Are you an ambitious type? Do you have high aspiration for personal growth?
I always tried to do things more and faster. I was even proud of myself for it.
But in actuality, I wasted my time and energy on things that produced little results in the name of productivity.
Being busy is not being productive. Seemingly doing a lot of things is not being productive.
Here are 5 productivity mistakes to avoid.
Trying to do many things at once
You can choose to be good at anything in life, but not everything in life.
Your time is limited.
When you pursue multiple projects or hobbies, your attention is divided, and you can only produce so much.
A common adage says, “Just do it!” but I disagree.
You can do anything in life, but one at a time. Instead of jumping into a new venture without thinking, actually spend some time thinking about how a new commitment will affect you.
Whenever you get excited with a new idea, write them down before you do anything. Read what you wrote a few days back. Are you still excited about the idea? Is it a well-thought idea, or does it seem to take more time than you initially thought?
Be slow and deliberate in your choice of actions. When you decide on something, execute thoroughly.
Spending too much time organizing
Organizing your tools and surroundings give you a false sense of progress.
I have bought and used hundreds of productivity apps. I used to have 3 bookmarking tools, 4 note-taking apps, 5 meditation apps, and 7 cloud storage apps.
I have a spreadsheet to track every aspect of my life, including budget, calorie intake, sleep, and my daily writing word count.
My life looks super organized on the surface. But do you know what I forgot to do?
The actual work.
Sure, stay organized. But remember all those apps are meant to be helping you focus and spend more time doing the work.
Instead of working around your apps, have the apps work for you.
Sharing your goal with the wrong person
A study says that you’re less likely to achieve your goal when you share it with someone.
That is because sharing your goal with your family and friends gives you a false sense of satisfaction and accomplishment. They will congratulate you and praise you.
Then you’ll lose your edge. If you’re sharing your goal with someone for validation, stop it.
Instead, share your goal with someone only if he or she keeps you accountable for it.
That person will make sure you’re progressing toward your goal. That person will make sure you’ll face the consequences, such as punishment, fine, embarrassment, or disappointment if you don’t follow through.
Sharing your goal and progress with someone who holds you accountable should make you feel slightly uncomfortable. That way, you’re sure to follow-through on your words.
Not having a recouping mechanism in place
“I couldn’t resist myself, and I ate a few chips even though I’m on a diet. Oh, what the hell. I might as well have the whole bag!”
“I’m so tired today. I might as well not work on my side business even though I made the commitment to work on it 30 minutes every day.”
Something of this psychological effect is commonly called the “What-the-hell” effect.
They are bound to happen when we are low in willpower or energy.
You should have a preventive measure or recouping mechanism in place, knowing that those things will happen.
Have a preventive measure so that you’ll never see a bag of chips. When you do succumb to your temptations, have a way to recoup your loss and get back on track quickly.
You could create if-then scenarios and stick to them. For example,
- “If I eat a bag of chips, I’ll do the extra cardio exercise.”
- “If I binge watch Netflix for hours, I’ll write a 2,000-word review essay about it.”
- “I’ll schedule the freedom.to app to block any distracting social media apps in the mornings.”
When you screw up (and you certainly will), don’t just beat yourself up for it. Have a measure in place to quickly recoup your loss to get back on track.
Neglecting diet, exercise, and sleep
Your physical and mental well-being is the basis for your productive output.
Do not neglect your diet or exercise by blaming that you do not have time.
Chances are, no matter how busy you were, you found the time to brush your teeth, shower, and change your clothes.
You can put off on your hobbies or non-urgent studies. But do not let your diet, exercise, and sleep suffer due to your negligence.
They are what fuel your mental and physical energy to accomplish the things you want in life.
Did I miss anything?
What do you think? Which one of these did you resonate with the most?
Leave in the comments below.