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8 Productivity Mistakes You Might Be Making Everyday

Putting off hard tasks

Saving the hard jobs for later in the day can mean they don’t actually get finished at all.

The best time to do the hard work is first thing, as that is when you have the most willpower. Getting your least favorite job out of the way is likely to put you in a great mood for the rest of the day!

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8 Productivity Mistakes You Might Be Making Everyday

8 Productivity Mistakes You Might Be Making Everyday

https://www.lifehack.org/articles/productivity/8-productivity-mistakes-you-might-making-every-day.html

lifehack.org

8

Key Ideas

Treating cheating as a reward

If someone treats themselves to a dress after a week of saving, this undermines the achievement they have made. 

Try to view the act of you achieving your goals as the treat. 

Planning unnecessary meetings

Unnecessary meetings can severely deplete productivity out of someone’s working day. 

Instead of arranging a meeting, see if you can speak with the person in another way. Skype, texting, emailing and phone calls are all efficient ways to communicate on important matters, while still focusing on your own projects.

Multitasking

Research has discovered that most people become less efficient while attempting to multitask.

Try concentrating on one task at a time for great, productive results.

Browsing the web

It can be easy to get side-tracked and find yourself online. Many people plan on briefly checking social media or checking the answer to a question, but end up staying online for much longer than intended. 

Write down what you wanted to look at online, put it to the side, and then finish off the task you were doing before checking.

Putting off hard tasks

Saving the hard jobs for later in the day can mean they don’t actually get finished at all.

The best time to do the hard work is first thing, as that is when you have the most willpower. Getting your least favorite job out of the way is likely to put you in a great mood for the rest of the day!

Over-planning

Planning every hour of the day in advance to fit everything in can make you stressed out if you start running behind schedule.
Try to plan about five hours of important work to do, and leave the rest of the day to deal with any other issues. This means you get both elements of control and flexibility.

Hitting the snooze button

When you first wake up, your body starts releasing alertness hormones to get you up and ready for the day. Every time you go hit snooze, you slow down this process.

Thinking about the big picture

Thinking about the big picture while you’re working can leave you feeling worried and overwhelmed.

Save the life planning for when you aren’t working, and while you are working, try to focus on the immediate task you are doing. 

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Multitasking

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Not Getting Enough Rest

  • When we get tired, we make mistakes, which means more time and money must be put into correcting those mistakes. 
  • When we get tired, it takes us longer to do things, costing more time and money to do something that could get done in less time if we were fully awake. 

Doing Everything Yourself

Either one of two problems: you don’t like delegating tasks, or you’re having trouble prioritizing which tasks deserve your time. 

Figure out which tasks deserve your time the most (or those tasks that you do best), and outsource something that’s of low priority. 

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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.

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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.

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Avoiding Distracting Websites

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Reward Yourself

If you’re studying towards getting a scholarship, you may decide to reward yourself by stopping work for a day or so. This kind of reward can slow your progress and reduce your momentum. 

Instead, pick a reward that does not affect your work. For example, once you’ve reached your goal, have dinner at your favorite restaurant with a friend.   

Not Being Realistic

 There are limits to your personal productivity. You may have health issues. You have unique demands on your time. 

The best way to be productive is to work around these issues. Find out what works for you.

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What Time Management Is

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Eat That Frog!

Your “frog” is your most important task, the one you are most likely to procrastinate on if you don’t do something about it.

If you have two important tasks, start your day with the biggest, hardest, and most important task first. Focus on completing it before you go to the next one.

Failure to execute

We tend to confuse activity with accomplishment: we attend endless meetings and make plans, but at the end of the day, no one does the job and gets the results required.

“Failure to execute” is among the biggest problems in organizations today.

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Have one daily priority

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Make planning a habit

Some mornings we feel motivated to create a to-do list, but that is often the exception. We need to get things done, even when we feel disengaged.

Start by setting the alarm for your daily planning session at the same time every day. Tack your new daily planning session onto an existing habit like drinking your morning coffee.

Align your to-do list with goals
  1. Break down your big goals into daily tasks. You can't add "Get in shape" to your daily to-do list, but you can add "spend 30 minutes on my bike."
  2. Consider your week as a whole. You likely have multiple goals. Some goals benefit from daily activity, while working towards others a few times a week can create momentum.
  3. Add your have-to-do tasks last. We often fill our to-do lists with have-to-do tasks that crowd the whole day. Adding it last forces you to fit your have-to-do tasks around your goal tasks.

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Writing The List In The Morning

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Including Too Many Tasks

Ideally, create a ‘top three’ tasks at the beginning of your to-do list. 

Long lists are a problem because most people aren’t aware that “we only have about three to six good hours of work in us each day.”

People also tend to underestimate how long a task takes. 

Including Someday Items

Aspirational tasks, like writing a book, don’t belong on a to-do list; instead, create a separate bucket list. 

Daily to-do lists should be focused. If you have a big project you want to complete, you can put it on your to-do list if you chunk it out into smaller, more attainable tasks.

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Trim the fat

Multitasking and directing your energy to unimportant tasks and activities will overwhelm and prevent you from being productive.

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Measure your results

To assist you with measuring results instead of time, keep done lists to feel more motivated and focused.

Have an attitude adjustment

We are more effective at work when we have a positive attitude. 

good attitude at work will help you set standards for your work and ensure that you're taking responsibility for yourself.

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