You want to accomplish millions of things: Travel the world, spend time with family and friends, or even read more books. The list goes on and on. However, how do you pack any more into a single 24 hour day that is already overflowing? So, how do you become a highly productive person?
The majority of people will add items to the list of what must get done today; however, it is simpler to start by subtracting the things that are killing your productivity. After all, highly productive people always avoid vital mistakes that sabotage everyone else.
Therefore if you want to jump-start your productivity to accomplish more than you have ever achieved before, avoid these seven specific habits. Once you get rid of these habits, your productivity will skyrocket!
Focusing on Minor Details, Not Results
Productivity is not about staying busy and cramming more into every hour. It is also not about how organized your calendar looks or having zero emails in your inbox. Productivity is about the result you produce.
If you do not increase your results in the things that matter, you will not increase your productivity. You are just doing more and more busy work more efficiently. After all, the best measure of your productivity is how much you create and ship.
Highly productive people dare to make things happen, and they do not get overcome by fear. Yes, you need to look at your process but don’t forget to look at the results.
Checking Devices First Thing In the Morning
Do you check your phone within the first hour of the day? Do you check your email before you are even at work? If so, you are like most people who do these two things first thing in the morning. STOP IT!!! It is one of the worst things that you can do. It ruins your focus, productivity, and motivation. After all, consuming useless information like social media, checking email, and responding to messages places your brain in a state of reaction. As a result, you are flooded with urgent tasks before you even have a chance to work on your own goals.
Yes, it seems like an innocent thing to do, but since you are not at work, you cannot do anything about it yet. It just reminds you and prevents you from being in the present.
Whereas highly productive people take steps towards their goals before they let the demands of the day interfere. You must focus on your peak mental, emotional, and physical health first. They are not checking out social media or watching the news.
To stop these distractions first thing in the morning, leave your phone on Airplane Mode when you sleep. You can even set a Do Not Disturb mode, so you don’t get notifications for the first hour of your day. Make these habits part of your environment, and you will quickly break the bad habits.
Distractions During Work
Did you know that the average person gets interrupted every 3 minutes and 5 seconds! It is no wonder why you struggle to remain focused.
Next, if your workspace is cluttered or disorganized, it will negatively affect your mind, increase your stress, and impact your emotions. Just looking at that messy desk impacts your mental performance and focus.
So, how do highly productive people protect themselves from distractions and constant notifications to perform their tasks? Well, first, they don’t work in a cluttered, disorganized environment. They keep things clean and organized.
You can help yourself by placing your phone on airplane mode and turning off email notifications while your work is not as quickly distracting. Also, close all the tabes, browsers, and applications that you do not need open for the task at hand. Make sure to organize your workspace. Removing the clutter is a great start. Here is a big hint: Don’t listen to podcasts or radio stations while working. Instead, have the exact song repeat over and over as it will drastically improve your focus.
Working Until Exhaustion.
You are working till your exhaustion is not suitable for your or your productivity. Highly productive people do not work until they are finished. They know to stop long before they get to this point. Remember that your cognitive abilities are limited, and on average, we only have three hours of peak mental performance available each day. Use these hours for essential tasks. Of course, you can still work after those hours but once you notice your performance dipping, stop for the day.
Don’t forget to take regular breaks during the day to help you re-energize and refocus. Breaks will significantly improve your mental performance.
Working Without Priorities
Remember that the items on your To-Do List do not have the same importance. You want to focus your energy on the most critical tasks, not necessarily the most urgent ones.
Before you start your day, rank your tasks in order of importance to dedicate your best hours to what will get you the most results.
You can not do everything at once; therefore, look at what tasks need to be done and select the biggest three priorities.
Finding Time To Do Things
Highly productive people do not find time to do things that they want to do. Highly effective people make time to complete tasks. Therefore a highly productive person will schedule and make sure to complete the task. They know how to organize and manage their time, so all their priorities for work and life are achieved.
If something is important to you, you just need to set it in your calendar and build your schedule.
Failing to Set Boundaries
I cannot tell you the number of small business owners who have said to me that they work 24 hours a day, seven days a week. They will even call me on a Saturday or Sunday at any hour of the day or night!!! Bragging about working 12 hours or more a day is not a sign of being productive. It is a sign of poor boundaries. Many people take on projects or tasks that they don’t want to do but do so because they feel obligated. Stop Doing This!!! It is draining your time and energy. It is also creating resentment.
You need to set boundaries for your time and not let other things take away from what’s important. Highly productive people are not rude, but they do gain respect for showing that they focus on the things, people, activities that are most important to them.
You need to guard your workflow. If your best time for creative work is in the afternoons, then schedule your phone calls for the mornings. By understanding how they work, they can help themselves achieve their best result and know the weaknesses that are holding them back.
Learn to say “No” and save yourself time and aggravation. You don’t have to be rude but guard your time like today is your last day on earth. Spend some time finding the best workflow that works for you and schedule your day around it.
These seven habits to avoid will jump-start your productivity and kick it into high gear. Let me know in the comments which habits to avoid did you find most useful.
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