4 Daily Actions That Are Often Counterproductive
Everyone in business is looking for ways to increase productivity. While hard work is important it is far from the only factor. You need to strike a balance between working hard and working smart. Sitting behind a laptop for fifteen hours a day seems like a good idea but is often counterproductive. There are plenty of misconceptions about which methods of work are most productive. The reality is that what works for someone else may not work for you. One size does not fit all when it comes to increasing productivity. Banging your head against a wall all day is not always the best solution. Here are four everyday actions that ruining your productivity without even realizing it.
- Working Without Breaks. There are many investors who sit down every day with the thought that they are not going to leave their seats until they find a new deal. Their intentions may great but the concept is not always practical. Working for long periods of time can actually have a negative impact. It is better to work in small batches that one long block. When working without a break you will become tired, hungry, board and eventually unmotivated. This doesn’t mean you should get up every ten minutes but you have a modified daily schedule. Try working hard for 45-50 minutes then take a ten minute break. The key to this is being able to get right back into what you are doing after your break. If you have the discipline you will see a spike in your production. You will know that there is a reward for your work instead of simply sitting at the same spot for several hours on end.
- Social Media Distractions. When you are working in your 50 minute block it is important that you do so without any distractions. Instead of having your phone by your side either turn it off or put it somewhere you can’t hear it. Unless you have a closing scheduled you can do without your phone for a few hours. What often happens is that one email leads to another and the next thing you know you are responding to emails instead of working. The same is the case with social media. Reading one post will start a series of actions where you will stop working for twenty minutes or more. If you are going to give yourself a social media break you should do is in a dedicated schedule. As difficult as this may be for some you need to reduce your social media usage to say 9, 2 and then after working hours. This may be difficult, if not impossible, in today’s technology based society but there is no bigger production killer than social media.
- Finishing Up Later. If you are going to start a project you should see it all the way to completion. This may not apply to major tasks such as direct mail campaigns and marketing but for everything else you should try to finish what you start as quickly as possible. There is a mentality that when things get difficult to put them off the side and wait for later. What usually ends up happening is that by the time you get around to it the next day there are several other items on your plate. After putting it off for a few days you begin to lose motivation and focus and you end up with a pile of half started projects. There is an old saying that you shouldn’t put off till tomorrow what you can do today. This certainly applies to any business and particularly the real estate investing business. Working hard is largely about finishing what you start in the same day you start it. Avoid the mentality of putting things off until you find the right time to do it.
- Doing Four Things At Once. People in business wear the label of “multi-tasker” like a badge of honor. They like the fact that they are known to do multiple things at once. There is a big difference in doing four things at a time and doing four things well. Juggling several different tasks is only productive if you are efficient at them. Anyone can have several things on their plates but it doesn’t mean it is a good idea. You are much better off if you place your sole focus on one task at a time and see it all the way to completion. There are always times when unexpected items present themselves out of the blue. Under this scenario you need to decide which is more important and dive into that. Starting due diligence on a new property and working on a new email campaign at the same time is a recipe for disaster. What you will find is that neither will get the attention it deserves and both will suffer. In this day and age of multitasking and work overload you need to focus on doing more things right than doing more things.
Making minor tweaks in your daily routine or your work mindset can completely impact your daily productivity. Everyone is business is willing to work hard but that is often not enough. You need to find ways to get more done in the hours you are actually working. By increasing productivity slightly every day you will see a positive change in your business. Don’t let these four daily habits stand in your way.