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Increase Your Productivity by Saying Goodbye to Drains and Incompletions

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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Increase Your Productivity by Saying Goodbye to Drains and Incompletions

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

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Key Ideas

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. 

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).

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.

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.

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.

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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