If you’re struggling to figure out why you’re productivity is bombing, it could be because of one or more of these three counter-intuitive reasons.
Before we get into the nitty-gritty of productivity, I want to address one big misconception about productivity – and that is that you don’t need to be productive all the time.
It is perfectly normal to not have productive days.
I have not met anyone who doesn’t have days where they just don’t get much done. It happens to everyone, we just don’t see their behind-the-scenes life!
Also, life isn’t about being a productivity machine and your worth as a human being also isn’t measured by your productivity.
But productivity can improve your life.
The reason I became obsessed with productivity and effectivity, which I will get to later, is because I was having a lot of unproductive days (which is ok), but I found that it was causing me to waste my own time.
I was used to lazily, “half-doing” my work in efforts to not get too stressed out, BUT THEN I found myself working all day and then feeling tired and burnt out!
I knew that the better option would be to get more work done in less time, and then have more time to properly relax or do things that I enjoyed!
That’s why I want to talk about productivity. And more specifically, scheduling for productivity!
So that you can get the same amount done in way less time, and thus have more time for the important things in life!
So let’s get into the top scheduling mistakes that are destroying your productivity!
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#1 You are doing too much or you think you have to do too much
This is a very common misconception for productivity. You want to get tons of things done and you start comparing yourself to other people who seem to be doing a lot, and then you get overwhelmed with work.
This is bad for two reasons.
1 – our brains are wired for focus and NOT multitasking.
Having too many things on the go means that your brain can’t fully focus on one thing. Also to do anything right and produce meaningful results, you need to put quite a bit of time and effort into it.
2 – Doing a small amount of things really well is WAY better than doing a ton of things just ok
Anybody who has done anything great has been very focused. Which means that they have done ONLY the things that have furthered them towards their goals.
And it also might seem like they did it quickly (which might influence you to think that you should be doing things faster), in actuality, it took them a lot longer than you might think to get where they are.
The same things goes for trying to implement good habits or change bad ones, it takes a lot longer than you think to change a habit or make a new one, and it usually takes very small steps to get to a fully changed habit.
Many people who are super organized, super diligent about exercise, or whatever it might be – have practiced for years or have even more of an advantage because they were raised that way, so those habits are engrained into them.
So if you’re trying to implement a bunch of things that you’re not used to doing, it’s going to take a while. So stay patient and take small steps towards your goals!
#2 You’re actually not even doing the right things
On top of trying to do too much and reaching for goals on an unrealistic timeline, there’s also the problem of not doing the right things. Sure you might be busy, but are you being productive? And ya you can be productive, but are you being effective?
Being productive means nothing if you’re not doing things that are furthering you towards your goals?
When I was studying in university, my study habits were sometimes pretty good, I was doing work the whole time with limited distractions.
BUT I was doing all the questions that I knew how to do pretty well. I wasn’t studying the harder questions and concepts that would have really furthered my knowledge and helped me on the exams.
There’s a little rule: find the 20% of things you do that bring you 80% of the results.
So study those harder questions, make that phone call that will get you that sale, sit down and grind out the details of that hard project!
And take some time to actually figure out what that 20% is that actually gives you results!
Once you do that, all of the other things will start to feel much less heavy because you’ll be doing the things that MATTER!
#3 You think you don’t have enough time
Alright, so in our first productivity misconception, the point was that sometimes things take more time than you think – and by that I mean: your long term goals!
With smaller tasks in your day, such as exercising, cooking, cleaning, putting in a little extra time for our friends and family – these tasks are vital for your wellbeing and realistically, they don’t have to take too long!
With these sorts of tasks, there’s a pesky little saying, which is “I don’t have enough time”
Sometimes, this is a good attitude to have if you’re saying no to things that are not really important (like someone at work asking you to do something that is not within your scope or something like that).
BUT for things like taking care of your body and making time for the people you love, or the overall maintenance of your day-to-day life, like cooking and cleaning, you need to make time..
Related Article: 5 Secrets for Developing Willpower while working from home
You MUST make time for things like cooking, cleaning, and exercising (and getting enough sleep)
These are essential to your health, happiness, and the overall ease of your everyday life. So you need to make time.
You don’t need to do ALL the things EVERY DAY, but you have to make time in your schedule and make these things a priority, or else your health will suffer (and then your productivity and goals will suffer too!)
And, more often than not, you will realize that it’s not about the time it takes to do these things, it’s about whether you want to do them or not.
First and foremost: remind yourself why these things are important and that you need to do them. Oftentimes, the things we “don’t have time for” are the things that are going to contribute the most to our long term success.
Example: healthy eating and exercise
They will make you more alert and in a better mood, and will improve your energy levels and productivity. So essentially, they will make you more productive.
So, here’s how to get them done:
- Schedule in specific time slots in your calendar for these activities that you just need to get done and you know don’t take a ton of time
- Find ways to make them more fun – make sure you have some music or a podcast ready on your phone before you go do them! Or let yourself have a small reward after you’re done!
- Make is as easy as possible for yourself to start these tasks. Have your work out clothes ready, make sure your kitchen is clean at the end of the day, make you that you have all the things you need to make cooking easier (i.e. prepped veggies, the right spatula, baking sheets, etc.), and have a cleaning schedule, so you know exactly what you should clean and when!
So to avoid productivity mistakes
The moral of the story is:
Do more of the good things and less of the things that don’t matter!
If you want some extra help with your productivity, time management, and doing the right things for your goals and your overall wellbeing – check out my productivity course!
It’s actually not just a productivity course – it’s a time management, goal-setting, mindset, organization, and much more all rolled into one! And it’s FREE! So what’s are you waiting for?
Sagesse ("Say Jess")
Owner of Mindaya