Learning Paths
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Learning Paths

#1 reason you will never be productive

You’re wasting a lot of time just on deciding than doing (7 tips to avoid it)

Photo by Tim Gouw on Unsplash

I, just like you, have struggled with procrastination & demotivation for a very large portion of my life. I wouldn’t say that I don’t struggle right now, but I know the crack, I know the hack to be more productive that more procrastinating.

If you’re someone like me, I’m gonna help you fix your mindset & be more productive.

Note: I can’t fix every broken bone that’s making you lay throughout the day on your couch. But I have figured one of the most important reasons why you procrastinate & are less productive because of that.

I’m gonna talk just about that.

You might have had a hint by the sub-title, let me unveil it.

One of the most tiring thing you do (that makes you less productive) is make too many decisions.

Perhaps, you’re already aware of the fact that Steve Jobs & Mark Zuckerberg are known to wear same pair of clothes almost every single day.

If not, check out their out photos on the web, you will find Steve Jobs in same turtle neck black t-shirt & jeans, and Mark in grey t-shirt & jeans.

By making too many decisions, our brains enter a state called “Decision fatigue” which further results in making poor or wrong decisions.

This directly hampers your willpower. You’re no more capable to make better decisions just because your willpower is weak due to “decision fatigue”.

An experiment conducted in 1996, where 67 people were locked in a room that smelled like freshly baked chocolate cake.

The troop was divided in two halves — one got a chance to put their sweet tooth to work & the other half was told to eat radish instead.

At most, the other half could sniff it to satisfy the temptation before eating the radish.

After this, the whole troop was given a complex puzzle to solve. It was tough enough for anyone with a working brain.

Guess who did better?

Most of the ones who ate radish didn’t even attempt to solve the puzzle & those who did took twice more time to attempt (irrespective of being right or wrong) than those who ate chocolates & sweet confectionaries.

The reason?

The ones who ate radish entered a state of decision fatigue & couldn’t perform well.

Their willpower was fully compromised, thanks to the radish that they ate forcefully.

They were caught in a loop of making decision whether of not they should eat the radish.

See how making too many decisions screw your mind? Multi-tasking does the same thing to your brain, too many choices does the same too.

If I have attention till here, stay along for a some more time. I’m gonna show you how to can reduce the chances of running into situations where you have make too many decisions.

Let’s begin the climb.

Best practices to avoid taking too many decisions

#1 Have a set pattern

I had a boss during my tenure as an employee of MNC. I used to hate him for being a robot. He would be there before I’d arrive in the office & he’d be there at his desk at the time I used to leave from the office.

Now I understand the value & the level he was operating at. He had set patterns he’d follow, he knew what he wanted to do with his 24 hours.

He had his time planed down to the hour & he was a rockstar. I’ve never seen him fret at the time of crisis. You know how IT corporates operate. Don’t you?

I’ve applied this in my life too.

I have set patterns I follow & it saves so much of my time.

For example, I wear contact lenses from every Monday to Friday & I wear glasses on Saturday & Sunday.

This has been a part of my life for over 3 years. Imagine the amount of time I’ve saved in these 3 years by not spending time to decide whether or not I should wear contact lenses today.

Ever wondered why people who have a messy room or desktop are more productive? Because they don’t waste time in deciding how to organize their desktop or their room.

This doesn’t mean that those who have an organized desktop or a room aren’t productive. It all boils down to setting a pattern & follow that to avoid decision fatigue.

#2 Delegate repetitive process

I’m aware of a story but forgot the source of it.

Here’s how the story goes

A billionaire used to mentor a beginner who wanted to be rich. The beginner asked the billionaire, “How can I be rich?”

The billionaire replied, “How much do you want to earn per hour?”

The beginner said he wants to be a millionaire, so he had calculated $500 per hour to reach that goal.

The billionaire gave him two advice.

  1. Any task that’s worth less than $500, have someone else do it. Paid or free, figure that out.
  2. The hour you saved in the previous step, spend that with a prospect.

