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12 Things to Give Up if You Want to Be Productive

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It’s almost euphoric, the feeling of ticking away boxes on the to-do list, at the end of a long day. It’s like you have seized the day or something. With cell phones buzzing every minute with notifications or ringing with a large number of versatile options, it can be hard to maintain focus on your work, and be productive. Luckily with a little determination and following some tips, you can be productive, provided you either cut down on certain things or give them up altogether.

Here’s a list of twelve things you need to give up if you want to be productive.

1. Give up the unhealthy lifestyle 

It’s not easy, it requires a lot of effort but remember that if your body runs on little to no sleep or a bad diet such as junk food, then only a handful of energy is left for your brain to use! These days people are so focused on saving time that they are hesitant to spend it on shopping for a healthy meal, let alone cooking it for themselves. To save time they forget the cost which is the loss of attention and focus, which they lose when they aren’t consuming the right kind of fuel for their body.

2. Give up trying to save on business tools

A good lumberjack spends 70% of the time sharpening his ax. Why? Because the quality of your tools is a deciding factor to how good your output will be as well as how efficient you will be in achieving the desired outcome. Start by picking up your bulk email service or your CRM as it is a long-term game and solving it sooner is going to save you time in the long run.

“Never mistake motion for action.” — Ernest Hemingway

3. Give up on transactional relationships 

Building relationships takes a lot of time and effort. Throw in the introductory or get-to-know them phase and you have spent a lot of time. Plus, imagine spending so much time doing all that and having to let them go at the end of the month because of their incompetence. Therefore, If you are going to invest time building relationships, invest in the long term. For example, train one employee to stay with you for years instead of hiring low-paid assistants that you will have to say goodbye to in a few months.

4. Give up multitasking

Juggling way too many tasks isn’t healthy nor beneficial for your potential productive day. It will be draining and demotivating if you fail to achieve all the tasks on your list. It is the ultimate mistake of busy entrepreneurs. You think you are achieving more, while in fact, you are achieving less. 

Statistics show that multitasking leads to as much as a 40% drop in productivity as well as a 10% drop in IQ.

5. Give up that solo-fighter mindset

People need people to achieve goals and to aid each other in reaching desired destinations. Look around you and see that there are so many answers and solutions to your problems in your immediate circles, and even more – in your online communities. You are not alone in your battles! Give up the idea that you need to do everything by yourself and start asking for help.

6. Give up working on the weekends

Ok, let’s rephrase. You can work any day of the week. Just make sure you have a day off or a time out so that you could move your body, stir up some creativity or be social; If not for the joy of it, then at least in the name of productivity. Some CEOs advise as little, as 4-day work week for maximum productivity. Studies show that stepping outside your business gives you a much-needed perspective and allows you to come up with creative solutions. Plus, take the example of Wordsworth and other late poets who used to go out for walks when they wanted to conjure up new ideas for their masterpieces.

7. Give up working for the sake of work

Solidify the roadmap to your desired goal. Be clear about the kind of outcome you are aiming for. Take a closer look at the steps and break them down. Identify the actions which are pushing you towards your goals and those which are taking you and your time away from them.

8. Give up people-pleasing

Following the last point, get intentional about the things you say “yes” to. Does it contribute to your immediate goals? Does it help to build long-term relationships? Is there any joy in them or are they providing you with peace of mind? If none of the above then learn to say no.

“The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing.” — Walt Disney

9. Give up your social media addiction

Addiction, by definition, is something we can’t give up so easily. To curb it, firstly start by introducing a “mindful consumption” of social media. For example, whenever you open any application, start by asking yourself the question “What am I here to do today?” If your answer is say, engaging with your followers then say it out loud, for better effect. Once you achieved what you came to do, you can even say—out loud again— “I’ve accomplished what I came here to do.” then close it and move on to do some of your work. Take baby steps to tackle your addiction.

10. Give up the need to control 

You do not need to be in control of everything let alone introduce others to your business by yourself. Work on building systems that would allow others to know the state of your business at a glance. From weekly reports, to project management tools, spend extra time developing the system, so you can save time.

11. Give up anything that has to be done more than once

By looking at everything that you are doing repeatedly, try to turn it into a system, and systems can be automated or outsourced. Unless, of course, the repeated action is something you truly enjoy.

12. Give up working without a to-do list

When you let emails, messages, and requests replace your to-do lists, you feel like you are working and checking things off. However, in reality, you aren’t progressing towards your chosen goals. Try to tick off one thing before you turn on the chats or open emails. Trust me, the feeling of accomplishing small tasks off your list is thrilling!

My name is Natasha Zo. I’m a media relations specialist, artist, and salsa enthusiast. For me all these career paths of mine boil down to one core interest: I love to meet people, discover stories that are worth sharing and help those people to be heard. I’ve helped multiple authors and entrepreneurs to score that Amazon bestseller title and amplify their message through the power of media. Currently, I’m running a PR agency that helps wellness thought leaders to raise their expert status by building a media presence.

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