Too many people believe that success comes from working nonstop. However, if you spend all day at work but are an ineffective worker, then you’ve just wasted your time. Accomplishing your goals will only become a reality if you learn how to use your time productively. Here are four common mistakes that hurt your productivity and what you can do to improve it.
Planning and Prioritizing Incorrectly
You’ll never increase efficiency if you are constantly focused on the wrong thing. Don’t get distracted by something inconsequential. You should always prioritize the difficult tasks. Once you accomplish an urgent task, it’s easier to work through the small unimportant ones. Make sure you prioritize your work before others’. Only after you finish your own job can you help people with theirs.
Avoid starting your day without a plan. You need to know exactly what you’re going to do in a day and when you are going to do it. Just as an entrepreneur needs to create a business plan to identify any shortcomings and pitfalls to succeed, you need to identify your own goals and organize your work to reach them.
Set realistic expectations for what you can accomplish in a day. If you knowingly overwhelm your schedule, you are setting yourself up for failure. All too often, people will paralyze themselves with stress and guilt because they took on too much and wasted their time with minor tasks. You know your limits. Only with a proper roadmap can you become your most productive self.
Not Writing It Down
No matter how good you think your memory is, always write things down. There are so many tasks and errands in your day-to-day life that it’s near impossible to successfully keep track of everything in your head. It will only increase your stress levels if you forget about important dates or meetings, therefore decreasing overall productivity. Either write it down on paper like in a planner or notebook or use an electronic calendar for your reminders.
Failing at Time Management
You can easily waste an entire day just by looking at your phone. Planning your day out won’t benefit your productivity if you don’t learn to manage your time. Set boundaries for yourself to limit the time you spend checking social media, answering calls, or sending texts. Around 28% of an office worker’s day is spent distracted by constant interruptions. Give yourself “office hours” where you check your phone in intervals for a few minutes instead of every time it rings. Turn your phone on airplane mode or even put it in a different room if you need to, and block access to certain websites while you work.
Ignoring Your Health
Finally, one of the worst things you can do for yourself is slack on your own health. Take time every day to focus on your mental health by taking breaks, going on walks, and eating and sleeping properly. Spend time with your family and friends to relax and recharge. Don’t sit at your desk all day thinking that you’ll somehow magically become more productive. A sedentary lifestyle is extremely damaging to your physiological health, so by taking breaks more often and moving around, you’ll actually find yourself working more effectively.
Follow these tips to ensure an increase in efficiency in your life. If you avoid making these mistakes you will become more productive and accomplish your goals sooner. Create a plan, set your priorities, write them down, manage your time, and look after your well-being. It takes discipline, but you can do it.