When was the last time you were able to check out all the tasks in your list and sleep feeling a TASK SLAYER?
Welcome to the world where being productive is not only a personal quest but also an institutional requirement (if you work for one).
SO much so that you are willing to SWITCH ON your mechanical mode and SWITCH OFF your more often than before.
SO much so that you may put off calls from loved ones because you were busy impressing your boss.
If being productive was so important for you, Why are you not HYPER PRODUCTIVE?
My journey of productivity started when I started my side hustle and found my task plate too full.
The ensuing months were a sheer struggle and full of sleepless nights.
I was sleeping half and dragging full.
A friend suggested me a break (which I was reluctant to take – remember the overflowing task list), but somehow I took that.
Next Day, I was in the Himalayas and I couldn’t help but worry about the days I was loosing not working.
In that very brief moment during the lunch, I ended up asking myself the most significant productivity questions of my life:
- Who was filling my plate?
- Does my plate has just the stuff I like or more of what I don’t?
Next 2 Days I came across the Productivity Pitfalls that I was constantly driving myself into:
Mojo of Small Things Presents 4 Productivity Pitfalls You NEED TO Avoid.
Too many Distractions.
Too much noise and too much sound.
‘There is too much noise, too much sound, and too many decisions to be made’ – if that is how your usual day sounds like,
then you are in the first pitfall of ‘Having Too many distractions’ and You lack FOCUS (How to reclaim your focus?)
You are preparing yourself to get tired even before starting your day. Aren’t You?
Decision Fatigue is real and lethal for productivity.
Its same as being unable to see the forest admiring the trees.
New Age Executives are doing it and so should you.
If you don’t want to decide upon what you want to wear every morning DON’T decide – Go Monotone like Steve Jobs (should I write Apple?)
If you don’t want to decide upon What to eat for breakfast – Don’t decide and eat same every day like Jack Dorsey (Twitter).
You can skip watching TV, and reading a Newspaper and just dive into your work straight. (Regain Focus with 2 Daily Hacks)
If that is not possible for you to skip (Apologies, IF you are the EDITOR?), put them in the middle or end of the day.
If you want to be productive, It is your task to zoom through distractions.
PS: The small acts can be your opportunities to practice mindfulness, but then all these should be deliberate and planned (not at the cost of what matters).
Being too ambitious about your TO-do-Lists.
You are not the PRODUCTIVITY YODA yet.
The age-old productivity wisdom points unanimously towards CHECKLISTS or TO-DO lists.
Pundits say that ‘What gets planned, Gets done’, or ‘ What gets written gets done’.
NO matter which advice you pick up – The problem and the Solution to Productivity lies in The LIST (the TO-DO list).
It is pretty normal to make huge TO-DO lists and bang your head after seeing more of unfinished tasks,
It is also normal to add tasks in your list during the later part of the day, JUST to feel good about your TO-DO list
(General Motor Employees were found indulging in that, so you can excuse yourself for being mortal too).
When we get too ambitious about our TO-DO lists – this is what may potentially happen:
- You may witness (deliberate) a boost in your productivity and are able to beat your list too.(This may call for cosmic intervention or you acquiring some sort of Super Powers – but not unlikely)
- You may stop paying heed to your TO-DO list and start believing that the list thing is not for you. (Another extreme, very likely)
- You may relearn how to make lists work for you rather than you working according to the list (still unlikely, but much needed).
Now, How do you make (3) Happen? – This is Your Plan -B if you don’t want to make your own plan.
- Go old School – A Diary and a Pen
- Use a Calendar simply because you are planning for the future. (Here is – Why you should plan your week rather than your days?)
- Write task details – Place, , Time of Start, and When do you want it to finish.
PS: If you are not making any sort of LISTS – you are putting too much load on your mind.
Listing things down eases your mind (after some training).
You are the average of five people you spend time with.
Here comes the Third – Which doesn’t seem like one.
Remember when your mother would make you sit with smarter people?
She believed that some of their smarts will rub on you too.
You know what is going to sabotage your success more than the checklist you have, or decision to avoid decision fatigue?
The company you keep. (Here is How to clean up your company)
A wrong company not only tires you without you knowing, and making your TO-DO list redundant –
It also changes your PRODUCTIVITY BLUEPRINT
- What it means to be productive?
- What is the highest level you should aspire to achieve?
They will drag you into small talk, gossip, and why you can’t be great anymore.
DO we need to say more?
You don’t have a Morning and Night Routine.
The Fourth is the God of All.
Here comes the secret: All Productivity Should converge into ROUTINES.
ROUTINE(s) is the ANSWER We all have been looking for.
Routines are the seeds of HABITS and That is where Fruit of GREATNESS gets germinated.
When everything is falling apart – Routines will come to save you.
The Performers, The Stars, The Doers – They have one thing in common.
They love routines and systems.
Why do High-Performers Love Routines?
Because they are biased towards action, and they can put things on AUTO-PILOT.
Which means that you gain focus, steer past decisions (and the ensuing fatigue), and you are doing stuff before even you have even entered your day.
Put another way: If you were asked to pick just one thing out of the magic box –
PICK ROUTINES that amplify what you want to do, want to have and want to be.
Night Routines: Ensure a switch off; Say thank you; and prepare for the coming day.
Morning Routines: Say Thanks; Rejuvenate Your Body, mind, and Soul; Start creating Value.
Here goes the CRUX of it all:
- Steer Clear of Distractions.
- Don’t let your to-do list make you unproductive.
- Choose your company to choose your momentum.
- Put What matters on Auto-Pilot.
You Will be Good to Go.