Weekly Quick Tips

Why Aren’t You More Productive?

Time management and organizing go hand in hand. Chances are if you struggle with one, you struggle with the other. Often for the same reasons.

If you feel unhappy with what you accomplish by the end of a day, then there’s a good chance the reasons lie here.

1. You ignore your preferences. Some people work well in the morning, in a busy office, with a range of projects, and lots of spontaneity. Others don’t get going till the evening and need peace, focus, and routine. Others fall everywhere in between. Do you know what brings out your most productive self? We all have rhythms and idiosyncrasies that make us productive little dynamos in some circumstances and virtual zombies in others. Do you allow yourself to structure your time and your environment to provide what you need for maximum effectiveness?

2. You think there’s time for everything. Life is short, days are short, we’re all busy, and change is never-ending. Nobody gets everything perfectly done. The best we can hope for is to get the important things done. But as long as you believe it’s all doable, you’ll fall into the trap of thinking you have time for the small stuff. And that can keep the big stuff forever out of your reach.

3. You don’t know which activities really matter.Because there’s so much to do, it can sometimes be difficult to identify which are the activities that matter. In any career, goal, project, or challenge there will be magic activities that accelerate your progress, and without which you can’t succeed. The trick is to analyze your priorities and get ruthless about the way you spend your time. Otherwise you can stay clueless about what will bring the best returns on your limited time and energy.

4. You don’t have an effective time-management system.  No, we’re not talking about your awesome new app or leather-bound Daytimer. We’re talking about you – the way you manage yourself day-to-day, the way you decide what needs to be done, and to check off the things that matter. Until you have this system down, you may be squandering your energy and time and wondering why you aren’t making better progress.

5. You don’t know how to focus. One of the most common complaints among people who feel frustrated with their productivity is that they can never finish anything. Although it’s a perfectly recognizable problem, it’s one that has to be overcome if you want to increase your personal effectiveness and become more productive. Only by learning to focus can you complete those important tasks and become a master at getting stuff done.

6. You’re a perfectionist. Are you nodding at this? While straightening the items on your desk? Being a perfectionist can serve you in some ways – it means you have high standards, do great work, take immense pride in your contributions. But it’s not a great quality when it come to getting things done. If you want to improve your time-management skills, then letting go of perfectionistic standards for things that really don’t matter is an essential step.

7. You procrastinate. Procrastination is human and we all do it sometimes. Procrastination itself is not the enemy. What stands in the way of productivity is the mind games we play around the very natural tendency to put off the difficult act of getting started. Procrastination is a challenge most people relate to, which is not surprising, given that the solution often involves solving all 6 problems above.

When you work with your natural preferences, when you’re clear about how little time you have in life, when you know which activities are magic, and how to fit them into your day, when you’ve learned how to focus and you’ve let go of needing your efforts to be perfect, then procrastination all but disappears, and time is on your side!Copyright © 2013 Organizing Lives ® All rights are reserved and no part of this article may be reproduced or copied in any form or by any means unless expressly stated otherwise, or except with the written permission of Organizing Lives®. Enquires should be directed to: info@orgliv.mybusinesshub.ca