The differences between highly productive people and those who are not can be attributed to their usage of productive time. But it’s much more than that. Bad habits that don’t initially appear so-bad are more concise parameters to point at.
I’ll paint a simple scenario that you can probably relate to: You’ve got so much to do and so much work on your desk. Family is calling on you and your college exams are around the corner. Coupled with that, you’re trying to carve out time for social activities and maintain your relationships. But in all these things, you feel the daily 24 hours are not enough to actualize much.
On the other hand, you might have this friend who seems to have her life figured out. Everything about her appears to be organized. She tidies her tasks on time and still goes on vacation yearly, in addition to her regular joyous weekends at the cinemas or park.
If you can relate to this, then you’re probably asking this question: “How is she so organized, efficient and productive?”
The answer is simple, HABITS.
There are certain bad habits that may not seem bad which you have. They may appear to be your strength, but the truth is that they are not. The difference between you and highly productive people is that they lack these bad habits:
This is one good habit that can turn out bad. I know it’s great to be able to do a whole lot of things at the same time, but the truth is that it makes you lose focus. Highly productive people are focused on whatever thing they embark on.
Why work on five things at the same time without finishing any, when you can focus on them one after the other? Even if you ended up finishing only one or two at the end of the day, it’s better than nothing.
The power of focus gets jobs done and births forth results. Do one thing at a time and watch the results trickling in.
2. Working In A Disorganized Environment
Even though you can boast of being able to work under any harsh condition, it’s not wise to subject yourself to environments that will deal psychological blows to you. It has a way of affecting how you behave also. And trust me; when you’re disorganized you can’t give your best. You’ll get stressed out and often times, depressed.
Take time to put your home, office or desk in order. It might take you a whole day, depending on how messy the place is. But the result is that you’ll have enough mental room for better strategy, planning, productivity, and efficiency.
3. Inconsistency: Dragging A Task Longer Than Expected
It can be quite frustrating to embark on a task that seems to last forever. You start today, rest for one hour, play video games for 2 hours, go back to the job and work for 20 minutes before packing it up till the next day.
Come on, that’s inconsistency, and it’s a very bad habit. The longer a task takes, the more difficult it is to finish it. Highly productive people are persistent. No one says they don’t face such blocks at times, but they are disciplined enough to remain on a task consistently until it’s finished.
Go back to every unfinished task you have. Abandon any new project you’re thinking of embarking on. One after the other, work on those unfinished tasks or get someone to help you get them done.
4. Spending Your Most Productive Time On The Least Important Tasks
What we’ve got are just 24 hours. As painful as that may be, we can’t change it. You need to identify the hours of the day when you are most productive and efficient. You also need to understand that everyone is wired differently. If you’re more productive in the morning, don’t allow someone else to waste it by inviting you for chitchats.
Based on the 80/20 principle, dedicate such time to the most important tasks.
Highly productive people are not spontaneous. They’ve got their lives planned out and will never allow people with bad time management habits to encroach into their productive time.
5. Setting Unrealistic Goals
This is not just a bad habit; it is also a habit that can send one to an early grave. It all boils down to time management. Setting unrealistic goals has a way of focusing your productive time on projects that will end in futility. It’s like chasing shadows.
Highly productive people neither set goals nor embark on projects without first of all calculating the feasibilities of actualization. Unrealistic goals can knock you off your career tracks and leave you in a haven of depression. It consumes money, productive time, mental prowess and all you have to offer.
Can you meticulously check all the goals you wrote down for this year? How many of them are really realistic and attainable within the time frame you carved out? If anyone is not, remove it from your list and focus on more realistic goals.
6. Blaming Others For Your Unproductiveness
“We are the architects of our own misfortune and success.”
– Highly productive people
Excuses will only make you grow fat in failure.
7. Giving In To Fear
No matter how hard you try, fear will always lurk beside you. It will be there every time you’re about making an important decision in your life. When you’re at the verge of achieving something great, it’ll be there. There is always the fear of failure, uncertainties, and regrets.
No matter how long fear lurks beside you, you must realize that life is a risk and we must all have to face our biggest fears. Shying away from those fears will only increase how much of your productive time is wasted on negative thoughts.
Ask yourself, what are the worst case scenarios? What’s the worst that will happen when you fail that exam? If you don’t get the job, what’s the worst that will happen? If he breaks up with you, what’s the worst that can happen?
Highly productive people always think of the worst that may happen in any situation and then face their fears squarely. If you want to be part of their league, then you need to step out of your cave and approach life boldly.
Fear is only a shadow of something beautiful.
It’s never too late to sail away from the coast of unproductiveness and head towards high-level efficiency. Highly productive people did that some time ago by dropping these bad habits. You can do same now and share the results with me.