10 Things that steal your energy, productivity and focus
How to improve productivity? Do you wake up in the morning, fired up with enthusiasm and energy and then, find yourself going to bed, wondering where the day went and why you didn’t get anything done? If this is you, then don’t worry, it happens to everyone! It’s not your lack of energy and focus; it’s all the things that steal it away in the course of the day that are the problem. Read these ten things that will rob you of your productivity and be pre-armed to fight them off, when they threaten to steal your energy and focus:
1. Setting an unrealistic and long list of tasks that demands the powers of a superman
Set yourself a task list that can be achieved, without the powers of a superhuman, and you will find that you achieve far more. If you start the day with an unrealistic goal, then, as soon as you find that you are falling behind, you will give up on all the tasks.
2. Giving in to tempting distractions and distracting temptations
Your mom always told you that you can’t do your homework with the TV on and she was right. Especially, if you are working at home, it can be tempting to surf online for a couple of hours, or to put on the radio or TV, for a bit of background noise, but you will be half listening to it and that will slow you up.
3. Thinking that you don’t have time to eat
Lunch is for wimps, right? Wrong! Without food, your energy levels will drop and you will work slower or become distracted. You need breaks and you need food, so always, at least, stop for lunch and take regular breaks.
4. Not prioritizing and eating your dessert first
Put your list of tasks in an order of priority and leave more pleasant jobs – your dessert – for later. For most people, it is best to do the things that you don’t want to do, first, and then, you will have better stuff to look forward to later in the day. It will give you more of an incentive to stay focused and work longer.
5. Letting negative feedback drag you down
Not everything is going to work first time, so don’t give up the moment that something goes wrong. It’s always a danger that, when one thing doesn’t work out, you give up on everything else, but you will feel far better, if you carry on; then, the one thing that did go wrong won’t seem so bad anyway.
6. Procrastinating and throwing everything to tomorrow-land
To keep your motivation high, you need to be honest with yourself. Avoid thinking: ‘I’ll do that later’ or ‘that can wait until tomorrow’, or all those things that you don’t do today will mount up to huge and demoralizing list tomorrow.
7. Trying to fix what can’t be fixed will only sap your motivation
Stressing over things that you have no control over will definitely sap your energy and motivation. Just accept it, if something can’t be done, or you will drive yourself mad with an impossible task and get nothing else finished.
8. Wandering off the tangent
Don’t allow yourself to wander off and spend your time on things that you hadn’t planned on doing. It’s easy to find yourself doing this wandering; you go to make a cup of coffee and end up cleaning the kitchen or search online for some information and then, you find yourself buying a new dress. Keep to the task in hand; you can do the other things later.
9. Not being able to say ‘no’ when you need to
Learn how to say ‘no’, both to people asking you to do work that you don’t have the time to do and to friends tempting you out to play, when you should be doing something else more important! People aren’t as unforgiving, as you might think. Saying ‘no’ occasionally won’t harm your friendships and it will help you stay focussed on what you really need to do.
10. Not allowing yourself to have fun and have more free time
Studies have shown that you are far more productive, when you allow yourself time for breaks and take days off. Strike a balance between work and play, and give yourself some time off. You will get more done in a short productive period, than you will in an overlong and drawn out one, that you become bored with.
What are other things that can steal our energy, productivity and focus?
Feel free to share your productivity tips in the comment section below.