13 ways you kill your productivity

The hardest thing about writing is writing. Staying on task and productive.

Unfortunately, the enemy is most often within. We find ways to be unproductive. Here are some of the ways we do that, from the Publication Coach Blog, at How to kill your productivity:

  1. Overestimate the amåount of time you have. You think you have eight+ hours a day for concentrated work? Think again. After email, meetings, interruptions, and all the other things that happen, you’re lucky if you have four hours. Studies show you likely have just over an hour of uninterrupted time each day. Things are going to take longer than they seem they should!
  2. Underestimate the value of small actions. On the other hand, being consistent with the time you have to work with makes all the difference. Better to write for 15-30 minutes every day than to try to cram it all in in one big session. It really adds up.
  3. Multitask. Multitasking really doesn’t work. Do one thing at a time if you want to be most productive.
  4. Allow yourself to be distracted. Turn off email notifications. Shut down everything that might take you off task. Post a sternly worded sign on your door.
  5. Perfectionism. Don’t try to be perfect in one go. It doesn’t work that way. Especially writing. Writing a messy, terrible first draft. Then fix it in subsequent drafts.
  6. Not knowing how to say no. You know who they are. They’re good at getting you to say yes to things you shouldn’t do, or things you should have more time to do. You need to find a way to say no!
  7. No work routine. It really helps to do similar tasks at the same times every day.
  8. Not automating recurring tasks. Find ways to make those things you keep doing easier. Especially infrequent recurring tasks — create checklists to minimize time spent getting up to speed.
  9. Too many meetings. Avoid as many meetings as possible! Some meetings are necessary, but most are just productivity-killing time-wasters. Get out of as many meetings as you can!

  10. Not tracking results. This may sound awkward and unnatural, but tracking your time — the way they do in law and advertising — can really make you more productive. You’ll be a lot more informed how long tasks really take after doing this for awhile.
  11. Unrealistic goals. Project timelines are typically built on wishful thinking, not realistic knowledge. Be part of the solution by being as hard-nosed and realistic as possible.
  12. Not enough downtime. You will take downtime, whether you intend to or not. Build it in, and your work will be better.
  13. Not enough accountability. If you don’t have someone expecting you to hit your deadlines, you will miss more deadlines. Make accountability part of your process.


Comments

Leave a Reply

What this blog is about

The future of fundraising is not about social media, online video, or SEM. It’s not about any technology, medium, or technique. It’s about donors. If you need to raise funds from donors, you need to study them, respect them, and build everything you do around them. And the future? It’s already here. More.

Blog policies

Subscribe

Get new posts by email:

About the blogger

Jeff BrooksJeff Brooks has been serving the nonprofit community for more than 35 years and blogging about it since 2005. He considers fundraising the most noble of pursuits and hopes you’ll join him in that opinion. You can reach him at jeff [at] jeff-brooks [dot] com. More.


Archives

Blogroll

Categories


Search the blog

The future of fundraising is not about social media, online video, or SEM. It’s not about any technology, medium, or technique. It’s about donors. If you need to raise funds from donors, you need to study them, respect them, and build everything you do around them. And the future? It’s already here. More.

Recent Comments

About the blogger

Jeff Brooks has been serving the nonprofit community for more than 30 years and blogging about it since 2005. He considers fundraising the most noble of pursuits and hopes you’ll join him in that opinion. You can reach him at jeff [at] jeff-brooks [dot] com.

Blog Roll

someone’s blog