Are you the one who wants to be productive? Who doesn’t want! Get to know a list of things that can make you unproductive.
1. Check email first in the morning
This is an addiction, you can simply lose half a day at the blink of the eye. You will never realize how much time each task regarding email like reading, replying, scheduling, flagging and chatting by the side.
But some do prefer to handle emails the first thing in the morning if they’re in full control of their time.
2. Not having a to-do list
When you don’t know the list of things that you need to complete in a day, then you won’t do them for sure. Even when you have a to-do list, you won’t accomplish all tasks unless your list is an effective one.
It doesn’t mean that you have to have a sophisticated software. A simple list of things to do in a day is fine. The point is you need to know what you need to do in a day. I use Astrid which syncs with all my devices.
3. Having a to-do list and being obsessed with it
Your to-do list is the one which is meant to make you productive. If your list is making you unproductive then either your list is not effective or you are being obsessed with it.
An obsession with a to-do list may mean that you either cannot have a day without a to-do list (even under exceptional circumstances) or you are not flexible about your working pattern and just blindly follow the tasks in your to-do list.
Sometimes your working mood doesn’t allow the things to be done in the order they’re on the list. If so, you need to allow some flexibility. Otherwise your productivity will be seriously hurt!
4. Not taking breaks
Breaks are essential part of being productive. When you continuously work, you lose your efficiency. Your mind needs a diversion to think and act fresh. Moreover you body needs some stretches too!
5. Cluttered workspace
A cluttered workspace can take years of your productive time and make you unproductive. You may simply spend hours looking for a file, everyday. If the files or documents or any other tools cannot be accessed easily and it is lost in the clutter of your workspace, you will sure be unproductive.
6. Starting a day without a plan
While everyone is thinking about how to be productive, even the day before, if you sit at your office desk knowing what to do next, never dream about being productive.
7. Cluttered inbox
Is your email box cluttered? You will have to spend hours for finding emails, even if you are smart enough to use the ‘search mail’ option.
8. Stuck with a PC or a Laptop
Is your PC or Laptop is in a proper working condition? Is it bug free so that it does not freeze or shut down when you are doing something important? Do you have the right software and tools to get things done fast?
9. Stuck with online social sites
Are you distracted by a new tweet when you are typing your dissertation? Just turn off all the social site distractions when you are working. Allocate specific times of the day when you are tired and need a break; this time is suitable for spending on social sites.
10. No healthy eating
Yes you read it right. Your productivity depends on your diet. If you don’t have a well-balanced diet, you won’t have the stamina, fresh mind, good eye sight or whatever needed to get things done.
I am not scaring you, but even if things seem to be right now, a well-balanced diet is necessary to keep things moving in the long run.
11. Not having enough sleep
Again, you don’t want to sleep at your office desk or sit in front of your computer with blurry eyes; rather you want to be productive.
12. Not encouraging ideas
Did one of your team members give out an excellent idea? And didn’t you encourage it because you think that he/she is ‘just’ a member of the team but you are the team leader and all excellent ideas should be yours? You should change your perspective.
13. Not being creative
If you can’t produce new and fresh ideas you cannot be productive. This also applies with finding new and creative ways to take up challenges, coz life is not always nice, you know.
14. Hesitation to delegate
Do you do everything literally by yourself? Do you hesitate to divide the work among other members of the team or do you hesitate to get help from your family members?
There is nothing wrong in delegating. Delegation improves your productivity. You can do what you are good at and delegate those things in which you are not an expert.
15. Not saying “NO”
You don’t have to accept every task that comes to you. See how much time you have and accept tasks accordingly.
16. Going on an information hunt
It is easy to end up in a movie website when you have started to search for an academic ebook. It is as easy as 1-2-3, or may be much easier than that!
Just take (or hunt for) only as much as you need.
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17. Not having clear goals
Is your goal post blurry? Are you not clear about what you want out of this job, or life? Then make yourself your goals clear and precise.
18. Not having proper technological gadgets
Don’t be ignorant or orthodox. Just make use of the technological advances and tools at your hand.
19. Having no priorities or unable to spot a task’s priority
You have a to-do list. But have you tagged the tasks according to their priorities? Even more, are you able to identify the most important and the most urgent task?
20. Not developing necessary skills (for example, if you work fully on a computer, you need to improve typing speed, know to use basic applications and so on).
Are you equipped with all the necessary skills needed for your kind of job? If not, have you taken any measures to learn the skills?
Are you lazy? If so, you can only dream about getting things done.
22. Unable to manage your team
Can you manage your team effectively? Can you make them productive?
23. Having no or less determination
Are you determined to carry on amidst failures, distractions, negative feedback and obstacles?
24. Not having the attitude to learn from mistakes
Are you the one who just forgets every mistake of the past and do it over again? Remember your mistakes and learn from.
25. Not making good use of constructive criticism
Did you get a negative feedback or a constructive criticism. Make good use of it. Make use of the suggestions and ideas to improve things.
26. Trying to do everything
You don’t need to do everything. Unnecessary tasks on your way hinder your productivity and keep you from doing the necessary and important tasks.
27. Trying to do everything right now
It is true that anything might happen the next moment. But don’t panic. Don’t think that you have to deal with everything right now. Allocate the right time for the right task.
28. Obsessed with being perfect
No one is perfect. Don’t waste your time on being an ideal person, rather start doing your task with passion and involvement, and put your best to give the best possible outcome. That’s all you can do.
29. Trying to please everyone
You can’t. So just keep doing your job.
30. Worrying too much about tasks/things that doesn’t matter
Yes, when you have to decide on the title of your project presentation don’t think about the colour of your lip gloss on the day of your presentation.
31. Too much thinking with no action
You think, plan, set a goal, think about the outcome, think about what if you succeed and then what if you fail, what will others think, will your parents be pleased and so on. You will get to nowhere.
Did I miss this one?
I don’t think that I have to say much on this. If you procrastinate, you declare that you don’t want to be productive at all.
If you prefer watching a video hearing me talking these pointers in a bit more detail, here’s a video you gotta check out!