There are plenty of ways that you might be able to boost your productivity on a regular basis, whether it’s while finishing up some paperwork in the office or getting through your list of errands on the weekend. But no matter how many tricks you try to use to keep yourself on track, it’s hard to achieve what you need to when there are small things working against you and your productivity. To make sure that you are able to get rid of the productivity-nixing setbacks that might be throwing off your game, here are three of the biggest things that might be holding you back, and what to do to conquer them.
You have a to-do list, but it doesn’t have deadlines.
You may already know that one way to keep yourself accountable and make sure that you are always being your most productive every day is to make a thought-out list of all the things you’re aiming to accomplish that day. What you may not know, though, is that a to-do list without much of a schedule to outline when things on your list should be done by – this could be a time in the day for smaller tasks, or a date for larger endeavors – could put a bit of a damper on your plans to stay on track. To make sure that you remain your most productive, always be sure to accompany your to-do lists with a timeline that helps keep you on track by making the tasks feel more like concrete commitments than general things you hope to get done.
You keep putting off the bigger tasks until later.
Everybody has had days when a hefty to-do list leads to pushing the most intimidating tasks to the bottom of the list in favor of tackling the simple ones first. But when you put off the bigger items on your list of must-do’s to later in the day, you might be setting yourself up for a less productive workflow than if you were to tackle the tougher stuff right off the bat. Why? Because as the day drags on, you’re more and more likely to become less energetic, less creative, and less efficient than you may have been at the start of the day. It makes sense, then, that the best way to ensure productivity is to take care of the bigger items on your to-do list earlier in the day, when you’re most likely to have the mental energy to do them best.
You don’t know how to say “no.”
It should go without saying that the more you pile onto your plate, the less likely it is that you’ll be able to successfully knock everything out in a timely manner. With that being said, it’s often tough enough to keep your productivity high while tackling all of your usual day-to-day tasks. So, naturally, when you have the tendency to always say “yes” when asked by others to help out with additional things on top of that, it can set you back even further. The key to making sure that you don’t take on more than you can while maintaining your productivity is making sure that you’re always mindful of the fact that saying “no” doesn’t have to be a bad thing. It doesn’t mean that you don’t want to help someone, or that you are too lazy to take on more work – it just means that you’re conscious enough of your workload to realize that you can’t take on an additional task successfully at the moment. In that sense, saying no is both a way to maintain your productivity, and to make sure that whoever takes on the task in question for the other person is someone who has the bandwidth to do it justice.