Personal Productivity

14 Enemies of Productivity and Why You’re Losing

wrote this on April 2, 2013
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Knowledge is power; power to make changes, power to do what’s right and power to increase our productivity.

Over the past several years, I’ve battled my own  enemies of productivity.  I think we all battle them on a daily basis, some enemies come up more than often.  Whatever your battle, you can’t truly win until you acknowledge and study them.  It’s not enough to merely identify them by name or title; we need to know why they exist, what’s their origin.  Only then, can we move to another level of productivity-zen.

1st enemy – Distractions and Interruptions

Distractions and interruptions will always be there.  It is your inability to handle them that costs you dearly on a daily basis. Learn how to control them and become more productive, here’s how GTD’s David Allen does it.

2nd enemy – Not Planning

Planning has many benefits. It helps us avoid distractions, keeps us focused on our objectives, and helps us plan our day.  Yet, there’s another secret benefit to planning which makes it the number one skill you’ll have to master on your quest to be more productive.

The Enemies of Productivity on IQTELL's Prouductivity App

3rd enemy – Bad habits

Before you move forward you need to get kick some bad habits.  We all have them; some more than others.  Your bad habits hurt you on many levels, most of all, they hinder you in acquiring the right habits.  Learn how to break those bad habits, before they break you.

4th enemy – Procrastination

The smarter and more experienced you are, the harder it is for you to battle procrastination, why? Because you’re your own opponent.  You’ll need to think outside the box, and uncover ways to beat yourself at this old game.  Here are some tricks you can use to turn the tables on Procrastination.

5th enemy – Over Stressing

Stress is productivity’s number one enemy.  You must always find ways to reduce it since it packs some hormones that can damage your ability to focus. These are a few tricks I’ve learned over the years that will help you keep stress levels under control and help you get back into the zone.

6th enemy – Lack of Sleep

Didn’t sleep well last night? Don’t expect to be too productive today. Sleep affects your ability to focus, process thoughts, creativity, and more.  Learn how you can get a good night sleep even if you have a busy schedule, how much sleep is required to be productive and why snoozing is a bad idea.

7th enemy – Not knowing when to quit.

After investing considerable effort in a certain direction, the hardest thing to do is quit. Unfortunately, not quitting is very counterproductive.  Learn when it’s more than ok to quit.

8th enemy – Multitasking

Still think that you can do several things at once without fumbling? Some people never learn. The best way to finish something is to finish it.  Sounds simple right?  People are so enamored with multi tasking that they actually are multi-starters; starting many yet completing none.

9th enemy – Unbalanced Nutrition

You can’t focus when you eat badly. Nutrition has a direct influence on your ability to focus and will make a world of difference in terms of the amount of time you can focus on something, the effectiveness of your work, and the final result once you’re done (and even if you’ll get it done). By making changes to your diet you can improve your productivity by 20% on average!

10th enemy – Not Exercising

Your productivity level depends on regular exercise.  The more you exercise, the higher your energy levels; this has a direct impact on the length of time you can focus.  Exercising fuels your drive and amps your self-confidence.  Some workouts can actually increase your testosterone level resulting in improved motivation.

11th enemy – Zero Time Awareness

Being aware of time and learning how to manage it is a key in increased productivity. Ever heard of the Pomodoro technique? It can help you manage your time in chunks and insert controlled breaks into your workflow; Pomodoro does that so you won’t lose focus due to working on a task for too long.

12th enemy – Inability to Deal with Failure

Failure is a part of the learning process that most of us would love to avoid. But alas, it happens sometimes and we need to deal with its ramifications. By understanding that there’s a purpose to failure and something to be gained from it, we learn to override the default programing in our brain that defines failure as a deterministic event.

13th enemy – Language

A reason as to why we don’t walk the walk can be linked to the way we talk the talk.  The language we use to define our goals, objectives has a direct connection to our success or failure.  The way we describe something we do, can tell a bystander a lot about our chances of success.  By changing our language we can boost our self-confidence, influence our ability to commit and improve our accountability.

14th enemy – Working all Over the Place

To close this list I’ll use the secret ingredient behind IQTELL’s success: concentrating all your work in one place.  Jumping around between apps, tabs, lists, files, etc., can exhaust even those who had the best intentions to get things done.  Using effective tools will put your mind at ease that balls are not being dropped, so you focus most of your energy on doing as opposed to worrying that everything is organized as it should.  So make sure you get everything done in one place.

* GTD® is a registered trademark of the David Allen Company. IQTELL is not affiliated with the David Allen Company.

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