You know that feeling of being “in the flow”...
The one that comes when you’re super focused and productive AF?
Ideally, we’d all be in this state every day, right?
But there are several reasons why it’s hard to tap into that regularly… or find our way back in when we get bounced out.
We all have unexpected productivity killers in our lives.
Some are external, like:
- The new season of Stranger Things (OMG I can’t wait).
But tons of them are internal.
Many of us don’t live our daily lives with intention.
We get up, do what we do, and hit the sheets – just to do it all over again the next day.
Makes ya wonder why so many of us feel dissatisfied with our life and work. #not
And while it’s not totally reasonable to expect to live in the state of flow 24/7, there are 5 surprising productivity killers you gotta be aware of.
So you can not only avoid them…
But recognize them when they’re happening – and flip the script to back into peak productivity mode.
See if you notice yourself in any of these bad habits…
5 Surprising Productivity Killers (+ How to Fix Them)
1. Keeping your phone within arm’s reach.
These days, we’re all super attached to our mobile devices.
There are apps to find a stranger to cuddle with in your area… #yikes
An app that tells you what the ghosts around you are saying… #OKvalid
And an app that reminds you where you parked your car – but in a pirate voice.
Checking our phones too often breaks our concentration and takes us down rabbit holes we don’t need to be exploring.
Like… “is there an app that shows you where your left your car but in a pirate’s voice?”
How to fix it:
Aim to only check your phone 3x a day when you’re working.
Move it away from your workspace so you’re less tempted to grab it every time you have a rogue thought.
This one is actually a kind of hard habit to break – especially if you’re an online entrepreneur.
We’ve been socially conditioned to be online and available 24/7. But when you minimize distractions, you’ll quickly discover how much more efficient you are with your time.
Your mental state will be healthier… and all those messages will still be waiting for you.
Creative people tend to be overthinkers.
It’s probably because we’re more sensitive by nature.
But it also means our brains go into hyperdrive over even the simplest of things, like writing an email.
Overthinking is a major time waster because we end up redoing work over and over again unnecessarily.
Or never producing anything because we don’t want to make a mistake. We want it perfect from the get-go.
The good thing is overthinking is a habit… which means it can be reworked.
How to fix it:
A super simple way to overcome this productivity killer is to commit to imperfect action.
Done is better than perfect when it comes to pretty much anything – especially with your work.
What’s B- output to you is likely A+ work to someone else.
If your overthinking is stopping you from taking any action at all, start journaling.
Be real honest with yourself about the thoughts going on inside your head. Don’t self-edit. Let them flow… raw, real, and ugly.
- What are you afraid of?
- What’s the worst that could happen?
- What are the odds of that worst case scenario happening?
- Would you be ok if that most terrible thing actually came true?
Getting these thoughts on to paper and out of your brain helps those thoughts calm down… because they feel heard. Acknowledged.
When you do this consistently, you’ll be shocked to discover how quickly those voices go away.
And you may even notice that your rational brain kicks into gear as soon as the emotional brain stops taking control. And you can get out of that tailspin… and into action.
3. Not getting enough sleep.
There’s a specific part of our brains hardwired for efficiency (the prefrontal cortex).
When you don’t get enough sleep, you’ll likely struggle with problem-solving, which means poor productivity.
Not to mention low energy.
Without ample good quality sleep, your productivity gets jacked up in all sorts of unexpected ways:
- Mood + emotions become imbalanced.
- Mistakes and omissions skyrocket.
- Memory deteriorates.
- Immune function is compromised – which means you may feel fuzzy brained or tired because your bod is expending energy going after germs, allergens, and pathogens trying to sneak their way in.
How to fix it:
Get more sleep.
The key to a solid night of sleep is having a nightly wind-down routine.
Give yourself at least 90 minutes before you need to be asleep to slip into your zen zone.
Put your screens away, meditate, take a bath, get your chill-out essential oils going in your diffuser, or read a book to chill out.
Because the fact is, most of us don’t relax enough before bedtime to fall asleep naturally. And experience the kind of deep, restorative sleep we need to perform at our best day in and day out.
While it might seem like doing more than 1 thing at a time is more efficient, our brains aren’t wired for it.
According to research, multitasking actually reduces productivity by as much as 40%.
Flipping between multiple tasks constricts your focus, hamstrings your working memory, plus increases stress and mental fatigue.
Think about the concept of flow…
It’s most powerful when it’s going in one direction, right?
(Sorry, I had to.)
It’s super hard to get into that flow state when you’re diverting attention to
Harry Styles multiple activities at once.
How to fix it:
Switch to single-tasking.
As in just do one thing at a time.
This one is especially hard for women.
If you’re making a sandwich for your kid so she can go off to school, just do that.
Don’t try to make her sandwich, go through yesterday’s mail, check your inbox, and feed the dog at the same time.
It will just lead to frustration – and nothing getting done as effectively as it could be.
When you do one thing at a time, not only will it be done better – you’ll actually feel a greater sense of accomplishment. Which is productivity rocket fuel.
This one takes practice but you’ll end up being done faster and more efficiently.
5. Digital distractions.
On average, we spend almost 25% of our workday scrolling through social media.
And that’s just for non-work related activities.
Popping into your fav social platform for a little break actually takes more time than you think and it kills your productivity.
I saw a study that said once a person is distracted, it usually takes 23 minutes and 15 seconds to refocus their attention back on the original task. UGH.
A distraction could be:
- Checking your inbox.
- Answering a Slack, Skype, or Voxer message.
- Sending a text.
This means that 20 seconds to respond to a chat can equal almost 25 minutes in lost productivity.
How to fix it:
Set a limit on how much time you spend online (especially on social) during work hours.
Turn off your notifications and alerts (phone, computer), so you aren’t distracted by every new ping, ding, or interaction.
If your phone is your biggest distraction, you can set it on DND (do not disturb) for set periods of time throughout the day – especially when you’re in critical time blocks.
Did ya notice how all of these hacks have intentional action woven into them?
As in shifting your mind out of autopilot… and into purposeful intent.
It all starts with just ONE small step. One change that you – and only you – get to make for yourself.
So I wanna invite you to my new online event. The On the Edge Summit is a full day of conversations, biohacks, and holistic wellbeing strategies to manifest your dream life.
So if you aren’t where you wanna be just yet – and you’re looking for new approaches to shortcut your way to your dream life with INTENTION…
I highly recommend you come to the On the Edge Summit on Wednesday, June 8th.
With these 5 hacks under your belt – plus your pass to the On the Edge Summit locked in – you’ll be able to avoid the worst productivity problems out there…
And hit that flow state more consistently… and with more ease.
The end result?
Better outcomes. Less stress. Greater results.
And more time to watch Stranger Things while grooving to Harry Styles’ new album.