We all want to make the best of our time and efforts. But if only it were that easy. Improving productivity happens to be one of the hottest topics discussed on the internet, considering the majority of us today feel they are not being productive enough. But, why is it so? What is it that holds us back? There can be plenty of reasons why you are not as productive as you probably have the potential to be. Let’s take a look at a few of those reasons -
- Your routine lacks structure — Or should I say discipline. Discipline is the key to making the most of your time. Having a wayward routine is not really the best way to get things done. Imagine yourself running a company. Wouldn’t you expect employees to show up on time? Won’t you be extremely particular about their working hours, about their break timings, about how they should use company’s time and resources? How would you manage them and how would instill that sense of discipline in them? Now try doing the same to yourself. Set the same set of protocols for yourself as you will set for others, if you had to make others work. If everyone started working according to their comfort, it would mean you are setting the company for failure.
- You lack persistence — I cannot emphasize this point enough. Giving up midway. Just like we do when we start reading a big fat novel. After reading forty pages or so, it fades into oblivion. You barely even remember when you last saw that novel. The persistence to keep doing is what all productive people have in common. They don’t get trampled over by the littlest of the hurdle. They keep on doing what they need to, not just for one or two days, but for as long as they set their mind to. One good reason you are not as productive as you often yourself in mind is the lack of persistence. The persistence to show up, to follow, to create value, to learn from failures. If you create a timetable, be persistent in sticking to it.
- Taking breaks too often — I know that taking breaks is highly recommended and I am all for taking breaks. But, don’t overdo it. It’s because when we get started with doing anything, we fight that mental block for few initial minutes, before we really get going or get “into the zone”. Taking breaks too often takes you out of that zone. And it takes double the effort to get back into the flow. Every time you take a break, It’s the same pattern all over again; fight the block, wait to get in the flow. The more often you repeat it, more exhausted you will feel. So while it is important to take breaks to refresh yourself, and give yourself some rest, you have to figure out when taking a pause is going to be prove productive and when it will be counterproductive. Only take a break when you are feeling absolutely lost, or when you are feeling physically tired from consistent sitting. Once you’re into the zone, avoid taking any breaks.
- You don’t set a deadline for yourself — I will take the example of you running a company once again. Imagine a project nearing its end. You have to reach that milestone. What will you do? You break down the work, assign responsibilities, and set deadlines for everyone’s work. In the absence of a timeline, everyone will just work according to their own convenience and you may as well just drop the idea of a project ever being successful. Perhaps you are not setting a deadline for your work. Maybe that’s why you are not being as productive as you can. A deadline gives you that mental push to get going. Do set a deadline for every single task that comes to your plate.
- You are always switching between two tasks — Ok. I know you may think you are doing more work done switching between two tasks. But what you will really have by the end of the day is two unfinished and probably poorly executed tasks, instead of one nicely finished task. Besides, a human brain is not hard-wired to adapt itself to multitasking. It takes a toll on our mind when we focus on more than one thing at a time. So, another reason why your productivity levels may be dropping could be that you are focusing on too many tasks at a time. And, in that process end up accomplishing nothing. Avoid multitasking at all costs.
- You don’t get enough sleep — Sleeping is not just about giving your body rest. It’s also about giving your mind the much-needed rest after an entire day’s work. But majority of us suffer from sleep deprivation. This is the commonest reason behind people complaining about lack of focus in general. Do indulge regularly in stuff like meditation to calm yourself down so you can get the required rest and sound sleep to kick start the next day. Lack of sleep will soon start to get in the way of your physical health too if you don’t get adequate sleep. Therefore, do get a good night’s rest.
I’m sure all of us can relate to the points mentioned above. I know I can. But, it’s never too late to take charge of things. And starting today you can make the most out of your precious hours. All you have to do is follow these points religiously. So, are you ready to be more productive?
And, if you want to cross all the barriers and become more productive at whatever you do, then try out ProofHub — the complete project management software that helps teams plan, collaborate, organize and deliver projects on time, and within budget!
Originally published at www.linkedin.com.