If you find that you are not being as productive as you want, then there is likely a weakness (or two or three) holding you back. Don’t be shy about this. We all have weaknesses because we are human. Admit your weaknesses. If you do, you can start to work on them and increase your productivity as a result.
6 Weaknesses That Will Hold You Back From Being As Productive As You Want
You can be a lazy person and still get things done. In fact, some people say that some lazy people get things done the quickest because they look for the easiest ways to finish what they need to finish.
But, if you are lazy and a procrastinator, that’s a recipe for productivity disaster.
Procrastination is easy to spot.
- If you put things on your to-do list off for things that you would rather be doing, then you are a procrastinator.
- If you spend more time watching YouTube than you do checking off the tasks you set out for the day, then you are a procrastinator.
- If you find yourself running around at the end of the day trying to finish off all those things you need to do, even though you had plenty of time during the day, you are a procrastinator.
You are putting things off because you don’t want to do them. But, it’s fixable because there is a reason for that. Find your reason for procrastination and fix it.
For instance, if you are lacking motivation for doing what you need to do, try getting clear on what you want out of life and how your to-do list will help you get there.
Or, if you feel overwhelmed by all you have to do, simplify your to-do list by only tackling the most important things.
While multitasking can be good in some situations, very few people can multitask consistently without getting bogged down. Most people find that switching from one focus to another costs them time, energy, and even money. In fact, experts say that it can take up to 25 minutes to get back into gear when you’re distracted by something.
Therefore, if you are switching between social media and work, for example, you are costing yourself time on your work as you think about your friend’s update or the latest tweet or picture or whatever as you try to get back to work and into the flow.
Following is a great video that explains why multitasking affects our productivity and what we can do about it.
In case you didn’t watch, following are the three things the speaker says to do to eliminate multitasking.
- Eliminate the potential for distraction.
- Set certain times to complete certain tasks, otherwise known as time blocking.
- Practice mindfulness.
3. Trying To Do Too Much In Your Day
It doesn’t seem like it should be a weakness, but it is. When you schedule in more tasks than you actually have time for, you are setting yourself up for failure every single day.
You can’t fit 24 hour’s worth of stuff to do into 12 hours. It’s impossible. But, without that realization, you will beat yourself up for not getting done what you set out to do, stress yourself out, and affect your productivity negatively as a result.
You got to get clear on what’s most important to you and then sit down and be realistic about what you can and cannot do in your day. That’s why time blocking is so important. It gives you the ability to lay out what you want to do in realistic times.
When I first started blogging over 10 years ago, I had 5 different websites that I wanted to post on every day. Obviously, I didn’t do that because the time it took for one post could easily take up a day. I had to sit down and get realistic about how long it took me to write, edit, and post, and then create a daily schedule that allotted enough time for me to do what I wanted to do. I whittled my way down to working on a few sites per day and accomplishing realistic things in the time I had.
Not sure what to focus on during the day? Here’s an article on how to find your most important tasks for the day. You can also take something like the Lifebook Quest, which helps you get clear on what you want and how you are going to get there each day.
4. Trying To Do Important Tasks During Your Least Productive Hours
You may have personal and work tasks that you want to get done each day. Some of them may be fun, and some of them may require a little more motivation and commitment from you. If you wait until your least productive hours to do the things that require motivation, you are going to have a much harder time getting things done than if you were to schedule them in for your most productive times.
I think we all know when we have the most energy and ability to focus. It’s really important to pay attention to your body and acknowledge that there are some moments you need to focus on certain things or else you will not be productive throughout your day. This may require some shifts in your daily schedule, but it will be worth it if you can pull it off.
If you want to find your peak productivity times, keep track of your days for at least a week. Write down how you feel during your day, note times that you are superhuman and can do anything, and note times that it takes all you have to focus. Also note how certain people, foods, and activities affect your productivity.
It’s going to require some work on your part to figure out when you are most and least productive, but once you do, you can knock out those important tasks when you are most capable of doing them.
Nobody’s perfect. We all know that saying, yet some of us still strive for perfection in our own lives.
Perfection is a weakness that will destroy your productivity in a few different ways.
- Take too long to get things done: As a writer, I know how hard it can be to stop editing your article. If you want the message, grammar, and spelling to be perfect, you will spend hours going over every word and rearranging, eliminating, and adding sentences. It takes up a lot of time and can throw a big wrench in getting things done. This was especially true for me when I was a ghostwriter. If I took too long, clients would leave me and find someone else who could work faster. I’ve found that it’s important to care about what you are doing and do the best you can do, but when you start to obsess over it, it’s time to finish up and let go.
- Avoidance: If you can’t do it perfectly, then you may not want to do it at all. For example, if you know that you can’t bake, you may not even put the time into baking because you will feel like it’s a waste. But, practice makes progress, as Jim Kwik would say, and that’s why it’s important to take on tasks that you know you are not going to do perfectly. You need to practice your skills in order to become better and start doing better.
- Distraction: As you do one task, you may start to think about another task that didn’t get done perfectly. This is a huge distraction and can greatly affect your productivity.
- Lose creativity: A perfectionist places a lot of emphasis on certain things, and because of that they can have blinders on that hurt their creativity. When solving problems, it’s very important to see things from many different angles and creatively come up with solutions and alternate routes when obstacles arise. A perfectionist may miss out on that as they try to hammer in the nail that they want to work over and over again.
- Spend too much time on things that don’t matter: In writing, for example, you can focus on getting the perfect font for your article text, which can take hours upon hours if you are a perfectionist. In the meantime, you are missing out on other things that could be pushing you closer towards your goals and having a much greater impact.
- Impact your relationships negatively: Relationships are important to your productivity both at home and at work. If you are a perfectionist, the people in your life may find you annoying and hard to work with, thus avoiding you, hurting your feelings, or leaving you to get everything done on your own. Also, when you are a perfectionist, you often set the same unrealistic standards for others as you do yourself, and it’s not something anyone wants to deal with.
6. Negative Self-Talk
How many times a day do you put yourself down? Negative self-talk is a weakness that most of us have had or still do have.
I personally don’t know one person who didn’t talk down to themselves when they were a teenager. Many people carry that negative self-talk with them into their 20s, 30s, and beyond, and it’s a great obstacle to productivity.
Imagine someone telling you that you are stupid over and over again. It would have a great influence over your confidence, and it would put a big wrench in your ability to get past the ‘I’ll try’ stage and get in the flow.
You may not think that self-talk has the same power as your mother, father, or teacher’s words did, but it does. Negative self-talk has a negative effect on many areas of life that influence your productivity, such as the need to be perfect, energy levels, habits, relationships, and more. It can impact your every move and decision in life, and affect your productivity more than all of the above weaknesses combined.
A friend of mine spent years telling himself that he couldn’t reach his dreams, so he barely put any work into what he wanted. If he couldn’t do it, then why bother? The low confidence he felt bled into all other areas of his life and affected everything negatively. But the truth is he had every bit of chance of succeeding as anyone else, and if he would have put the work in, who knows where he could be?
You are always going to be affirming something to yourself. Cut out the negative self-talk and replace it with positive self-talk.
If you don’t use positive affirmations, start. They are not a new age joke. They are simply the opposite of negative affirmations (negative self-talk), and they can help you change the way you view yourself and everything around you. They are important to your everyday happiness, motivation, relationships, health, success, and productivity.