Productivity is about more than the techniques and practices you use. What you get done is also influenced by the mood you bring to the day. It won’t surprise you to know that some emotions are more productive than others! So increase your awareness of how you’re feeling at any given time.
Your mindset makes all the difference when it comes to ticking through your to-do list and staying on top of it all.
Here are six common culprits you need to watch out for – and what to do when they rear their ugly head!
There’s nothing worse than trying to crack on with a task when your head is constantly switching from one thought to the next. When you’re trying to write a blog, but your mind is preoccupied with the next task on your list or figuring out what you’re going to cook for dinner from a bare cupboard, it’s near on impossible to perform at your peak.
To do its best work, your head needs the space and permission to focus on one thing at a time. Forget multitasking as a productivity hack – it’s a myth. Instead, create the space to clear out the clutter and free up the bandwidth to concentrate.
This may mean you have to journal first to clear out distracting thoughts or pull out your to-do list or planner to write on your errands. Do what’s necessary to clear away the distractions and give yourself the headspace to go all in on that task which absolutely must get done.
- Lack of confidence
The way we feel about ourselves has a huge impact on the work we’re able to do.
When you don’t trust or believe in yourself, it’s hard to make committed decisions because you’re going to doubt your instincts and second-guess your choices. This attitude breeds procrastination because you end up deliberating (with yourself) over the smallest things.
Other factors will slow you down further…
You may need external validation for your choices. You could worry about the outcome and overthink where you don’t need to.
It’s why there’s a correlation between productivity and confidence. So if confidence is something you struggle with, take steps to feel better in your own skin. Speak with a mentor or coach, join a program, dig deeper into your thoughts with a journal. Confidence is a skill that can be nurtured. It may take time, but it’s so worth it – and not just for the boost in productivity you’ll get as a result.
You’re never going to have your most productive day when you’re sleep deprived! If your brain and body haven’t had the chance to rest and recharge, there’s not a chance your best is going to show up.
It’s hard to concentrate when your eyes are glazing over.
And it’s near on impossible to drop into your deep work zone if you need matchsticks to prop your eyes open!
Very often the answer isn’t as simple as go to bed early. You’ve got things to do and small people may disturb your sleep (I remember those days all too well!) But that’s not to say it’s a lost cause!
It’s not always the amount of sleep you have, it’s the quality of sleep you’re able to enjoy.
Quality sleep doesn’t start the minute your head hits the pillow. An evening routine will help you wind down, switch off your brain, and get you ready for some shut eye.
Don’t wear sleep like a badge of honor. It’s easy to do when you have a million and one things to juggle. Instead, be a little kinder to yourself. Recharge your batteries fully and you’ll soon be back on top form.
Ever noticed how boring tasks have this ability to suck every last ounce of energy from you?
One minute you can be raring to go and the next you’re completely drained of all enthusiasm and motivation. It’s a challenge. Willpower alone can only take you so far and once it’s gone, it’s gone!
If you can’t muster up the drive to get yourself going, boredom is going to make a task last for what seems like forever!
Sometimes you will just have to grin and bear it. Just grit your teeth and push yourself through the pain to get it done.
But don’t lose sight of the bigger picture.
If you’re constantly bored by the tasks on your to-do list, it’s likely time for a rethink. What does fill you with passion? How could you spend your day in a way that feels meaningful and purposeful?
Start to infuse more tasks that get you excited into your everyday, and boredom will become less and less of an issue.
Are you the type of person who has to get it absolutely right before you’re willing to move on? I hear you. I definitely have perfectionist traits myself, and it’s a productivity drain.
If you’re not willing to tick something as done without it being 100% perfect, you’re going to take a long time to finish anything. I agree, there is a risk with the ‘good enough is good enough’ mantra. There are times when avoidable errors and sloppiness are costly.
Times when that little extra effort would have made all the difference.
But you also have to be realistic with your resources. If you have a stack of other things to do, there comes a time when those extra few tweaks won’t make any difference to the final outcome.
You just need to be able to discern when that is.
Perfectionism also steals your joy at a job well done. If nothing is ever good enough for you then you’ll never feel proud of your work or your achievements. So get real with those perfectionist traits and make sure they’re serving you instead of piling on unnecessary pressure.
A disorganized head is a chaotic head.
If you don’t know whether you’re coming or going, how can you expect yourself to churn out your best work in a reasonable timespan. It’s not going to happen, is it!
You know you’re disorganized when you’re jumping from one task to the other without finishing the first. When you’re always forgetting stuff and then having to somehow fit it in at the last minute.
Disorganization also shows up in the form of poor planning. For example, touching the same task multiple times (instead of just getting it done), repeating tasks, or spending way to long on a to-do therefore stealing time from something else.
There’s one sure-fire way to go from chaos to calm – and that’s planning your life with a planner.
Invest in a planner and you’ll keep a calm head, take back control, and ultimately get a whole lot more done.
As you know, days don’t always go the way you plan.
Stuff happens that’s going to push your buttons and challenge your sanity! But it’s reassuring to know that these states pass.
We always have the power to choose our attitude. It may be hard to shift yourself out of a funk, but as these six examples show, there’s always plenty you can do to get more done.
What steals your productivity?
Let us know in the comments below.