If you’re like many people, you probably feel like there aren’t enough hours in the day. In fact, you’re probably always on the hunt for strategies that can help boost your productivity. But have you ever considered that you may be unknowingly killing your productivity with certain habits? This guide explains.
15 Ways You’re Killing Your Own Productivity
Check out the 15 ways that many people crash and burn when it comes to being productive:
- Inefficient multitasking
- Working through clutter
- Skipping breaks
- Neglecting self-care
- Ineffective delegation
- Constantly checking emails
- Lack of planning
- Failing to set goals
- Ignoring time management
- Drowning in meetings
- Absence of priorities
- Avoiding technology
- Mismanaging distractions
- Failing to ask for help
The following sections explain each of these productivity-killers in greater detail.
Productivity-Killer #1: Inefficient multitasking
Though many people believe that doing several things at one time increases productivity, that’s not usually the case. In fact, research suggests that multitasking often leads to mistakes and inefficiency. It’s always better to focus on one task at a time if you want better results.
Related: 15 marketing tasks everyone hates
Productivity-Killer #2: Working through clutter
Disorganized workspaces can significantly reduce your productivity and efficiency. Even if you think you work better amidst clutter, you need to know that clutter creates a visual distraction and makes it harder to find necessary items. Regularly tidying your workspace can help improve your focus and your efficiency.
Productivity-Killer #3: Skipping breaks
Working nonstop doesn’t lead to more productivity. Conversely, regular breaks help rejuvenate your mind and boost your creativity. Try to incorporate short breaks into your schedule to prevent burnout. Even a few breaks during the day can make a tremendous difference in the amount and quality of work you accomplish.
Productivity-Killer #4: Neglecting self-care
Keeping a balanced diet, exercising regularly and making sure you get enough sleep are all essential for optimal productivity. That’s a hard pill to swallow for many people who are used to burning the midnight oil and grinding around the clock, but if you’re not taking care of yourself, your performance will slip.
Productivity-Killer #5: Procrastination
Putting off tasks until the last minute makes you more stressed and often, it leads to subpar results. If you can overcome procrastination, you can improve your productivity.
Related: 15 reasons you need solid branding
Productivity-Killer #6: Ineffective delegation
When you try to do everything yourself, it’s easy to spread yourself too thin. It can be hard to trust others with important tasks, but if you want to be the most productive you that you can be, you’ll need to get good at delegating and freeing up your time so you can focus on the things that grow your business. That’s typically where a virtual assistant comes in. Your virtual assistant can evaluate and prioritize your tasks as well as hand them out to other people who will perform them effectively.
Productivity-Killer #7: Constantly checking emails
New mail notification sounds alright time suck, and regularly checking your inbox disrupts your flow and fragments your attention. Try setting specific times for managing your emails so you can focus on tasks without getting sidetracked by things other people want from you.
Productivity-Killer #8: Lack of planning
A lot of people waste time figuring out what to do next because they haven’t set aside a few minutes to develop a plan for the day. Planning your day in advance helps you stay focused and efficient, and you’ll almost always get more done that way.
Productivity-Killer #9: Failing to set goals
Goals can give you direction and help you measure your progress. Even small goals are a big deal. Take a few minutes each day to write down what you want to accomplish and give yourself the satisfaction of scratching things off a list after they’re finished. If you’re not setting goals, you’re missing out on an essential productivity tool.
Productivity-Killer #10: Ignoring time management
Everyone needs to manage their time to be productive. There are plenty of tools and strategies you can use to manage your time better, and they can all help you significantly improve your performance. In many cases, it pays to work with a virtual assistant who can help schedule your day in the most efficient ways.
Productivity-Killer #11: Drowning in meetings
Sure, meetings can be productive. But too many meetings can really eat into your work time. You should really consider whether a meeting is truly necessary before you schedule it. Ask yourself: “Could this be an email?” If the answer is yes, don’t schedule a meeting over it.
Productivity-Killer #12: Absence of priorities
It’s hard for many busy people to remember that not every task is equally important period identifying and prioritizing your tasks can help you focus on what truly matters. Tasks that are less important can often be handled by others, which goes back to effectively delegating work (see “Productivity Killer #6).
Productivity-Killer #13: Avoiding technology
Technology can help automate repetitive tasks, manage your schedule and enhance communication. If you’re not using it properly, you’re really missing out on increased productivity. In many cases, it pays to work with a virtual assistant who can set up systems that can make you more productive and more efficient (and your tasks more profitable). Check out Solve it With Systems to learn more.
Productivity-Killer #14: Mismanaging distractions
We all have distractions, whether they’re dings from our phones or e-mail inboxes or our offices are close to the water cooler where people chat all day. Learning to manage these distractions can help you stay on track, but if it’s impossible to manage them, try to avoid them entirely. Turn off your phone, move the water cooler to the hallway, or take other steps that help you steer clear of things that pull you away from your work.
Productivity-Killer #15: Failing to ask for help
Nobody’s an island. A virtual assistant can help you handle administrative tasks and free up your time for more important work, which means even with the money you spend on hiring an assistant, your work will be more profitable and more enjoyable for you.
Do You Need to Talk to a Virtual Assistant About Making Yourself More Productive?
If you’re ready to stop killing your own productivity and move forward into better profitability, hiring a virtual assistant can help. Fill out the form below and see how we can help you make the most of your time.