Flaws in our work routines and how to fix them
Here’s Why People Struggle To Be Productive
Every person wishes productivity were an on/off switch. Your productivity reaches peak levels at your command and wanes off when you want to relax. Unfortunately, productivity is not an on/off switch, and this fact is precisely why many people study productivity (some for a living).
It’s natural to struggle with productivity at different points in your life, but some people struggle far too much with this important skill. If you find yourself in a productivity rut but want to get out, consider these reasons for why people struggle with productivity.
You may find that one or more of these common reasons applies to your current state.
Baggage From The Past
Many people mentally beat themselves up if they fall behind on tasks. It’s natural for us to be disappointed if we fall behind, but letting past mistakes drag us down doesn’t allow us to improve in the moment.
Every day is a fresh beginning. Focus on what you can do rather than what you did or didn’t do beforehand. A great way to deal with a slow start to the day is to load your calendar with activities for the rest of the day. A filled calendar gives you less time to think about mistakes and forces you into the present.
For deeper baggage in your life, it’s worth reflecting on what happened and ask yourself questions to discover the root causes of certain behaviors and how you can improve. Decide when you’ll address the deeper baggage and stay in the present the rest of the time.
No Clear Priorities
If you don’t know the next task, productivity will evade you. Getting more done requires that you know what needs to get done. While some people don’t know their next action item, others don’t know their priorities.
A lengthy to-do list without priorities results in a busy but unproductive performer. Take a step back from your work and decide what few activities yield the best results. If your goal is to make a certain income, consider which activities get you the closest to that goal.
Some income streams provide a great payoff while other income streams present a low payoff for an intense amount of work. Firmly establish your objectives and set priorities that align with your objectives. Anything that does not aid on your objectives is a distraction.
The Instant Gratification Trap
Productivity is a long term game. Any level of progress moves you closer to your goals, but the most meaningful goals take considerable time. People get frustrated when they don’t realize their goals as soon as they would like.
This desire to realize monumental goals sooner makes us fall into the instant gratification trap. Our minds are hardwired to seek instant gratification that comes from social media binging and pursuing low level tasks that don’t move us towards our objectives.
It’s harder to write article after article and grow your brand compared to watching YouTube videos. If you fall into the instant gratification trap, assess which instant gratification traps grab your attention and keep them at bay.
If you browse through social media, block those websites from your browser, and turn off the Wi-Fi if you don’t need it for work. Pay attention to how you feel before dragging yourself into an instant gratification trap. If common feelings come up, figure out how you can change the meaning you assign to those feelings.
Instant gratification takes us away from our best work. A filled calendar and clarity behind your actions will fight away this productivity demon.