done in a timely way. We also need to restore and balance ourselves, our colleagues, family and environment, instead of a neurotic or pathological focus on deadlines.

Find out what's truly important to us and use the finite resource of time wisely.

Phantom Workload

Phantom workload looks like real work but results in massive unproductivity and even conflict in an organization. The pressure to meet unrealistic expectations causes a vicious cycle of further workload.

Leaders need to take a hard look at what is being avoided or not addressed. Facing difficult tasks that were 'swept under the carpet' earlier strengthens them further to make hard decisions and face difficult people and situations.

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Not saying No

First, say yes to your core values, then say no to the situation. Finally, say yes to the relationship.

A not-to-do list or some predefined phrases will help you to say no in unexpect...

Not respecting your calendar

Treat the meeting with yourself as it was a meeting with a third party. It’s only you who can act on your most important tasks with priority.

Make sure that you set up boundaries for yourself and for other people. Remember to communicate with them clearly.

Such a boundary can be that you leave your office at a certain time each day because your family is your priority. It doesn’t mean, of course, that you can’t work later in periods of high workload.

Multitasking

Ringing phones, text messages, reminders, pop-ups, social media, email.

There’re countless studies demonstrating that multitasking will hinder your work both in terms of quality and quantity. 

Resist the temptation to get in the loop and do one thing at a time.

Keep your high-energy times open

Sallie Krawcheck, founder and CEO of Ellevest (a goal-based investing platform for women):

"I have spent a lot of time figuring out how I work b...

Focus on the 5%

Bedros Keuilian, founder and CEO of Fit Body Boot Camp (group fitness training brand):

"Only 5% of the things I do are tasks that actually move the money needle, and those were the critical things that I needed to focus on 100% of the time. Everything else can be delegated to team members or subcontractors who have the skill sets and abilities to perform the job. This has been a game-changer for my business as we continue to have massive growth year after year."

Eliminate interruptions

Dustin Moskovitz, CEO of Asana (productivity and project management platform):

"We practice “No Meeting Wednesdays” to ensure that everyone at the company gets a large block of time to focus on heads-down work without having to fit it in between meetings. This may be our most valuable cultural practice, and I encourage every company to consider adopting it. Additionally, we reflect frequently on whether our group activities are getting enough ROI to justify the interrupt and time expenditure. "