Ever find yourself sitting at your desk at 5pm wondering how you still have so much left to do? A few extra minutes checking social media and one trip too many to the common area for a cup of coffee, and the day’s pretty much over without much to show for it. It happens to the best of us from time to time. But aside from monitoring those distractions, here are 4 things you need to stop doing immediately to be sure your productivity is at its peak!
Saying yes to everything
Whether in your personal life or at work, being overscheduled will eventually wear you down. If you’re constantly rearranging and adding to your calendar to accommodate others, you may not only lose sight of what you need to prioritize for yourself, but also end up devoting time and energy better spent on completing tasks. Naturally there will be times when you need and want to be flexible, but you have a lot to do and you want to be sure you get it done!
Saying no could be as simple as stating “I’d love to help, but I’m afraid I won’t be able to give it my full attention and will end up delivering something less that desirable. Once I’m done with this project, I’ll have more time to be flexible and I’d love to see how I can help at that time.”
Trusting that your mind is like a steel trap
Your memory may be exceptional, but why take chances? You’re juggling multiple projects, and perhaps a family calendar to boot. At some point, something will fall through the cracks, so don’t wait until you show up unprepared for a meeting or miss an important deadline. Write out a daily agenda of what you need to accomplish and cross off as you go. A good, old fashioned to-do list has stood the test of time, but if you want to take the digital route, check out a few apps to keep you on track.
Always being available
It’s a hard habit to break, but if you can free yourself of the need to respond immediately to texts or emails, you’ll be able to give projects your undivided attention, allowing you to be more focused on the task at hand. You’ll also finish it faster and probably do a better job at whatever it is too! Barring an emergency call from your nanny, the fire department, or your CEO, blocking off time to dedicate yourself to completing a task without interruptions is a fool-proof way to get more done in less time.
Trying to do it all
Years ago, psychologists found that multitasking leads to loss of time and efficiency, so why do we still believe this is what we should do to succeed? If you need more convincing, multitasking has also been proven to do a number on your memory and actually hurts your brain! Complete your tasks one at a time to ensure you’re performing to the best of your ability