This makes sense if you think it right.

Just think about it. If you waste too much doing everything, you will have more decisions to make.

This will in turn reciprocate to decision fatigue, which is exactly what we’re avoiding.

#3 Prioritise your day based on project not process

Doesn’t matter if you’re an employee or an employer, you land in two buckets when it comes to performing tasks.

The other day, I was reading “The CEO’s mindset” where I discovered these two types of people.

Process person works in terms of hours & thinks in terms of tasks. Which is cool enough for those who don’t want to make the most out of their time.

The project person, on the other hand thinks in terms of project only. They don’t fret to delegate repetitive tasks.

Even if costs them money. They see it as investment.

If you prfioritize based on project there are very high chance that you’d end up making way less decisions, because you will have people to do that.

#4 Use data to make decisions

We live in a world where data is the new oil, it’s the new currency.

Laws may fail, governments may turn against you, people might leave you, but data will not let you down.

Setup tools or people who take care of the key data that helps you decide. Interestingly, if you have data & someone who can make it meaningful to you, more than half of the decision will already be taken, you only have to approve it.

I’m a marketer, I have tools like Google Analytics, Google search console, Google trends, Bing webmaster tools, Ubersuggest (paid), SEMRush & Ahrefs to make decisions.

Most of them are free.

#5 Don’t let other’s opinions bother your decisions

I get this feeling.

This is one of the easiest way to get drowned in a situation where you have to make decisions, because opinions of other have instilled self-doubt in you.

You don’t want that.

It’s highly important to have a fresh pair of eyes judging & reviewing your work, but you don’t have to give them the power to ruin your mindset.

Have that remote with you.

If you can’t control your mindset against people who shower their opinions, it’s better to isolate yourself from them.

You will screw your will power.

#6 Don’t overthink about results without actually doing anything

If results drive you, there’s a fair chance that you will have to keep adjusting your approach & strategy.

You want to fit into the crown, but that doesn’t mean you’d break your head to give it a shape. No!

Don’t let results drive you. Enjoy the process, forget about the results.

This will save a lot of willpower & decision making ability.

Adjusting every now & then will force you make decisions often & we don’t want that.

Even if you have people around you who can do the work, you’ll still have to spend your will power to make right decisions.

We weird humans, hate making decisions, because they prove us wrong.

#7 Don’t be overconfident. You can’t be right all the time

This is the most weird part. I didn’t want to include this but I felt the need to share it.

A lot of entrepreneurs & successful brands have ruined their lives because of the wrong decisions they made.

Maybe they took their success for granted.

Tiger Woods.

I don’t have to elaborate further, you already know about him.

I don’t care what other decipher of his story, but I think, his own success got better of him & made him take wrong decisions which unfolded as one of the biggest disasters for his personal & professional life.

It’s okay. You can’t be right all the time. If you find yourself in the pit of the wrong, step back, pick yourself up & start again.

You can’t undo the bad decision, but you can definitely avoid redoing it.

Thanks to the experience of the bad decision, you will have to make one less decision.

This till the experience will drive & the default will take the right decisions.

Summary (TL;DR)

I see a set pattern in those who procrastinate, including me.

Though I’m mindful enough to avoid making unnecessary decisions, but procrastination gets better of me & I end up regretting.

The pattern is making too many decisions leads to decision fatigue, that leads to little to no will power.

No will power leads to making bad decisions, which in turn screws your productivity.

Making too many decisions is the core reason why you & I procrastinate.

So, if you want to fix your productivity, fix your decision making skills. Take as less decisions as you can & use the 7 tips I’ve shared above.

If you’re someone who’s looking get discovered online, I share a lot of actionable items on my Instagram page. You can hit me up & ask questions too.

See you on the other side.

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Shubham Davey

Shubham Davey

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Content Writer for SaaS founders | Writing since 2011 | Tech Enthusiast | 2.2 M views on Quora | https://shubhamdavey.com/links | Hit Follow ⤵