You wake up, make a To-Do list and you feel amazing because you’re about to be sooooo productive!
You’re about to knock everything out and accomplish the goals you’ve set for yourself.
But then you get to the end of the day and realize that you’ve done absolutely nothing on your list.
Sure, you’ve gotten a few things done, but none that are actually important.
I am a firm believer in maximizing your time to the fullest in order to get things done. As moms, wives, friends, professionals we often think that we simply do not have enough time to get everything done. We actually usually have enough time in the day, the problem is that we’re focused on the wrong areas. When you focus on what’s important at that moment, you allow yourself to be productive and produce amazing work.
It’s important to identify why we’re unproductive and how we can combat those specific issues. Let’s dig into 3 reasons why you’re probably unproductive and how you can fix it.
We spend hours and hours scrolling on social media, especially when we’re avoiding something. We find so many other things that we can do, other than what we’re actually supposed to be doing. In the past hour of writing this blog post, I’ve checked my Instagram feed about 5 times, logged onto Facebook about 3 times and scrolled a bit on Pinterest as well. Even while writing about being unproductive, I’m still distracted! I probably wasted a good 20 minutes plus just scrolling on social media.
We also get distracted by other obligations. I often find myself working on a project with the thought of another project in mind. I then stop what I’m currently working on and I jump to another task because now my brain is focused on something else.
Have you ever been working on a project and then your email notification pops up in the corner? You try so hard to restrain yourself from stopping what you’re currently doing to read the new email that just came in..but nope, you can’t resist! Now you’ve fallen down a rabbit hole of emails and it takes you another hour to come back to the task that you really need to be focused on.
Solution: Start to find ways to block out those distractions as you’re working on important projects. There’s an app called Forest, that can help with screentime. The app plants a virtual seed with the goal to grow a tree and eventually a forest as long as the app is open and you stay focused on your task. If you close the app the tree will die and you’ll lose your progress. This is a great way to track yourself and challenge yourself to stay on task in a fun way.
You’re focused on the wrong tasks
It’s important that when you make your To-Do list that you identify the most important tasks on this list, make them a priority and then knock those out first. It’s easy to do the tasks that are easier or more “fun”. What’s hard is tackling those priorities that are daunting and boring.
I’ve also realized that I’ve prioritized the wrong tasks simply because I don’t understand the full scope of the project I’m taking on. Make sure you do the appropriate research and know all of the details involved in successfully accomplishing whatever project it is that you’ve set out to do. I’ve recently started to project plan a bit more at work to help me figure out what tasks I should be focused on. I’m in a new role now, and although I’m doing the same type of projects, I’m now focused on different aspects of the project. I write down all of the tasks involved with the project, set up a timeline and then figure out what needs to be completed in order of importance. I also collaborate with others and make sure that I haven’t missed any important details that could prevent me from being as productive as possible.
Solution: Create a calendar where you time-block your day. This is a method I love using because it allows me to schedule out every task I have for the day and ensure that I only focus on that task during that time. For example, I might schedule 30 minutes for meal planning, 1 hour for writing, 1.5 hours for creating graphics etc. This allows me to discipline myself to only focus on what I’ve scheduled on the calendar during that time period. If I start working on anything else then it’ll mess up my whole schedule and it can throw off your day.
“Procrastination is the arrogant assumption that you have an extra day that God gave you.” – Unknown
I truly believe that procrastination and fear go hand in hand. I’ve noticed that when I typically procrastinate on something it’s because I’m afraid of what the outcome will be, or I’m not prepared for the answer or I have a lack of information. Recently, I withheld some very important financial information from my husband because…well, I was scared. I was afraid of what he would say and didn’t want him to be disappointed in how I handled the situation. However, the longer I waited to tell him, the worse the situation got and he ended up being even more upset because of how long it took for me to tell him. What project is it that you’re afraid of working on that has led you to make no progress?
Solution: Face your fears and goals head-on. When you procrastinate you delay the process of making your dreams and goals a reality. I encourage you to make a list of tasks/goals that you’ve been putting off and are afraid of tackling. Make the decision that TODAY you will work on at least one of those items to increase your productivity.
Take some time to reflect on these issues and how they may be affecting your work productivity. Are there any that I missed that you struggle with? If so, let me know in the comments!