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Roadblocks to Productivity

Roadblocks to Productivity

Feeling stressed, over stimulated, overworked and just plain tired? In today’s world, we all have numerous responsibilities and tasks that fill up our days. At times, it feels as if there aren’t enough hours in the day to accomplish everything.

But maybe it’s not a time management problem. Maybe the issue isn’t how many hours you have in a day to get all your responsibilities completed.  Maybe the problem requires you to step back and get a new perspective on what’s REALLY blocking you from living a productive life.

You clutter your life with tasks and responsibilities that just aren’t important anymore. At one point, they were important to you.  However, your life has evolved and over time, you’ve added new responsibilities that are more vital to your current life. However, you haven’t taken the time to let go of the old to make room for the new. It’s possible that you’re trying to accomplish a daily weekly list that is not relevant to your life NOW. Step back and take a fresh look at your life.  Do each one of these tasks and responsibilities lead to your overall short-term and long-term goals?  Maybe you need to do some purging and throw out what’s standing in the way of your goals.

[Related: Productivity Hacks: Why 4 a.m. Is the Best Time to Work]

You have trouble prioritizing and looking at things objectively. Last week, I was having a conversation with my husband.  He informed me that he had way too much to accomplish on his daily list.  He had some extremely important paperwork and also had to pick up all the leaves in the yard. He was on his way out to clean up the yard, which I knew would take hours. I stopped him and asked how the leaves could possibly be as important as his required work.  Yes, the leaves had to get done, but they could wait another week. The work was much more important. Sometimes, everything seems important in our heads and we have difficulty assessing what truly is priority for that particular day.

Being busy does not mean we are being productive. There’s a big difference and in order to be truly successful at work, you need to be clear on the difference.  You can fill your days with all kinds of activities that get you not even in close proximity to your life goals.  Sure, it makes you feel good but it masks the truth. It doesn’t address the fact that without the right kind of activity you’re not going to succeed in your ultimate goal.  You’re just fooling yourself into believing that you’re making progress.  Be strategic in your daily, weekly tasks and monthly to-do lists.

We feel good about working non-stop but eventually, this backfires. I know plenty of people that eat lunch at their desk so they can get more done at work. Smart, right? WRONG!  Numerous studies have proven that it’s impossible to work at peak performance for long periods of time. Yes, you’re working, but you’re not working at full capacity.  Sitting too long depletes your brain of oxygen and glucose.  The good news is that a walk around the block or even through the building will reenergize you so you can be much more productive. Take breaks regularly that don’t involve your computer or phone.

We get lost in the hidden expectations and beliefs that we attach to our responsibilities. Take a good look at your responsibilities and do a self-check.  Are you holding on to any unrealistic or unhealthy expectations that you need to let go? For example, a belief that “I must join every committee and attend every event associated with my company in order to be successful” will eventually drive you crazy. Sure, it will make you busy, but does it truly lead to real success? Decide whether your expectations of self are fair and accurate.

With a few tweaks, you can live a successful, productive life.

[Related: How Successful Women Make the Most of Their Time]


Have more questions? Follow up with the expert herself.

Community Discussion
Nancy Piatt
Nancy Piatt

Love this! Helps me learn to refocus on what are my more important tasks, thank you

Tuesday, Dec 9 5:03 PM EST