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Productivity Mistakes: How to Avoid Some Common Pitfalls

Find your Time thief

For many people, their top time thief is social media or aimlessly wandering the World Wide Web. For other, it is spending hours organizing their office.

It’s not the task itself that’s the issue, it’s whether or not it is the right thing for YOU to be doing.

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Productivity Mistakes: How to Avoid Some Common Pitfalls

Productivity Mistakes: How to Avoid Some Common Pitfalls

https://workalpha.com/productivity-mistakes/

workalpha.com

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Key Ideas

Doing Is Not Accomplishing

Many of us fall into the trap of thinking that if we’re busy doing something, we’re being productive. 

But “doing” is sometimes just a form of procrastinating.

Find your Time thief

For many people, their top time thief is social media or aimlessly wandering the World Wide Web. For other, it is spending hours organizing their office.

It’s not the task itself that’s the issue, it’s whether or not it is the right thing for YOU to be doing.

Too Much on your To-Do List

You might be falling into the trap of making yourself think you’re making progress when you might not really be.

Consider whether something you’ve put on your list is a small task that can be done almost as quickly as you write it down. If a task is only going to take you 5 to 10 minutes, such as sending a thank you note or paying a bill, just get it done. 

Too Much Time on Email

We rarely actually take care of the email in the box, we just move it around as a sort of “reminder system,” which in reality usually only serves to create stress when you open your inbox

Set aside time to tackle your email, including unsubscribing from lists or newsletters you no longer value, and see how your productivity improves accordingly.

Plan Your Own Time

The constant bling and buzz of our phone, email and texts can make it almost impossible to concentrate on what we’re working on.

If you are in the midst of a project, turn off your notifiers so you can concentrate and finish what you’re working on and then tend to other matters.

Build in Time for the Unexpected

We can legitimately expect that there will be an unforeseen glitch in most projects.

By building in time at the end of each day or even during lunch for new tasks, we are able to finish things that come up, without sacrificing the productivity of completing our to-do list.

How Much Time Something Will Take

Work expands to fit the time available. That’s why we sometimes do our best, most efficient, work on deadline. 

You don’t want to create unnecessary stress on yourself, but at the same time, you don’t want to allow your work to expand so much that you keep working on something for longer than needed.

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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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Failing to Keep a To-Do List

The trick with using To-Do Lists effectively lies in prioritizing the tasks on your list. Many people use an A – F coding system (A for high priority items, F for very low priorities). 

Not Setting Personal Goals

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Determine if a task is high-yield and high-priority, or low-value, "fill in" work. You'll manage your time much better during the day if you know the difference.

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GTD (Getting Things Done)

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"GTD is an organizational system. It doesn't put rules around how you actually do your work. Instead, it focuses on how you capture the work you need to do, organize it, and choose what needs your attention"

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GTD: Capture
Capture everything. Your to-dos, your ideas, your recurring tasks, everything. Put it in a pen-and-paper notebook, a to-do app, a planner, whatever you prefer to use to get organized.

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