Overworked and stretched like a rubber band? Tired of feeling overwhelmed?  

This article will help you detect the 5 productivity mistakes you don’t want to make in the future.

Do you recognize yourself?

If you’re anything like the many participants in my workshops or my coaching clients, chances are you’re not happy with the way you manage your energy and time, if at all. Let’s try a quick check-up.

Check the boxes that echo what you often tell yourself…

⬜ “I’m constantly overwhelmed and stressed – like no matter how hard I try, I feel like I’m never doing enough and not reaching my goal.” ⬜ “I can’t take real breaks because, as soon as I stop, I feel like I’m not living up to expectations. I feel guilty about it. There are so many important things I should be doing!” ⬜ “I feel like I have no control over anything. I’m being swept along by a huge wave, and there’s nothing I can do to change the course of things.” ⬜ “I feel scattered, splintered: I’m thinking about two thousand things at once, and my brain never seems to calm down, not even at night…” ⬜ “I know that procrastination makes my anxiety worse. I have real deadlines, but I can’t seem to motivate myself to get started. I don’t know how to prioritize everything I need to do.”

We all go through this, and I, as a writer and teacher of management tactics, also find myself trapped in these negative thoughts. The first thing is to be aware of it. How many boxes did you check?

We agree that this is not a good place to be stuck, right? You can’t. So I suggest you move to a better spot. Apply the suggestions gleaned from my own experience and other productivity management experts.

Mistake 1: wrong beliefs

“The busier I am, the more valuable I am.”  “The more I work, the more I’m ready.” “If I don’t do it, it means I suck, and I’m not that good.” These beliefs condition your attitude and behavior. The constraining messages integrated during childhood, such as “Be perfect” and “make an effort,” are automatic programs that unconsciously control us without serving us! They must be changed.

Antidote = Transform your relationship and beliefs about time

Error 2: Time does exist

Incredible, but true. Time is more a subjective feeling – a perception – than a reality. It is a universally recognized and practical mental construct. It’s up to you to decide what color pill you want to swallow. Red: I never have enough time to do what matters.  Green: I have all the time in the world to do what matters.

Now that you understand, you will gradually deprogram the old patterns to adopt the new ones. Remember that you decide what you say yes to and what you say no to. The green pill will help you!

Antidote = Understand that time is an emotion.

Mistake 3: Managing time is complicated

Decide what matters to you: your vision, your mission, your desires in life and at work. And calibrate your actions from that place. Don’t let other people’s priorities take precedence over your own. Be aware, calibrate your direction and act accordingly. The line is drawn. Everything becomes simple.  

Antidote = Simplify to amplify impact

Error 4: answering first!

One important thing a day. Don’t do anything else until you’ve addressed that one thing. Stay focused on what you have to deliver today. Don’t look at any outside sources. Don’t look at email, don’t look at your smartphone, and certainly don’t look at social media! It’s the principle of producing before you consume. Start right away and you will feel the positive effects and that feeling of regaining your personal power.

Antidote = Produce before you consume

Mistake 5: being super disciplined

Don’t imagine that there are miracle planners or mobile apps that will -finally- save your life and make you more productive and efficient, if you follow the proposed precepts to the letter.  “Time flies. And you are the pilot!

Planning is crucial because it allows you to prioritize, organize your actions and set your course of action. But as life and its many surprises inevitably occur, you are forced to recalibrate your intentions. The golden rule: one important thing per day that you commit to, cut into digestible pieces. Then you take care of the rest.  Review your schedule every day at 3pm, so you can catch up or reorganize for the next day.

Antidote = Be agile and uncompromising.

By stopping making these 5 mistakes, you’ll already be making great strides in your productivity.

Want more? The “efficient” module of Life Work Brilliance will teach you other techniques and methods to help you better manage your time and energy. Now it’s your call!

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