We all want to be more productive. That right there is part of the problem. We have the desire, but not the drive, to become productive. Luckily, there’s is a seemingly foolproof way to become productive without even trying: life hacks. These strategies are supposedly the key to productivity and everything else. However, with so many of them, we have to be careful about which ones we choose to follow. Here are five life hacks that could actually hurt your productivity.
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1. Setting Exact Deadlines
This might not seem too unreasonable. After all, it is easier to hold yourself accountable for your goals if you give yourself dates and times to finish them by. This keeps you on task and focused to get things done on time.
However, if you’re too much of a slave to your deadlines, things will backfire. You might miscalculate how long something will take and as a result, have to recalculate your whole day/week/month you’ve scheduled. The solution to this is to make a schedule with deadlines, but have flexibility as to when everything can be completed, and don’t overload yourself with deadlines.
2. Getting Rid of All Distractions
We imagine that part of the reason you’re looking into life hacks to become more productive is that you are distracted too easily. Well, you’re going to have to adjust your urge to go off task if you want to be more productive. Sorry, we know you want to check Facebook and click every link on Reddit all the time, but you know the feeling of realizing you wasting your entire day and how bad it feels. Social Media use is at an all-time high, as popular social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat have 3 billion combined monthly active users.
Unfortunately, expecting you to get rid of all distractions is unreasonable. We’re not saying you have no willpower. It’s just that distractions are everywhere. Even before the internet, people were distracted by television and magazines they wanted to peruse. Unless we locked you in a room with nothing but what you need to work, you’ll get distracted. The solution is to discipline yourself. When you feel a distraction urge, count to ten and wait for it to pass.
3. Getting Inspired
The best way to feel motivated is to watch or listen to someone who is a true success story. Think of somebody who really beat the odds and made a difference and then go watch a video of them speaking or read inspirational quotes by them. If they can do it, surely you can too!
This might give you a momentary surge of inspiration, but as an energy drink, a crash is soon to come. It’s more likely you’ll feel a massive gulf between their accomplishments and your need to not waste your day. You might even think it’s not worth bothering as you’ll never get to their level. Comparing yourself unfavorably with others will only lead to further disappointment, so don’t do it and just focus on yourself and your improvements.
4. Sharing Your Goals With Others
If you have an exciting goal, such as losing weight or starting your own business, you might feel the urge to tell your friends and family as soon as possible. This seems like a good idea, as they will hold you accountable and therefore you will be more focused due to fear of letting them down.
However, by telling them early, you might feel like the battle is already won and not feel an urge to work towards your goal. It isn’t that likely they’ll hold you accountable because they’ll have their own goals they’re working on. Keep your goals to yourself until you start making major strides.
5. Organizing Everything Extensively
If everything you own is completely out of place, then you definitely need to get some basic organizational skills done. Have everything in the right place for your work station and elsewhere and you’ll be pleased with the results.
However, you shouldn’t go overboard. If you start organizing your pens by color or shuffling how your computer files are sorted every day, you’re going to end up wasting even more time. Instead, you should just take occasional organizational inventory and focus primarily on getting work done.
We hope this guide helped you understand the right and wrong way to use productivity life hacks. We all want to get more things done. However, if we overshoot, we might get close to nothing done.
Words by: Kevin Roger