The inability to perform your job to the best of your ability may be due to a host of reasons. Personal and relationship issues, lack of sleep, and disinterest in the job will all have an effect on your productivity. The following lists four surprising factors which may be affecting your productivity at work.
1. You have a ‘catch-up’ mentality.
This is a predisposition to catching-up as opposed to getting ahead. A catch-up mentality will destroy your productivity, because it allows you to fall behind under the assumption that you will catch-up later by ‘working extra hard’ – but how many times has that truthfully happened. You may have been able to get away with procrastination in College, but this won’t cut it in the real world.
If you want to be successful, then you need to develop a getting-ahead mentality. Once you have caught up, you then work proactively on creating a lead. Knowing that you are ahead will reduce your anxiety about the workload and will result in better quality work which you can be proud of.
2. You don’t start your mornings off in a proactive mindset.
Did you know that your morning routine of checking emails may be taking a heavy toll on your productivity? Checking your email when you get into the office puts you in a reactive mode, which is actually better-suited for the end of the day when your energy is lagging. Instead, bite the frog first thing in the morning – do your most difficult or most dreaded task first so that you can get it out of the way. You will also notice a difference in your overall mood and stress, as you no longer have that task weighing heavy on your mind throughout the day’s course.
3. You are putting too much effort into multitasking.
Multitasking is a skill which is often spoken of proudly, but it’s also one of the biggest productivity killers out there. Studies have demonstrated the dangers of spreading one’s self too thin: reduced focus, higher instances of error, and brain damage (yes, you read that right).
If you absolutely must multitask, then save it for the menial and the mindless tasks which require little thought processing. However, difficult and important tasks should warrant your full attention. Fail to provide this attention, and your productivity will take a hit.
4. You don’t have productivity-boosting habits.
In the The Power of Habit, Charles Duhigg talks about habit as the subconscious mind’s way to automate repetitive processes, so that our mind’s thinking capacity is reserved for the most important and difficult tasks. For example, commuters often find themselves getting from point A to point B with no recollection of what happened in between.
The ability to consciously develop good habits is a skill which will pay dividends in your career. Here are some examples of good habits to get you started:
- Arriving to the office 15 minutes earlier.
- Exercising in the morning.
- Staying off social media between work hours.
- Creating a to-do list for the next day.
- Taking a minute every hour to focus on your breathing and center your thoughts.
How have you managed to defeat laziness and improve productivity in your own life? Let us know in the comments below.
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