As we head toward Thanksgiving and the holiday season, it’s a great time to recalibrate your personal productivity.
It’s not a stretch to say we’d all love to have more time to finish our to-do list, do a project more thoroughly, or enjoy being outdoors more often. Yet, it seems like we always run out of valuable time. When we keep pushing, we get either physically or mentally drained.
Identify the one biggest challenge affecting your personal productivity, then make the necessary adjustments so it no longer drains your time and energy.
Here are three common timewasters to consider when determining your biggest challenge:
Working on the Wrong Priority – We get busy and get things done, but rarely do we slow down to ask, “Is this what I should be working on?” We may like doing task ‘A’ better than task ‘B’ so we don’t work on ‘B’ until the last minute. Next thing we know, we’re out of time and wishing we had more! Then we face that “silent stress,” which zaps our energy—the stress eating at us for not working on task ‘B.’ A better approach: Establish the right priorities and be disciplined to stick with them until they’re complete. Then move onto the next.
Tolerating Interruptions – We leave ourselves open to productivity thieves by letting them interrupt us. “You have a problem? Bring it to me,” we declare. We can let emails especially interfere with our train of thought and consume our mental energy. Let’s say we’re working on project ‘A’ (ours) and someone immediately wants an answer for project ‘X’ (not ours), in the spirit of teamwork, we drop everything to help out (even though no one is helping us). It’s best to set availability boundaries, communicate them to others, and then stick to them.
Maintaining Bad Habits – Admit it, certain bad habits rob us of time. Maybe it’s poor eating, getting involved in someone else’s drama, letting our minds wander when we should focus, starting too many things at the same time, taking on assignments when we can’t complete those we’re already doing. Which bad habits are consuming your time and what will you do about them?
Life is short. So we ask, “Where’s the time to enjoy the day as we’d like?” By identifying and recalibrating our productivity habits, we just might find what we’re looking for.