Productivity is a very interesting topic and a very important subject when it comes to getting things done and living a successful life.
Everyone wants to be successful, but not every is as productive in getting the results they want. I have always been an avid reader in the personal development industry, and personal productivity is what caught my attention the most.
People want to do less and achieve more. They want to spend the minimal time to get the most of their effort.
Successful people are successful because they get the right things done. In other words, they are productive in producing the outcomes that they want.
Thus, if you want to achieve more and accomplish better results, you need to learn to master your personal productivity.
Before we talk about being productive, you must first learn the common mistakes people make about productivity. Below are the 7 common mistakes that make people less productive…
Multitasking is not going to make you productive, although it sounds like it will. Our brain cannot focus 100% on two or more things at the same time.
Yes, you can drive and sing songs at the same time, but you are not putting your full attention to either task. When you put in 100% attention into a task, your brain will focus on it and neglect the other.
This explains why people get into accidents when they are driving and talking on the phone. They lose the attention and accidents occur.
If you are reading this article and suddenly someone talks to you, do you stop reading and talk to him or can you do both at the same time?
You stop and talk to the person. And when the conversation’s over, you return to do the reading. You just can’t do the two things together.
Some tasks require your full attention, and you just cannot multitask all the time. In fact, studies after studies have shown that people who multitask always get the worst outcomes.
Therefore, if you want to be productive, don’t multitask, instead, put your full focus onto the task and get the task done before you switch to another task.
Multitasking will make you more productive is not true. Do not multitask if you want to be produce outstanding world-class work. It is not going to help.
Most people think that productivity has everything to do with self-discipline. They thought that people who are productive are those that have high self-discipline, this is not true too.
You do not need the self-discipline to be productive and successful. What you need is just a little self-discipline to build up the habit so that everything will become automatic to you.
Just like if you want to build a good habit, you don’t need self-discipline all the way. You just need a little bit of it in the beginning, to develop the habit and make the habit stick.
When the things you do become your habit, you do not need any self-discipline anymore. You will do it automatically whenever the time comes.
Think about brushing your teeth or the way you drive or the way you wear your shoe. How much self-discipline do you take to do those tasks?
Chances are, there are none because those are your habits, and you don’t need the discipline to do it. Everything just happens exactly as it is.
So remember, what you want to do to get more done is to build the right habits, not stressing yourself with self-discipline.
Whenever people think about self-discipline, they feel pressured, and resistance will increase when it comes to taking action.
Never let the pressure of self-discipline stop you. Build up the right habits that will get things done effortlessly instead.
3. Being Busy VS Being Productive
Another common mistake people make about productivity is that they think that as long as they are working and taking action, they are productive.
This is a lie, and it is incorrect. You have to differentiate between being busy and being productive.
Some people have a lot of work to do, but the results they produce are less significant than those who work less. This is simply because everything is not created equal.
Pareto 80/20 Principle
According to Pareto’s Principle, it states that 80% of your work will produce 20% of your result, and conversely, there are 20% of works that will give you 80% of your result.
Hence, you need to be wise enough to choose the right work. Choose to focus on the 20% of work that will give you 80% result, not the other way round.
When it comes to daily work, most people never put this principle into consideration, and all they do is to work the whole day. And by the end of the day, they are wondering why they are producing the results they want.
By the time they realize this, it will be too late. So never let this happen to you. Always do the most important work that will give you the most result first.
4. Having a To-Do List
What? Having a to-do list is a mistake? It all depends on how you look at it, because having a to-do list will force you into doing things according to the list.
And if you are not prioritizing the list according to Pareto’s Principle, then having a to-do list is not going to make you more productive. In fact, it will block your time and force you to do things that are not productive.
Usually, most people have a long to-do list. Most people have more than 5 or 10 or some even have 20 tasks in the list.
If you have a long to-do list, you should prioritize your list. And you can call it a success-list.
Creating a Success-List
A success-list is not a to-do list; it is totally different. A success-list focus on things that will give you the most result, and usually focus on doing the one thing, which is the most important thing.
If you have 20 tasks in your to-do list, you need to filter the list and prioritize it. You need to come up with only one or at most two tasks from the list. And then take the action and do the task.
You want to pour your undivided attention to the most important work and do it right away. Most people scatter their focus too thin and by the end of the day, they still never get their most important task done.
So build your success-list right now. What is the one thing that will give you the most result? Do it right away.
And once you are done with it, get to the next one thing.
5. Not Tapping into Willpower
This is another common mistake that most people will make that makes them less productive.
You have to understand that our willpower is like a battery bar. It is full and green at the beginning of the day. And as we go through our day, it will drop and depleted by the end of the day.
Everything that we do requires our willpower. The decisions we make and the actions we take, all requires our willpower.
We can replenish our willpower through proper meals and relaxation, but it will get recharged to the highest after a goodnight sleep.
How Do We Use Our Willpower?
The key is this; use your willpower when it is at the max for your most important task. In other words, do your most important thing in the morning where you have the most willpower.
When you have willpower, you can discipline yourself to take action. When you have willpower, you can say no to distractions. And when you have higher willpower, you can focus on your work better.
Never leave your most important task until the end of the day. By that time, you will want to collapse on the bed and do not want to work on anything. And even if you force yourself to work on it, you will never produce extraordinary results from the task.
Thus, learn to understand yourself better. Know when is the best time that you have the highest willpower for your most important work.
And for most people, morning time is the best time as their willpower is at the peak. Unless you did not have a good sleep, you should take action on your success-list in the morning.
Whenever you are planning, you are not working. Whenever you are working, you are not planning.
I have seen it many times; people over-plan and never get into real action. They spend too much time planning, and they never get ahead with actions.
I fall into this trap at times too. So don’t feel bad if you over-plan most of the time and never get many things done.
Opportunity cost involves here. Meaning to say, if you do this, you will have to let go that. You cannot do two things at the same time.
How can you get involve in 2 important meetings that require important decision-making at the same time? It is impossible.
When you choose to do this, you will have to let go of doing other things. Just like reading this article right now, you are letting go of doing other stuff, right?
You cannot spend time doing two things at the same time.
Hence, if you are planning, you are not moving. If you are moving, you cannot be planning.
So stop over-planning and just do it. Remember, you just need a little self-discipline to build the success habit. Use your willpower wisely and create the proactive habits to be productive.
7. Getting Distracted
Distraction is one of the main killers of productivity. If you never learn how to handle it, you will procrastinate on your work and be less productive.
Learn to say NO. Why should you do that? Simply because you want to focus on getting your most important work done.
It is easy to get distracted especially if you are working in a large company where others have to depend on you for their work.
You just have to block your time for your success-list work. Whenever you are working on your most important task, say no to other tasks because they can wait.
It is easier said than done, but you need to do your best to handle distractions.
If you are serious about dealing with distractions, what you can do is to cut off yourself from the world. Lock yourself up in the room to work on your task if necessary. When you work on your computer, disconnect yourself from the internet.
Well, you can’t get away from distractions all the time, but if you can lower down the distraction and increase your focused time, you will be absolutely productive throughout the day.
Learn to say no or push away an opportunity that will distract you from doing your most important work is one of the best productivity tips that you can apply easily.
Never to repeat these 7 common mistakes that will make you less productive. Like what I have mentioned above, multitasking is not going to work, and it will only slow you down and bring down your productivity.
Create a success-list, build the right habits learn to prioritize your work. When it comes to results, nothing is created equal. Therefore, you need to know what action will give you the most result, and then do it.
If you have been reading up to this point, do leave a comment below and let me know what your opinion about this is. Share with me your thoughts.