Often times, it seems like we are just constantly trying to do more things to be more productive, while the underlying reason why we might not be performing our very best work is because there are things hindering us from performing at our very best. Instead of trying to do more things to be productive, have you ever thought about things you currently do that may be draining your productivity?
Keep note of the following:
- Your smartphone. Although we aren’t in high school anymore, and our phones aren’t confiscated when we use them at work, we shouldn’t be using them all the time. Think about it, how many times in an hour do you check your phone for notifications and messages? With all the push notifications that we get every five minutes, it seems that our smart phones are almost vibrating Morse code. Put the phone away. Stop constantly checking it. Instead, put it in your drawer and make sure that you only take it out whenever you really need to – every two hours or so.
- Your emails. It seems like a lot of people use their email inbox as a to-do list. Their life revolves around their inbox, and so a lot of time is wasted just flipping back and forth and trying to multitask. Checking your inbox every 15 minutes is almost as bad as checking your smart phone every five minutes. Close your inbox. Look at it twice or thrice maximum while you’re in the office, and instead, create a to-do list and stick with it.
- Success and productivity blogs. Sure, maybe researching for things that will help you stop procrastinating or things that will allow you to optimize your workspace, however, have you ever thought of how many hours you spend at work on sites like Mashable, Lifehacker, and Young Entrepreneur? If you’re looking for something specific, do it quickly, and move on. I know I’ve wasted hours just reading and reading some days. It may seem like you’re doing something good for yourself, but at the end of the day, you’re not actually getting anything done.
Remember, the first step is always to just get started. If you’re trying to get things done, remove all distractions – and then work at optimizing what you can.