It is well known today that the worst enemy of productivity is procrastination. Dealing with procrastination is not an easy task, because it is not just postponing things, like many people think.
The principle “do it right now” will only work in several cases. It is important to know that procrastination is a complex concept and it has the powerful triggers.
They are actually the mistakes you should avoid to stay productive.
Multitasking: the fewer things you are doing – the more you DO!
How lovely it seems to do a lot of different things at the same time! So many people make this mistake.
There is a major reason to quit multitasking: it is better to complete one thing first than to start multiple tasks not completing anything. Besides, multitasking is just an excuse to distract from something we don’t want to do.
Multitasking has many forms. Working on a different project simultaneously is the most obvious one. If you have a lot of various tasks to complete, use a timer to spend a considerable amount of time on the first one. Prioritize. Think of it this way: it will take me an hour to complete it or to proceed and then I can move on.
Another form of multitasking is when you are working on something and get an idea concerning other projects, or remember about an urgent email to answer, etc. What you should not do is distracting for a couple of minutes and then continuing your work. It doesn’t work this way! You won’t get as focused once again.
Take a piece of paper and write your idea down. You can think about it later. It is also a form of multitasking when the physical activity is combined with a mental one. For example, cleaning and listening to a podcast. This is quite acceptable, because different types of activity boost different processes in your brain. But remember that the most natural state of your brain is ‘wandering’, so it will be much healthier if you let your thoughts go for a while.
Perfectionism: nothing to do with perfection
Perfectionists don’t do everything perfect. Usually, they don’t do anything at all. Perfectionists get entrapped when they decide that it is better to start at the perfect time (Monday or the New Year’s Day?), or that they don’t have enough of time or material to make a perfect report, or that they don’t have enough capacity to conduct a perfect research and so on.
They just sit and wait for the situation to be perfect. It will never be. Perfectionism cause procrastination which is simply terrible for your productivity. Even if you are a very hardworking person, combining work and study, both of those things will suffer from your perfectionism. The point is that instead of completing several tasks, you will return on and on to the one that you think is imperfect.
There are many opinions on where perfectionism comes from. If you believe that it is a part of your personality, it must seem an unbearable task to get rid of it. You really should tell yourself that this is not your last try.
Moreover, each try you make will push you a little further to perfection, if you like the concept so much. It is always better to do an imperfect work than not to do anything. No boss will evaluate your perfectionism. This is also quite a common mistake to think so.
Another person cannot get into your mind and understand that your primary goal is to do everything the best way possible. Your boss will only see a lazy worker, postponing things.
Working late: stressful and overwhelming
Sometimes you wish your day to be never ended. And not because it is so great, but because you have so much to do that 24 hours are simply not enough. So what the majority of people usually does is keep working or studying until they are finished.
Or more likely, until they have no strengths to continue, because in reality, it is hardly possible to complete everything. Such dedication to a working process is very good, but the means to achieve goals are wrong.
Today, we can turn to numerous researches proving that sleeping before midnight is healthier than that after midnight. Some data even say that an hour sleeping in this period of time is equal to two hours sleeping later.
You may think that it doesn’t matter if you can sleep as long as you want after the work is done. This is not quite so. First of all, the habit of working late will not come and go when needed. You will not go to bed earlier, even when you have to wake up early, which will eventually lead to a severe sleep deprivation.
On the other hand, sleeping late in the morning will cause oversleeping, which is as stressful for your body and mind as the lack of sleep. Make yourself go to bed two or three hours before midnight.
You will do your work better in the morning. If waking up early is hard for you, think of it as a couple of seconds when you will feel terrible. After those seconds are gone, you’ll have several hours of productive work. Never push a snooze button. After it becomes a habit, you will not react to your alarm clock at all.
Working hard is the only way to get really successful in the contemporary world. However, if you use our smart tips on what to avoid to be more productive, working hard will get a little easier for you.