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4 Productivity Mistakes You Don't Know You're Making

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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IDEA EXTRACTED FROM:

4 Productivity Mistakes You Don't Know You're Making

4 Productivity Mistakes You Don't Know You're Making

https://workalpha.com/4-productivity-mistakes-you-dont-know-youre-making/

workalpha.com

4

Key Ideas

Multitasking

Those that do multitask the most are the worst at it.

Productivity is defined as, “having the power to produce.” By that definition, multitasking is the opposite of productivity because you are more prone to distractions and have less power to produce what you need to produce.

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. 

You Don’t Have a Vision

This is a vision for what you actually want to accomplish. Visualize what you want to get done that day or that week for some of the larger tasks. 

Instead of “write white paper”, you could “outline the white paper” or “write three pages of the white paper.” Writing the entire thing in one sitting may feel productive, but it’s a very tiring way to be productive.

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Treating cheating as a reward

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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.

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Avoiding Distracting Websites

There are many tools available that help you block out the rest of the internet while you work, but you can easily r...

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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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.

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Writing The List In The Morning

Although it might feel natural to create your to-do list first thing in the morning, it's too late.
Writing the list at the end of the day allows you to leave work behind and tra...

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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Default behaviors

They are actions we make without thinking (habits, routines, compulsions). They control more than 40% of our daily actions.

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Inbox always open

This behavior keeps you from dedicating your time to meaningful work. Replying to email may feel productive, but the truth is emails are rarely the most important thing on your to-do list.

So instead of keeping your inbox open all day, change your default behavior to working on emails in batches.

Immediately responding to messages

Real-time communication sets the expectation that you’re always available. And for many of us, our default behaviors support just that.

In order to change this behavior, you need to set expectations on response time. Mute specific channels, get rid of pop-ups, turn off mobile notifications, etc.

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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. 

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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

Goals give you a destination and a vision to work toward. When you know where you want to go, you can manage your priorities, time, and resources to get there. Goals also help you decide what's worth spending your time on, and what's just a distraction.

Not Prioritizing

It's essential to learn how to prioritize tasks effectively if you want to manage your time better.

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)

GTD is a productivity method for organizing your to-dos, priorities, and schedule in a way that makes them all manageable.

Its 5 principles are:

  • Capture
  • Clarify
  • Org...

"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"

"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"

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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Investigating procrastination
Investigating procrastination

If you are putting something off, consider why. Often it's not the task you're avoiding but a larger issue, such as a fear of failure or a lack of concrete direction.

Ask yourself what...

Doing the "busy work" first

Scientists say doing hard work first ensures you tackle challenges when you’re at your most creative and prepared. Jump right into the biggest priority on your list and when you're ready to take a break, switch gears to the lower-impact tasks.

Thriving under pressure

Working in crisis mode can make you less creative, since you’re less likely to collaborate and seek out new perspectives and find the best idea. You’re more likely to rely on hierarchy and produce average work, not breakthroughs.

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Learn To Use Procrastination
Learn To Use Procrastination

The desire to procrastinate is a healthy brain craving, a natural need for novelty and curiosity. We must stop the negative self-talk we have towards us not working as a machine all the time. The l...

Observe Your Need To Procrastinate
  1. Observe the need to procrastinate, recognizing and being aware of your desire. This is called meta-recognition and is what all the Gurus keep talking about when they speak about awareness.
  2. Label and accept your urge to waste your time, but without any negative judgement.
  3. Validate your urge to procrastinate, increasing your self-esteem.
  4. Approach procrastination as a friend, not as a threat.
The Real Enemy of Flow

The biggest obstacle, the main villain hampering our productivity is always in your hands, and rarely in your pockets. _It’s your smartphone. It needs to be powered off for some time. Your laptop, clamouring for attention, is not helping either. Remove all distractions and notifications so that you can get in the ‘flow’ mode.

Creating friction between us and the open black hole of the online distractions helps us focus on work.

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