Personal Productivity

44 Things We Tell Ourselves that Hurt Productivity

Things We Tell Ourselves that Hurt Productivity
wrote this on September 18, 2013 / 4 comments

There are many factors that affect our productivity.  The way we think and feel about ourselves and our environment can have a significant impact on if and how we get things done.  Often, we are not even aware of what’s holding us back.

Knowledge is power.  In order to fight them and the way they mess with our heads, we need first recognize they exist.

Here’s my list of things that hurt productivity, let me if I missed anything…

1# We think that if a task is difficult then, by default, others are better than us in doing it

2# We perceive ourselves responsible for success but distance ourselves from failure

3# We make decisions based on a single piece of information we believe in strongly while ignoring others

4# We tend to dismiss failures which drives us to repeat mistakes over and over again

5# We love to “wing it”, we hate planning

6# We try to repeat information with hopes that repetition will make it true

7# Since we hate lists, we tend to remember only the urgent items or items that stick out i.e. ASAP’s

8# We refuse to see the big picture, focusing the blame on specific events or people rather than the overall the process

9# We tend to say “not true” even if it contradicts what we know to be true

10# We prefer to think that we’re always right

11# We think that other people are always wrong

12# We tend to identify patterns where there are none

13# We tend to miss patterns because we think there are none

14# We tend to stick to what works instead of testing alternatives that might work better

15# We tend to be conservative in our long run estimations while overestimating short term gains

16# We hate to think about things from another person’s perspective

17# We jump to conclusions fast because we hate uncertainties, and even though our conclusions might be wrong, we don’t care

18# We fixate on feelings (I feel bad and the world is going to end as a result…)

19# We evaluate objects as worth much more after we own them resulting in hording and mental clutter

20# We mastered generalization, creating groups out of things, people and events rather than treating them individually

21# We have exaggerated outcome expectations resulting in a need for constant overkills, costing us time and effort we don’t need to spend

22# We love to overestimate other people’s support in what we think or do, instead of asking them directly

23# We use tools as we were instructed to use by an authority figure instead of exploring them on our own

24# We focus more on the fear of loss rather than the thrill of gain

25# We think that the past and the future are linear

26# We think that future goal probabilities are controlled by past events

27# We almost always underestimate the difficulty of a task

28# We have 20/20 hindsight vision

29# We grasp success as a linear concept and tend to think we can reproduce it

30# We prefer not to postpone satisfaction, favoring gain here and now rather in some vague future

31# We ignore the needs of the many and focus on the needs of the few

32# We develop an illusion of control and overestimate our ability to control events

33# We assume more than once that events, people, behaviors are connected when they’re not

34# We tend to seek information when we’re required to do an action

35# We estimate work without taking under considerations things like fatigue, breaks and interruptions

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36# We ride out decisions that we know are wrong due to our previous investment in them

37# We believe that the world is just and everybody gets what he deserves

38# We attribute people’s success to luck, rather than the amount of effort they invested to get it

39# We work under the assumption that other people have the same needs as we do

40# We almost never assume that we missed something rather we prefer to ignore it

41# We have a tendency to judge a decision by the outcome rather based on the quality of the decision at the time it was made

42# We have a tendency to take greater risks when we feel more secure

43# We will choose to maintain the status quo after taking tiny changes, telling ourselves that enough already changed

44# We have the uncanny ability to predict the future, we either think that we can do anything or think that we can’t, but in either way we’re definitely sure about it!

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