Finding yourself stuck in an unproductive week is a terrible feeling. It might be happening to you right now. Saving yourself from a slump is much easier said than done, but there are a few key ways you can turn your week around.
Here are three problems that are symptoms of an unproductive week, and three ways you can turn it around:
Problem #1: Productivity "Whack-a-Mole"
Instead of making a decent plan for yourself, you choose to go through your day jumping from one task to another working on whatever pops up. It's not unlike the popular Whack-a-Mole arcade game where you bat down jumping furry animals.
Here's the Fix: Spend five minutes each morning preparing a task list and schedule that spell out all your important activities. This will provide a road map for your day.
Problem #2: The old kitchen sink
It's a common predicament you might find yourself in. Many people make lists that are just too darn big — an "everything but the kitchen sink" list. That is a productivity killer. It's easy to fall short of your expectations because there's never enough time to get everything done.
Here's the Fix: Try to estimate the time of each task you want to accomplish and compare it to the time slots you see available in the today's schedule in your day planner. What doesn't fit must be delegated or pushed to another day. A successful to-do list gets completely checked off. Strive for this victory each and every day.
Problem #3: You're windmilling
Windmills spend their days tilting in whichever direction the wind blows. But for you, productivity means staying focused on your tasks despite the winds of distraction blowing around you. Distraction is your biggest productivity killer. Whether it's a sudden help request from a co-worker or browsing Facebook, all distractions lead you away from what truly needs to get done.
Here's the Fix: Say "no" to requests and try to minimise time spent putting out fires. Delegate tasks you don't have time to complete, and stay disciplined and focused on your daily priorities. Unplug yourself from the phone and internet if necessary. Your daily plan and schedule are your personal commitments, so don't let yourself down.
A final word of advice
Give yourself a little breathing room each day. For example, you expect slow traffic on rainy days, right? So make sure you plan your days for all the delays, tangents and detours. Leave extra time for the unexpected and a little extra time for yourself to take a break.
3 Ways to Save an Unproductive Week [Day-Timer Blog]
Jeff Doubek believes time management success is just a few good habits away for anyone wanting to achieve their dreams. You can find his practical tips and tricks for getting more done, finding work-life balance and reaching your goals at Day-Timer.