How To Fix Lack Of Productivity and Get More Done

Learning to be productive is a skill that requires practice and repetition. Applying this skill to your daily work can make you feel accomplished at the end of the day, which will increase your confidence and further increase your productivity momentum. However, the opposite can happen when you are not productive, you’ll have less energy, feel less accomplished, waste time, etc. So how do you improve productivity and keep it up?

Fixing productivity and getting more done requires good time management. It involves planning, prioritizing the most important task, and focusing all the time and attention without interruptions and distractions until the task is complete.

The process is simple, but it takes time and training to be proficient in. If you want to learn more about the causes of low productivity and how to improve and get more done then keep on reading.

What are the Causes of Low Productivity?

Low productivity is a lack of progress within a workday and not completing your tasks can leave you feeling disappointed at the end of the day. Knowing the causes of low productivity can help you figure out the problem so you can improve on it.

Poor Time Management – This is the biggest cause of low productivity. Time management requires planning, prioritizing, and executing. All three elements must work together to prevent wasting time because that is the goal, to maximize the use of time most efficiently so you can reach your goals. If you don’t have a plan then you don’t know what to do or what to focus on, if you don’t prioritize then you’re just doing low-value busy work, and if you don’t take action then nothing gets done, all of these components must be set to prevent low productivity.

You can check out other articles here about signs of poor time management and how to deal with poor time management.

Not Staying Focused – Getting easily distracted and giving in to interruptions will lower your productivity. The University of California, Irvine conducted a study and found that it takes 23 minutes for your brain to refocus on a task. This means if you get distracted twice, that’s 46 minutes you’ve wasted on your brain power just to shift your focus back. Not to mention the additional time it takes you to check the notification or email, you always end up staying on the apps a lot longer than anticipated.

Multi-tasking – Everyone thinks they are good at multi-tasking, but only 2.5% of people can multi-task effectively. That means 97.5% of people can’t multi-task. This is usually confused with task shifting which can use a lot more brain power and leaves room for more mistakes. Focusing on one task at a time and getting it done efficiently without errors is more effective than having to go back to fix mistakes.

Mental Fatigue – Stress, anxiety, depression, and burnout can all lead to low productivity levels. Prioritizing your mental health not only improves productivity, but it will improve all areas of your life.

Physical Fatigue – Not only our minds, but we have to take care of our bodies as well. Getting proper sleep and exercise will help your overall daily performance in all areas of your life.

No Motivation – Is the work you doing meaningful and important to you? Powerful motivators can help you power through your work, review your goals and values, and remind yourself why you are doing the work in the first place. What are the consequences if you choose not to do it? Read here about the most powerful motivator.

No Skills – Low productivity can also mean you’re not proficient in the skills required to do the job.

How To Improve Productivity

Productivity is simply using your time and energy efficiently and effectively to achieve your goal. We feel better about ourselves when we put our energy towards something important and start seeing progress and results. At the end of the day, it leaves us feeling proud and complete. Below are tips on how to improve your productivity to get the results you want.

Make a Plan – Always plan the night before so you are set for the next day. You can’t be productive if you don’t know what you are going to do. Read here on how many tasks to do in a day for maximum efficiency.

Prioritize – Make a list of everything you need to do and label them by importance. Know what is the most important and make that a priority for the day. Always tackle your most important and impactful task first thing before doing anything else. You can read here about how to prioritize when everything is important.

Time Block – Time blocking is basically creating appointments for yourself to do your work; it is blocking out a specific time frame for when you will focus on your task. This method is great for two reasons, first reason is that you have dedicated undisturbed time to do your task, and second, over time you will know exactly how long it takes you to do a specific task so you will get better and more accurate at time blocking the right time frame.

A popular task prioritization method that involves time blocking is the ALPEN method, check it out and see if it works for you!

Make it a Habit – Your habits and routines will determine the trajectory of your success. Create routines for your day and do it every single day no matter what. Use habit trackers to keep track of progress.

Don’t Multi-Task – Multi-tasking can lower your productivity by 40%. Focus on one thing and one thing only. Multi-tasking was mentioned above, do one task at a time and do it well so you don’t risk errors and mistakes because it will cost more to go back to fix it.

Frequent Small Breaks – We only have so much brain power to get through the day, focusing on one thing for too long will cause brain fog and mental fatigue. Set timers for yourself and get up and do something for 15-20 minutes to refresh.

Improve Your Skills – Take additional courses to learn about your tasks that you are not comfortable and familiar with. Keep on learning about the area of your work, because the more you know, the better you can become and the more confident you will be in completing your tasks.

Your Environment – Make sure your environment is set up for success. Put your phone in another room if you have to, mute notifications and eliminate distractions as much as you can. Anything that will take your attention away from your task needs to be removed. Your space should be clean, comfortable and an enjoyable area to work in.

Take Care of Yourself – Establish a routine that involves exercise, proper sleep, and nutritious food. Your health is the most important thing you can take care of, without your health, nothing else matters.

Eye on the Prize – Review your goals often and constantly remind yourself why you are doing it in the first place. Keep your Why and your motivations nearby. We don’t see results from daily work, but over time they add up and that’s what counts. Don’t lose sight of what is important and stay true to who you are and your values.

Read here about common obstacles to achieving goals and how to overcome.

Hong Singer

I'm the creator of Ambition Forward. I keep things simple by focusing on the goal and being consistent in my actions to get the results I want, and I'm here to help you do the same. I encourage you to look for the things that bring you joy and go for it!

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