Monday, July 4, 2011

The Slippery Slope Of Non-Productivity

Have you ever noticed how one thing can cause an avalanche? A house with a broken window can spread unkempt into a neighborhood. A single piece of paper on the dining room table leads to piles that seem to spring from nowhere. And one procrastinated task can lead to a total crash of productivity.

It's the slippery slope. One step and you can slide to the bottom. You may think "I haven't gotten anything done all day, I'll start again tomorrow." But you can stop the descent.

If you find yourself not being productive because you didn't get things done, here is how you can stop the slide:

How To Stop The Slide

  1. Do one thing to get you back on track. To change your course of direction, head another way. Pick one task on your list – no matter how small – and get it done. Use that momentum to do another…and so you're back being productive.
  2. Don't put anything on your list that you don't intend to do. If the word "should" appears in your mental chatter, beware! "I should clean the filing cabinet" or "I should wax the car"…just because you think you "should" do it doesn't mean you will! If you keep things off your list you have no real intention of doing, the list appears more manageable.
  3. If something has been procrastinated on for three days, make it a first priority for the day. Leaving the task on the list makes a mental stumbling block every time you see it. Get it out of the way.

How To Stay Away From The Edge

We've talked about how to recover from a day when nothing got done, but here is a secret on how to keep it from happening altogether:

Pick three important things to get done every day and do them first thing.

This allows you to get three big look-at-what-I-did tasks out of the way. This allows you to build on momentum, but also when you look back at the day, no matter how little else you did, you will have those three things done.

What sends you over the edge into non-productivity? How do you get out? Share below.

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