What gets in your way and impairs your productivity? In our recent travels around the web we found some excellent tips to help you proactively address some of the most common challenges.
In an article for OPENforum at American Express, Ted Rubin notes that people today are “more plugged in than ever before in history, and we're paying a price—mental, emotional and physical burnout.”
He cites a New York Times article by Daniel Levitin, who encourages people to balance their time between active engagement in a task (“task-positive” time), and totally task-free (“task-negative”) time where your mind is free to wander.
See: The Importance of Hitting Our Inner Reset Button.
Productivity challenge #2: Ineffective motivational techniques
In the quest for productivity, our motivational techniques can backfire and actually create anxiety. That is the premise of Melanie Greenberg’s article at Psychology Today. She says the three worst culprits are:
1. Checking things off your to-do list
2. Being too harsh on yourself
3. Taking on too much
She offers more insights into why these behaviors’ are so appealing, why they’re so damaging, and what to do instead.
See: Three Habits to Avoid if You Want To Achieve Your Dreams.
Productivity challenge #3: Multitasking
We often mislabel multitasking as a productive activity. After all, the logic goes, if I can get two tasks done at the same time, won’t I be ahead of the game?
Not so, says Travis Bradberry in a LinkedIn post. He cites research from Stanford University that proved those who think they’re best at multitasking and that it helps their performance, actually performed worst.
Other research found that multitasking lowers your IQ as much as staying up all night, and may actually damage the brain.
See: The Real Harm in Multitasking.
Work smarter, not harder
After reading Bradberry’s article, it’s no surprise to find “stop multitasking” at the top of a list of productivity strategies on the Zapier blog. The post explains how – and why – to use each technique.
See: 16 of the Best Ways to Work Smarter, Not Harder.
#14 on the Zapier list was “wake up early.” Richard Branson weighs in with his love of early mornings and the difference they’ve made to his productivity and success.
See: Why I Wake Up Early