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Increase Your Productivity by Saying Goodbye to Drains and Incompletions

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.

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IDEA EXTRACTED FROM:

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

6

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.

SIMILAR ARTICLES & 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 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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Myth #5: You Should Never Work At Home

Myth #5: You Should Never Work At Home

Some people working from home have a higher efficiency on time spent working and performance per minute. The employees surveyed also reported they were happier working at home. 

Myth #4: Pushing To Get Things Done

Willpower is a limited resource, one that we deplete through hard, focused work. We need to take regular breaks to restore our flagging willpower and keep our productivity in the long run.

Take a break and do something different for a few minutes every half-hour or so to give your brain a break and replenish your mental resources. 

Myth #3: The Internet Is A Distraction

The Internet distracts but we use it for researching items and retaining information. If you build up your searching skills and ignore distractions, like social networks, it becomes just a tool.

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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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