Tuesday, May 24, 2016

What Is It That Really Makes Us Less Productive?

What Makes Us Less Productive?
When it comes to making up excuses to justify why we postpone things for the following day, or why we could not achieve the goals we have set for ourselves in our heart, or why we do not spend our time the way we really want, we’ve become completely skillful at building a collection of excuses: that it is our continued checking of emails, the temptation to spend more time than advisable on social networks, gossiping, unscheduled phone calls, our boss who calls us for an out-of-the-blue, unexpected meetings, and so forth.

It has happened to all of us: suddenly and unwillingly, we see as the day passes by and we haven't been able to complete those activities we really wanted to have completed today and we postpone it for the next day ... or the one after that one, and so we go on through life.

But what is really happening to us? Are those external agents really responsible for taking away all of our time and attention, keeping us from achieving our goals and making us less productive?

Just a few weeks ago I came across with one of those posts that really nailed it the way I like, (you’ll find the link at the end of this post, as always) and put the record straight.

According to the post, it turns out we are almost always looking for excuses in the wrong place, so we never end up reaching the real root of our productivity problem.

Why do we get distracted by so many things and just keep ourselves from reaching our maximum productivity?

Lack of planning: If you do not know where you're going, any road will fit you.


This is, for me, the most important of all reasons. In a post I wrote for this blog a while ago, entitled "5 Very Productive Habits You Can Incorporate in Your Life Today”, I wanted to highlight how important it is to start every single day and week with our goals clearly configured, as well as all pending tasks to be completed within the day.

And it turns out we do a lot of emphasis on the things we have to do, without realizing it is almost as important to be able to clearly identify the things we should not do, simply because they do not align with our immediate goals, or can be done on a more efficient way.


Planning ahead each day brings us closer to creating a more productive routine.


If you do not see clearly the importance of planning ahead every day, just imagine for a moment that you take your car, turn it on, take it out of the parking lot, jump on the first highway you find and just drive without known destination. Do you think it is productive?

Of course it is not. And it doesn’t make any sense at all unless your goal is simply to burn out fuel and nothing more. As soon as you define the place you want to be heading to, the first thing to happen is that you have a couple of routes to choose from, and that is then a completely different story.

Hence the importance of planning: Knowing where you are heading to, goals you would like to achieve, you can then choose the tasks that need to be implemented so that you can get closer to your goals and, at the same time, remove from your agenda those activities that will not be of any help.

Discipline: Plans which remain on paper, do not serve you at all.


Note that in the last section I wrote: "bring you closer to creating a more productive routine." Why did I write "closer to" instead of simply "you’ll have a more productive routine"?

Simply because the element we all most need to be fully productive is to have the discipline needed to concentrate our efforts into sticking to the plan, and do only those things we have to do which are aligned with our goals, and nothing else.

Moreover, even it takes discipline to just get going, and by saying that you can get the full picture. That's why there are so many New Year's resolutions that are never met, so many wonderful plans that never cease to be more than a few scribbles on a sheet of paper, many fabulous business ideas that are nothing more than projects in which partners have invested all their money just to see them simply get stuck right from the very beginning.


A good dose of discipline plus proper planning guarantees you’ll be achieving good results.


That's why I usually recommend my clients to put more effort into implementing their plans instead of spending all their energies in the planning process itself, of course without downplaying the planning.

There is even a syndrome called "Paralysis By Analysis" and it is what happens to entrepreneurs when they want to plan as thoroughly their business, down to the tiniest detail, that spend long months on this planning process and never get to the starting line.

At some point the figure of the “One Man Band” is no longer productive.


And finally, I think the other factor which does not allow us to be fully productive is the belief that we can do everything by ourselves, therefore we start to delegate those tasks that can (or should) be delegated too late in the game.

Every growing business needs a team, regardless of its size and characteristics.

And this is the first idea you have to get used to if you really want to see your business blooming and growing, and to be as productive as possible: Keeping the desire to be “a one man show”, willing to be the one playing all instruments simply ensures that, at some point, you’ll sound out of tune and your customers will notice.


To be truly productive 100% you need to have a team in which you trust and delegate.


Yes, we all know that our ego feels very good when shows that it is capable of doing many things, especially when they can all be done at the same time. However, it has been scientifically proven that this condition of concentrating all tasks in one single person is contrary to any productivity criteria.

Also, if you really want to make sure you develop a product or service of the highest quality possible, then you must allow each area of ​​your business to be managed by a highly qualified professional.

So I think if you analyze your daily routine from this new perspective, taking into consideration these three variables, then you’ll significantly increase your productivity.

Remember:

  • Plan ahead each day, and make sure everything you do is aligned with your goals.
  • Build and strengthen your discipline to stick to the plan, and do the things you should do, and say no to those which would simply be a waste of your precious time.
  • Delegate those tasks that you can delegate and trust your team will be able to deliver a high quality product or service.

Below you’ll find the links to the posts I recommended you at the beginning of this entry.



Photo Credit: Alphaspirit




5 Highly Productive Habits You Can Add To Your Life Today.
4 Easy Tips to Effectively Managing Your Time
4 cosas que se roban descaradamente tu tiempo sin que lo sepas (Sorry, only in Spanish)



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