Today I thought I’d come with a list of attributes and behaviour that are commonly found in people who still need to work on their productivity. If some of these apply to you, that doesn’t mean that you never get anything done, but the more times you nod when you read the following list or mentally say “oh yes”, “yup, that’s me” or “oops, did that” the more likely you could do with a bit of tweaking of habits and improving of techniques that could help you get more done and spend less time treading the hamster wheel.
So, do any of these describe you?
- being late to meetings
- forgetting items
- having more than a screen’s worth of emails once you’re finished dealing with them
- not being able to find things on your desk
- not being able to lay your hand on important documents
- double booking appointments
- regularly exceeding deadlines
- being unable to delegate
- being unable to say no to more work
- being a master procrastinator
- working regularly on evenings and/or weekends
- insisting on working on holiday (if holidays are even taken)
- forgetting to do to-dos
- paying late fees
- finding yourself constantly apologising
- having no inbox on your desk
- having an overflowing inbox on your desk
- winging it instead of preparing
- being constantly stressed out
I’m not going to give a number here, saying if you agree with these statements x many times, you need to do y. You know yourself, whether you’re in need of improving your productivity. There are many ways you can achieve this, but all result in the same 3 steps:
- Deciding that you have a an issue
- Getting help (this can be anything from a book to attending a seminar or personal productivity training)
- Implementing what you have learned, step by step
The third step is probably the most important. The best productivity coach, the most amazingly written book won’t be able to help you if you don’t put into action what you have learned. It’s about changing habits and sticking to the new regime. That’s the same as if you were trying to give up smoking or losing weight.
And the first step needs to come from the person needing the help. It’s no good to identify that your partner/co-worker/friend needs to get their act together and get organised. They need to realise it and want it for themselves, otherwise it won’t work, no matter how well meaning the advice is.