Let’s be honest. We all hold ourselves back in some way or another.
When we start to fall into a bad habit, it’s so much easier to blame something or someone else than to get to the root of the problem. When it comes to poor productivity habits, I’ve heard all the excuses.
I’ve been over a few of them before, but there are so many I thought I’d go over a few that you might be telling yourself these days and help you get past them:
“I’d be more organized if I had more money”
This excuse differs from the others in the sense that it is – technically – true. If we all had the money to afford personal assistants of course we would be more organized!
But just because you’re on a budget doesn’t mean you have to give up on organization altogether. There are plenty of free apps to help you plan your day. If all else fails pen and paper is pretty cheap!
Fix: Stop focusing on what you don’t have and start thinking about what you do.
You may have numerous tasks on your lists because you can’t afford to outsource tasks like child care. So instead make sure to prioritize those tasks. Could the half hour you spent on social media be better spent elsewhere? I also find that making meals in bulk and spreading them throughout the week is a great way to save time and money!
I have too much on my plate
I was speaking to a friend recently who told me that in India you can’t always pay your bills online or by direct debit. Instead you have to go to a shop and stand in line all day to pay! Rather than take a day off work each month, many Indians will pay someone to wait on their behalf because they understand the value of their time.
Fix: Look at all the tasks on your list and assign time values to each. How long will it really take you to do each one? Now think – is this a good use of our time?
Getting organized is out of my control
When you’re at work, especially if you’re low on the totem pole, the amount of work you get is often out of your control. I know there are workplaces where the work is piled on and you’re just expected to deal with it. However just because you can’t control this, doesn’t mean you can’t optimize your approach.
In Charles Duhigg’s book Smarter, Faster, Better he explains how every successful person he’s met understands how to pick and choose what task to do. In other words successful people have their priorities in order because they know how to choose correctly.
Fix: Write down everything you need to do that day and prioritize based on what is urgent. What you can do later and what you can do tomorrow?
If you still feel as though you’re spread too thin, try focusing on one thing at a time. Set a timer and keep yourself on track with one project per 25 minute increments. It’s called the Pomodoro Technique.
If your boss interrupts you and asks you to do something — check if it’s necessary right now or if it can be the next thing on your list. Nine times out of ten it’s the latter.
What excuses are keeping you from being more productive?