“Grandma’s Purse” is an excerpt from Being Here…Too, Short Stories of Modern Day Enlightenment, Ariel and Shya Kane
How does one stay productive to be successful in 2020? We must not consider productivity as just some strategies or methods that you can add to your work schedule; we must think of it as a lifestyle.
After all, we are humans, and doing the same repetitive actions and work daily affects our mental state and thinking levels in various ways. So, we resort to finding ways to entertain and make ourselves more active and productive.
This does not mean that you start doing whatever the internet tells you to do. You don’t need to implement every single method of staying productive in your routine; instead, try adding only a few of those methods to your routine. This may allow you to be more organized.
Here are some tips that you must avoid or get rid of to become successful:
- Don’t Rush Your Work
Many people take a lot of pride in their speedy work. While doing your tasks quickly may be beneficial for many people, it also has a lot of disadvantages that could affect the performance of your tasks.
Most people think that they can find more free time to do other things by speedily finishing their work. This method can cause you to make a lot of errors and silly mistakes. The time you spent quickly writing and doing that task will double when fixing and editing those errors.
Instead of doing this, try carefully reading and observing the tasks and then deciding which of those tasks can be done quickly. Always start with the easy tasks; they can be done quickly but still check them for mistakes. Then slowly make your way to the more difficult ones; you can now complete these tasks at your own steady pace.
Don’t worry too much about the time as that will only create more panic and cause you to become more frantic in completing your work, which will result in a poor and hastily done assignment with too many faults. Using this technique, you can make sure that your work is easily understandable and error-free, and you can still make it on time to submit your work.
If your tasks and assignments are based on deadlines, you need to divide them into small steps from day 1. Waiting until the day before the deadline is not an excellent approach to take. You would have to worry about the time and how to go through your assignment.
You won’t be able to break it into small steps, and you would have to go through all of them in one go. This means you can’t have breaks in between. Therefore, it is always best to start your work from the day you have been assigned your work.
- Following Others on How to Manage Your Schedule
As most know, we all struggle to be able to manage time according to our schedules. We may get all kinds of advice from many people, but we can’t accept and follow all of them. Many will tell you to try out their work schedules and adjust to them, but that can also cause you complications.
Many of these schedules would consist of waking up at early hours of the morning to start working. We know it is difficult, especially for those working until late hours of the night or pulling all-nighters to complete their work.
It becomes tiring to adapt to it. People will try to aim for significant changes in their schedules and try to get used to it, but these changes can cause a lot of stress on your body and your mind. It’s also essential to make sure that these changes aren’t affecting your mental health.
Your mental health should be your top priority because if your mental health isn’t stable, you won’t focus on your work. Hence, instead of adjusting to someone else’s work schedule, try to figure out what works best for you by yourself.
There is a specific time in the day for every individual in which their concentration and thinking ability are at their peak. It is up to you to find that time, whether in the evening or the morning hours. Select that specific time-period for doing your assigned tasks only and try to finish them in those hours.
You must make a proper schedule that suits you best. Adopt that schedule, baby step at a time, not all at once. Otherwise, it will have detrimental effects both on your mental and physical health.
This way, you will form a reliable timetable that doesn’t clash with your job and allows you to manage your work easily.
- The Need to Overachieve
Wanting to do well in the tasks you’ve been given and being praised for it is something that we all wish for, but being this way is not just sunshine and rainbows. Everything has its fair share of disadvantages.
- Sleep Deprivation
The biggest setback of them all is sacrificing sleep; one of the main things that your body needs to be able to function properly and stay energized in order to be able to work. Most people that stay up all night end up feeling fatigue in the mornings, which causes them to perform poorly in their tasks.
As you want to complete all of your tasks at once, you end up becoming more stressed and cannot concentrate on the task at hand. The outcome is that you end up with an incomplete assignment with a couple of tasks that need more of your time. So, you would have to sacrifice the amount of time you have for sleep.
- Loss of Interest in Your Work
When you try to squeeze too many things into your work schedule, you become pressured to complete them on time. Thereby, you may start to lose interest in your work and think of it as an obligation.
With the number of things that you will have to do because of you trying to do all of the work by yourself, you won’t find time for yourself to do things that you enjoy doing.
