5 Things That Make You Feel Productive But Which Are Really Unproductive

We pondered on the meaning of productivity and realized how sneaky the concept really is. You can feel productive without really being productive.

You measure productivity in terms of efficiency and results.  To check if you’re productive, you measure the inputs against the outputs and see if the inputs are converted into useful outputs.  No useful results equals zero productivity.  However, there are many instances where you may be duped into feeling that you’re being productive only to realize that you just wasted your time.  Here are some of them:

Getting caught up in tasks that hardly contribute to the goal

You’re caught up in the daily grind of answering emails, organizing files,and basically just trying to do something the whole day. The big problem is, you’ve lost sight of the goal. Your team doesn’t know why they’re doing what they’re doing, and you’re just working to sustain things.  Maintaining order and sanity in your organization is important. But you also have to keep your eyes on a much greater objective. Are the majority of things you do every day contributing to this purpose?

Holding endless meetings

One sure productivity killer is meetings that don’t lead to decisions and actions. How many hours do you consume debating, arguing, and deliberating?  Has the time you spent on discussion led to significant decisions and meaningful actions?

Depending on task management and productivity apps

Procrastinators have the tendency to collect all these software without putting them to good use. You can spend time archivingand amassing a huge amount of information without creating an output. Writing and collecting info is a good start – but actually accomplishing your action steps is what leads to useful results. If you’re a sucker for all these productivity apps and software, make it a goal to synthesize all that you’ve collected into analyses and action. Clear up everything after a few days. If they’re still sitting there after a week, then chances are, you don’t need them anyway.

Delaying decisions

The way to conquer roadblocks is to make quick decisions.   When you put off important decisions, you end up using up more energy revisiting that task. You have to rethink the repercussions of making that decision, which could have been avoided if you just made a decision in the first place.

Saying “yes” to every invitation

Are all or most of your engagements aligned to your objective?  The trouble with some leaders is that they’ve become so busy being everyone’s bestfriend that they’ve lost sight of the bottom-line. Reality is, you’re just one person, and you can’t be everywhere and please everyone. The most productive thing you can do is stay in control of your schedule and tactfully say, “I’m sorry, I don’t have time for that.”

Being productive doesn’t entail being the most passionate or the most highly motivated person. To stay on top of your game, you simply have to work smart. Focus and use your time on what really matters.