4 Common Mistakes That Ruin Your Productivity
We read and watch a lot about productivity and time management these days. We also have a lot of productivity tools and apps at our disposal. However, it is important to get familiar with the basic mistakes that we might be committing while considering ourselves to be productive.
1. Making Ineffective To-Do Lists:
Making a to-do list is an old yet effective way to manage time and be more productive. Pretty much everybody makes to-do lists nowadays. However, just making to-do lists isn’t going to help you, unless you avoid these pitfalls:
Assigning too many tasks: It’s better to write the three most important items you want to accomplish that day. If you have more than three items, keep them to a minimum.
Make a to-do list in the morning: Don’t waste your morning energy on thinking ‘what I should do today?’. Instead, writing down your to-dos in the evening is much better. So on the next day, you can jump right into the action.
Not writing Actionable to-dos: Instead of writing ‘Article writing’ which seems like a vague term, write something clear and actionable, like ‘Write an article about productivity on Medium.com’.
2. Not Prioritizing:
When you have a pile of tasks on your hands, and you don’t prioritize them, you will surely accomplish some of your tasks by the evening .
However, by the end of the day, you will realize that although you did accomplish some simple tasks like replying to a client's email. But in the thick of these trivial tasks, you missed some urgent and important ones e.g. a deadline.
That’s why it is necessary to prioritize your tasks in the order of their importance. So your most important tasks don’t get buried under the unimportant ones. Moreover, eliminate some unnecessary tasks altogether.
In this day and age of digital technologies, multitasking has become a default habit. But focusing on a single task is a much better approach than switching between the tasks. Because, if you multitask, what you will get by the end of the day, is a few partially completed tasks.
There is no such thing as multi-tasking. When you constantly shift from one task to another, you are more prone to making mistakes. Moreover, multitasking slows you down because you are focusing on many tasks at a time.
It is better to be a single-tasker than to be a multi-tasker. If you have a lot of plates spinning, consider scheduling your tasks over a whole week, rather than doing them on a single day.
4 . Checking Social Media & Email Through Out The Day:
Social media is good for networking, and email is good for business. But we all know that constant checking of social media and emails throughout the day becomes a great distraction.
When you are working on a difficult task, scrolling Twitter seems to be the perfect 5-minute break. But this 5-minute break soon turns into a 30-minute of doom-scroll. After which, you not only have wasted 30 minutes but also the motivation and energy to complete your task.
The best approach is to schedule 20-minute time blocks for using social media and email, maybe twice or thrice a day.
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