We are all guilty of slacking off at work every now and then. That is normal if not done too often. We all have our off days when we just can’t seem to find the energy to improve work efficiency. They may be informative debates, but they keep me from being productive at work. I’m sure you have a similar distraction or distractions. But if you find yourself in a rut of non-productivity, that can be dangerous. Unless you fix it.
3 Productivity Hampering Mistakes
Too often, people just learn productivity as they go along. Many times, people perform average at work without even knowing they have the potential to excel. The only thing that limits your productivity is the mistakes you make during the day. When you’re really productive you may feel bored or even scared. But it does not have to be that way. The first step towards a more productive lifestyle is to realize the things constraining you. These could be among the following 3 most common mistakes:
- Focusing on Hours, Not Accomplishments
- Absorbing Too Many Internet Tips
- Looking for Hacks or Shortcuts
Ask yourself this: are you satisfied with your productivity? If not, what could be holding you back? If you could eliminate this constraint, would you be more productive? Below follow more details on the three mistakes listed above that hamper your productivity.
1. Focusing on Hours, Not Accomplishments
This is a mistake all too common with working professionals today. Everybody wants to work harder, faster, and longer to get ahead. But at what cost? People feel much busier and productive when working long hours and workweeks. But in absolute terms, they really accomplish only slightly more than working shorter, regular hours.
The difference lies not in the effort or hours you put in, but in the energy and attention, you spend. You are more productive when you spend your attention and energy in a deliberate, calculated way. This means you should take a few minutes every day to prioritize your tasks. List down what you want to get done and how much time you can spend doing it. At the end of the day, tally what you have accomplished to the prioritized list of tasks. You’ll find you got a lot more done during a week of structured and deliberate effort.
2. Absorbing Too Many Internet Tips
Too much of everything is bad, especially internet self-help tips. The internet is a vast resource of information, but you can’t trust everything you find on it. There’s nothing wrong with seriously wanting to improve life and looking up ways on the internet. But if you have looked at 20 articles so far and are still looking, perhaps a pause is in order. It is very easy to get too involved in trying to make work better than actually getting work done through HR technology. Every second of the workday is an asset. You need to economize on how you invest it. Think of how much time you save by spending a smaller amount of time on something.
Another thing you need to be wary of is that too much information can complicate things for you. The more you look up, the less you retain and even less practice. Productivity is not too difficult to achieve as long as you keep it simple.
3. Looking for Hacks or Shortcuts
Everybody wants an easy fix to their problems these days. But believe it or not, life doesn’t work that way. Using a new app or routine to boost productivity may feel good for a while, but ultimately you realize it is not helping you. There aren’t any quick fixes to productivity like getting up early in the morning every day.
In fact, every person has their own peak time, when they work fluidly and accomplish most of the work for the day. A person could have their peak time early in the morning just as easily as late in the evening. You need to understand yourself before you can find a productivity tip that works for you. Give yourself a fair and objective evaluation.
Let’s say you work in the customer service industry, when do you feel most productive in taking calls during the day? If you were to minimize distractions and maximize attention to work during this period, your productivity will jump. A lot of productivity is about how much you accomplish, not how many hours you put in. Keep that in mind, analyze your constraints, and figure out a way around them. Just be sure to avoid the mistakes we just discussed.
Have a productive work week!