To-Do lists are so popular they need no introduction. You’re surrounded by them: at the grocery store, around the house, even in outer space!
It’s easy to see why these agendas are so popular. You list the items that need to get done on a piece of paper or a device, preferably in the order of most to least important, and then cross them off as you go, giving you a sense of real accomplishment.
It’s a simple, elegant, powerful solution as to how to organize your days. But there’s a catch.
It’s hard to maintain your focus in an office. With so many meetings to attend, drop-ins by coworkers, calls, emails, and countless other interruptions, it can seem like a miracle that anything ever gets done.
But do you know who the biggest culprit often is when it comes to sabotaging your productivity with distractions? Look in the mirror.
My Free Webinar Will Help You Overcome Them and Get Things Done
There’s a lot of bad productivity advice that’s widely practiced. Because the nature of our work changes so much, you might not even be able to spot some of the time-wasters hiding in your schedule right now.
They’re secretly a routine part of your schedule. Worse, they’re behaviors you think are making you more productive but are actually doing the opposite.
Ready to overcome the 7 Deadly Sins of Productivity and finally make time for what matters most? Sign up for my free webinar and discover what’s holding you back and how to get better results right away. Click here to register. There are multiple time slots to accommodate your schedule.
The Real Purpose of Workplace Efficiency Isn't What You Think It Is
When I started my career, I quickly discovered that I had more to do than I could get done in a forty-hour workweek. So, I worked more hours. I got to the office at 5:00 a.m. and usually didn’t leave until 6:00 p.m.
I often worked on Saturday mornings and Sunday evenings, too. It wasn’t unusual to put in sixty to seventy hours a week, or even more. But I still wasn’t getting enough done. So I figured I just needed to get more efficient.
Take a guess: What portion of the American workforce said they were “most productive” at the office during normal work hours? According to a recent FlexJobs survey, the number could be as low as 7 percent. Many more said they get some things done at the office “because it’s not an option to leave.”
Whatever the number of highly focused workers is, it’s too low. In the massive State of the American Workplace report, Gallup found that only 33 percent of workers are significantly engaged at work.
And a smaller but more troubling number of workers are “actively disengaged,” meaning they “are miserable in the workplace and destroy what the most engaged employees build.” As for the other 51 percent, Gallup found “[they] are not engaged—they’re just there.”
3 Ways to Let Go and Find What You’ve Been Missing
I spent an afternoon last week cleaning out my closet. It was high time I did. I had shirts, pants, shoes, and hats that I had not worn in months—in some cases, years. When I thought about it after, the whole experience became a kind of a metaphor for improvement.
It occurred to me that if we want more of what we want, we have to get rid of what we don’t want. It’s the necessary but sometimes painful process called pruning.
The 3 Changes that Made It Work for Me and My Team Again
My team and I have been using Slack as our primary communication platform since June 2014. As we grew, email became unmanageable and other solutions like Basecamp weren’t a fit. After a full-immersion trial, we were sold!
But then we unsold ourselves. It took three years. But, just as email didn’t scale with our growth, neither did Slack.