Are you losing the uphill battle with productivity? No matter what system you are trying, you are still not as productive as you want to be. Do you have to trick yourself into feeling productive? What could be the root of it?

Productivity the Uphill Battle

Maybe it is time to have look at these four points.

Unrealistic Expectations

Could it be that your expectations have a psychological base? Productivity is very subjective and varies from person to person. The number of tasks done can leave one person satisfied and another other totally frustrated.

Your main focus should not be on the to-do list, but on the progress you are making.

The Cause of Your Procrastination

To find the cause of why you procrastinate, consider these 4 points:

  1. Do you consider procrastination a moral failing, a weakness of will?
    Timothy Pychyl, a professor of psychology at Carleton University in Ottawa, Ontario, calls procrastination an “emotion-centered coping strategy.” Fear of making a poor decision can also be immobilizing. “With uncertainty comes fearfulness,” says Pychyl. “You have to acknowledge that fear.”
  2. Are you a perfectionist? Being a perfectionist, that can be a handicap to being productive.Coming from a multi-lingual background, I have seen many people refusing to speak a new language until they can speak it perfectly. But learning anything new takes time and often just showing the world that you are trying will speed things up as you receive feedback and help from others. It will also make you feel good about your efforts and yourself.
  3. How will you feel tomorrow when you finally have to do that task? Many times it will make you feel worse instead of better. Buckling down and just doing it right this moment will make tomorrow a much better day and you will gain momentum that helps you overcome future procrastination.
  4. Allow your self little indulgencies. On the other hand don’t be to hard on yourself and allow little indulgencies. It is amazing the effect they will have on your tendency to procrastinate.

Focus on Progress, Not on To-Dos

  • Is your to-do list to rigid?
  • Do you work in time blocks that are too large?
  • Do you give yourself a schedule with a beginning and end time?
  • Do you tackle your most important task first thing in the morning or during your most productive time to get it out of the way to get an early sense of achievement?

Beware of Time Thieves

  • Is pleasing co-workers important to you? Let them know when you are in the middle of something and let them know that you will get to them as soon as you are done.
  • Have a daily list of your essential tasks.
  • Always remember that you alone are in charge of how you use your time.

Be In-the-Moment With Everything You Do

I discovered that regardless of what I do, if I put my full focus on that task it will get done faster and better and I will feel more fulfilled. It does not matter if it is the most important task of the day or a menial task. As multitasking does not actually make you more efficient, totally focusing on the NOW gives you a big advantage.

Scott Eblin, author of Overworked and Overwhelmed: The Mindfulness Alternative, defines mindfulness as awareness plus intention.
“If you are aware of what you are thinking and feeling and what is going on around you, then you can manage the gap between that and your actions,” he says.
Mindful people don’t ignore noise and distractions — that’s impossible. But they exert discipline to control what Buddhists call their restless and unsettled “monkey minds.”
-direct quote from the Chicago Tribune article.

Do you focus on quantity over quality when you work? You aim should be to always produce the best work you can at that moment, not the most.

Read the full article: “Inside the psychology of productivity” from the Chicago Tribune now.

Have you ever considered working with a coach to help you get over you productivity challenges? Often times we are too close to our problem and need an extra pair of eyes to help us gain a different perspective. I am looking forward to hearing from you and helping you become ultra productive.