- Judging One-Self Based on Achievements
Most overachievers will judge themselves based on how much they’ve done what they’ve achieved. The more they’ve accomplished, the better they think of themselves.
This kind of thinking can be very toxic and often leads to affecting their mental health. They’ll start to forget their self-worth and think that the only thing left to represent them is their accomplishments. Many tend not to realize that their self-worth doesn’t just depend on the grades that they’ve gotten or how much work they’ve done.
Focusing on self-care is just as important as focusing on your work. People need to be able to take the time and appreciate themselves for their hard work. It can be something as small as telling yourself that you’re doing a good job, to treating yourself to something you like.
- The Difficulty of Working Over Email
Using emails used to be the most effective way to work, but now it’s become a hassle to handle. As most companies rely on communication emails, it becomes difficult for employees to go through all of them.
- Email Overflow
An average employee gets about 200-300 emails per day, and only a third-quarter of it consists of relevant information that can be used for work.
Thus, it becomes easy for workers to miss vital information buried under all of the emails that keep piling up, as they will be quickly skimming through these and deleting the majority of them.
- Wastage of Time
When going through these emails, an employee ends up spending at least 13 hours. Thus, most of their work time is wasted on it and causes them to fall behind on completing their assigned work.
- Ill-fitted for Discussions and Conversations
We understand that Email is easily accessible and allows you to send messages too. However, it’s not reliable when you try to have conversations with a colleague or a group because it doesn’t include verbal communication.
- Workers That Don’t Use Email
Some workers don’t use Email, and they are the deskless workers that work under the department of field engineers, medical staff, or utility workers. They need to be informed of the things that happen in the company. One way to do this is by switching workers to a single platform for communication, so everyone stays in the loop.
Especially when there is something essential to be noted, workers can be notified quickly through the platform. For instance, a cleaning company has carpet care professionals that perform the cleaning work. These workers don’t use email unless they have some desk work or they’re off duty. So they require another means of communication to pass on important info.
- Unsuitable for Collaborations
Many employees use Email as a collaboration tool for the management of projects and troubleshooting problems. Numerous of these threads become confusing and bad for productivity.
- Paper-Based Documentation for Storage
Every business has a lot of necessary documentation, information, and data that needs to be stored safely. The loss of such documents can result in significant consequences for the business and its clients. People have used paper documents for many years, and many continue to do so, but it’s not as useful as it used to be.
The advancement of technology and the surge in the adoption of modern digital solutions means that a more reliable alternative replaced paper documentation. Digital data storage is the way to go. While physical storage methods can lead to withering and damaging documentation, digital storage doesn’t come with these disadvantages.
You can easily and quickly run out of storage space with paper documentation. A business with an already crammed storage area may not have room to store important files. There’s also the possibility of losing files of clients or other important company documents in the growing piles of files crowding your storage room. This can be incredibly problematic for businesses when they don’t have a backup of documents and cannot find files when needed.
Additionally, if you have multiple office locations and don’t have the same client records available, it can cause issues in locating important information. Each office must be updated with the correct data records, so they’re always on the same wavelength.
Storing data on paper means that if you ever encounter a disaster, it can result in years’ worth of data loss with no chances of recovery. Paper is extremely fragile, and something as simple as water leakage can lead to irreparable damage of documents with no means of getting the records back.
In today’s digital world, our storage methods have also gone digital. Not only does digital storage take up less space, but it’s even easier to manage. It has helped people and businesses become more productive and made it easier for them to keep track of their files. There’s also the point that digital/electronic data can be tracked effectively so business executives can supervise the security of documents and databases.
Data also becomes more accessible when stored digitally, which isn’t possible with physical storage methods as you’re not always near the location where files are kept. It adds an increased level of visibility so the right people can find the data when necessary, which streamlines the workflows. You don’t have to ring up multiple people to locate a single set of documents, and you know exactly where the files are located.
In short, if you’re still using paper storage over digital – whether it’s at home or in the office – it’s time to let that go and move to the cloud. There are lots of alternatives to choose from online, and they come with additional features that can help boost the performance of your business.
The above-mentioned tips are no longer relevant to lead a successful life. When it comes to productivity hacks, it’s important that you implement practices that work best for you. You must also keep in mind whether or not those practices are still relevant to our current times. Traditional rules of productivity may no longer work, which means we need more effective techniques to help us deliver our best performance.