I have been reading everything possible on productivity, still I couldn’t come to an agreement with what could make me more productive, more than the level I am currently at.
Life sometimes appears as a task, there’s no denying that. Managing it per se is another. Life had been busy meeting targets and rushing through the day doing and managing different tasks that actually were so mundane, became an everyday routine, that I wasn’t doing anything creative and work was getting drab boring.
At one point in time, I felt all the stuff I’ve been reading and learning about productivity wasn’t helping me out in any way. I was busy all the time; the whole day passed in a jiffy and my goals never met the route I’d anticipated with every passing month.
What made me so busy to such an extent that what I considered as important never got achieved? One day I woke up with a realization that I myself need to figure out what I’m getting wrong about productivity. So, when I was done with my day at the office and was returning back home in the evening, I ran through the day in my mind.
What happened at office today
I rushed into my office, I was working as a Sr. Content Writer in the digital department of a corporate, and entered my cubicle to quickly open my laptop to check emails. While running through my mails, I received a WhatsApp message from my boss that I needed to pen an article on the flood situation in a city. Quite impulsively I began researching the topic and neglected the inbox.
My mails hadn’t yet been read; around 15 of them needed to be read and answered. My boss had entered the office and she walked up to my desk to inform me that I should also work on a monthly analysis and performance of the website, incorporate it in a presentation, which had to be prepared by the weekend. I got so exasperated with these targets that my nerves got totally irritated.
And till then, I hadn’t answered those emails. Even didn’t check them. A reminder popped up that I had to start thinking about the topics I should be writing about in the next month and plan the content calendar accordingly. My research on the new topic came to halt and I began to think about the content calendar. If I had still continued researching on the new topic, dedicatedly for half an hour I could have completed at least one task and saved a hell lot of time.
While doing all of this I was multitasking, by checking my emails every 15 minutes and reading through WhatsApp messages. As a matter of fact, I became habituated to checking emails in this manner.
I then turned to my to-do list, where I noted that I had to go through a research study sent by my boss on digital marketing, comment on it and write a note as to how we could incorporate the suggestions in our strategy. Till then, I was mentally exasperated thinking about all the activities I needed to achieve through the day.
So, I took a breather to check Facebook and Twitter notifications. For around 15 minutes I was lost in this bizarre activity of scrolling the timeline, commenting, tweeting and retweeting. I was so pulled into this activity that I never realized some 15-20 minutes were sucked in.
Well, this activity was a part and parcel of my day. On an average, during the whole day, I spent around one and half hour on chat, social media and answering emails.
Till lunch time I hadn’t done anything considerably worth mentioning. In the second half of the day, I had two meetings lined up. As I was busy juggling with these meetings, I completely had no time to sit with the SEO Executive to discuss the strategies and topics to be incorporated into the content calendar. I spoke in none of the meetings nor were they relevant to me.
At the [fag] end of the day when I was famished, I again turned to my to-do list. I had so many tasks pending. I chose to stay back at the office as I had been BUSY the whole day. Almost every day I had been staying late at office and yet not achieving tasks that were imperative to my professional growth. I was multitasking, still not able to finish even one task. Believe me, multitasking itself is such a task.
The tasks were many so were the desires, I thought. Life is a task, I told you. Life also has desires, you can’t deny.
How perplexing it sounds, we somehow are going wrong to figure out what actually works for productivity.
After reflecting on the day, I realized that I was totally distracted at work. I couldn’t even complete one task at hand simply because, I couldn’t stick to a task. Just a single task focused. Somewhere, I couldn’t prioritize tasks. Everything seemed important. Everything was.
My mind was too susceptible to distractions and technology played a major part in distracting me. More than that, psychology.
Everything is at play, many things become a play.
We are not getting to roots of the problem. We waste time and waste a lot of time in fact, and then, we’re bound to say we don’t have time. You know what, we have a lot of time, we’re just going wrong.
Notes to self
Distractions marred my productivity. Anything that distracts me from my goal, say work in hand, is not worth paying attention. Distraction unknowingly kept me away from signing off the most important tasks. And those everyday distractions sidetrack us every day.
Meetings often took my whole day. Most meetings were meaningless to me and my presence wasn’t adding any value to the meeting nor to my productivity.
I mindlessly took up tasks by being reactive like getting on to my smartphone, googling for information and surfing Facebook and Twitter and what not. This was often totally unnecessary at that particular moment and took my attention away from the task at hand.
This brings me to what’s the possible shortest route? Change your ways. Change your way of looking at things. Change your way of doing things. Change your mindset. You change, everything changes. That’s not magic but that’s the only way.
If you choose to be distracted, you will come up with excuse every now and then while your targets lying the other side looking at you. Mindfully doing tasks without being impulsive or reactive will control these distractions.
Being productive is making mindful choices. And staying for long!
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