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7 Mistakes People Make Under the Umbrella of Productivity

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 unexpected situations. 

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IDEA EXTRACTED FROM:

7 Mistakes People Make Under the Umbrella of Productivity

7 Mistakes People Make Under the Umbrella of Productivity

https://www.dumblittleman.com/productivity-mistakes/

dumblittleman.com

7

Key Ideas

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 unexpected situations. 

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.

Picking up multiple habits simultaneously

Cementing a new habit takes time and discipline.

Integrate a single habit at a time. That way, you are more likely to establish it and, once cemented, you could consider picking up the next habit.

Skipping & switching

Skipping exercise, planning time, me-time or the weekly review comes to us naturally. They seem inferior amid the chaos of everyday life. 

Switching back and forth between different task managers and apps is part of the learning curve, but should not be for too long. 

Overplanning

Planning is a very important part of the process. However, if you won’t take action, it’s going to be worthless.

Set up boundaries for yourself to ensure that you won’t spend too much time on planning and designing. You won’t consider more than, say, three options, and you won’t postpone your project launch just because it’s not perfect yet.

Exaggerating the importance of productivity

When you begin to apply productivity to your life and work, it can be seductive. It’s kind of an addiction that can cause more harm than good if you don’t keep it under control.

Don’t take productivity advice so seriously. Give it a go, experiment, and find out whether it works or not. If not, reject the idea or customize.

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Working Harder isn’t the Answer

We do it because it's the most visible form of productivity.

It is a way to prove to others that you are doing stuff and checking things off the list.

The Dose-Response Theory

Hard work is necessary in order to be productive, but there is such a thing as too much of a good thing.

At some point, you start to be negatively productive.

Prioritize Tasks by Energy Level

It means scheduling your time according to your natural rhythms:

  • Do your most important work at the beginning of the day if you are a morning person.
  • Don't feel bad about sleeping in because you stayed up late at night to work if you are a night owl.

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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...

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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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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Patterns in successful people

Wherever they excel, they tend to have personal rules that they take very seriously:

  • Financially effective people tend to hold themselves to certain rules about money.
  • ...
Setting standards

Your quality of life improves when you set clear standards for how you live. 

You gravitate back towards “so-so” in any area where your standards are unclear. 

Dismissing self-discipline
This notion that personal rules constitute “forcing yourself” is just a way of dismissing self-discipline as a possibility, for oneself or others. 

For example: brushing your teeth every day doesn’t require any sort of forcing or obsessing, just dental hygiene standards you consider non-negotiable.

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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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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 becau...

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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Information that matches our beliefs

We surround ourselves with it: We tend to like people who think like us; if we agree with someone's beliefs, we're more likely to be friends with them.

This makes sense, but it means ...

The "swimmer's body illusion"

It's a thinking mistake and it occurs when we confuse selection factors with results. 

Professional swimmers don't have perfect bodies because they train extensively. Rather, they are good swimmers because of their physiques.

The sunk cost fallacy

It plays on this tendency of ours to emphasize loss over gain.

The term sunk cost refers to any cost that has been paid already and cannot be recovered. The reason we can't ignore the cost, even though it's already been paid, is that we're wired to feel loss far more strongly than gain.

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We're (Mostly) Focused On Ourselves
  • People are only focusing a small portion of their thoughts on judging you; your self-judgment is overwhelmingly larger.
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Few Social Behaviors are Explicit

Most of the intentions behind our actions are hidden. If a person is feeling depressed or angry, usually the resulting behaviors distort their true feelings.

By focusing on empathy you can usually break away these subversions and get to the heart of the issue faster.

Our Feelings Are Not Explicit

Most of the time you feel something, nobody else knows about it. So don’t get angry when people aren’t responding to you.

If you deceive your thoughts with your actions, don’t get angry when you fool people.

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Being Mediocre

Most of us are in the 'mediocre' zone, making a living and trying to do our best in confining circumstances. We try to work, raise a family, and try to be happy.

Aiming to reach towards t...

Procrastination

Procrastination is generally looked down upon and thought of as laziness, but it is your body telling you that you need to back off and think about what you are doing. 

You should try and figure out why you are procrastinating, as it can be a symptom of something broken in your life.

Zero-Tasking

We all multitask at some point or the other, some of us more than others. Our attention and intelligence are deviated and substracted during multi-tasking.

Single-tasking is better than multi-tasking, as focusing completely on one thing at any given time is optimal. Even better is to move into silence and nothingness by doing zero-tasking. The more we zero-task (another name for mindfulness or meditation), the more we progress into creativity and excellence.

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