Here are 10 Bad Productivity Habits That Are Holding You Back:
- Multitasking– Multitasking only leads to more work started, not completed. It’s not about how many tasks you start, but rather how many you finish. Make sure you cross that task off your list before beginning another.
- Not Taking Deadlines Seriously– If you don’t take deadlines seriously, you will consistently deliver late work. You will experience unneeded stress, lost opportunities, and rework. Allow extra time to finish work ahead of deadlines.
- Not Putting Things Away– “I’ll clean this up later,” you tell yourself. Before you know it, your desk is piled high and at home there are dishes in the sink from days ago. Take a few minutes to clean up now or else you will spend hours doing it later.
- Not Capturing Ideas– How many great ideas do you have but then forget? Or tasks that you don’t remember to complete? When you think of it, capture information immediately to your notebook, contact list, or to-do list. (Bonus Tip: Make sure you review your notes later. Many people take notes, but never look at them again.)
- Having Multiple Tools– Do you have duplicate tools in your time management toolkit? Multiple calendars, notebooks, and to-do lists lead to confusion and duplication. Which calendar did you write that appointment on? Which contact book did you capture that phone number to? Adhere to the Power of One and stick to one of each type of productivity tool.
- Using Your Inbox as Your To-do List– Your inbox is not your to-do list. Or your filing cabinet for that matter. Get to-dos out of your inbox and onto your to-do list where they belong.
- Using the Wrong Form of Communication– Using the wrong communication medium can cost you time and effort. Consider the situation before choosing between Phones vs. Text vs. Email. And of course, know when to go see the individual in person.
- Being Too Available– If you are always available, then people will continue to take up your time. If you give all of your time away, you won’t have any left to get to your priorities. When you need to get work done, make sure you isolate yourself, go to a private space, or yes, close your door.
- Saying Yes to everything– As David Allen says, “You can do anything, but you can’t do everything.” Saying “No” when appropriate is an important productivity skill.
- Putting Things Off Until Tomorrow– Tomorrow makes many promises. But, today is the only day that gets them done. If that task needs to get done, then do it today.
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