Pushing yourself can lead to the body pumping extra adrenaline into your system and a chronic state of stress, which has a negative impact on productivity.
What to do instead: Research shows that regular meditation helps you think clearly, improves decision making and increases stamina. Or try 'musing' instead. 'Musing' - letting your mind float free - involved staring out the window or gazing at a fire. It's not as structured as meditation; you can muse any time... anywhere. Not only will it improve productivity by lowering stress levels, it's also the time when ideas and inspiration will come to you.
If you want something done, Do it Yourself
High performing companies stick to their 'core business' and outsource everything else. A car manufacturer makes cars, but doesn't run the canteen. Good delegating equals higher productivity.
What to do instead: Delegate. Ask yourself, what's your core business? Then spend as much time as possible doing it. So, if you're a massage therapist who can earn from R250 an hour, think about taking an extra client and paying somebody to clean the house instead of spending hours doing it.
Doing the Easy things First
Completing easy errands can give you a sense of accomplishment, but they can sometimes be a way to avoid tackling bigger projects.
What to do instead: Deal with difficult tasks first when your energy is high. Break down those demanding jobs into manageable chunks, and set deadlines and sub-deadlines so that they become less overwhelming.
Technology Saves Time
Technology does save time, but wastes a lot too. We all know how easy it is to get sidetracked by emails. Roughly 50% of all emails are spam.
What to do instead: When you check your emails, read no more than the five most important messages - those that will affect what you do during the day - and delete any obvious junk. Then focus on whatever else you're doing for at least an hour before you check again. This is especially important in the morning. The first hour of the day determines your productivity for the day. Don't get distracted.