We’ve all seen those lists; the ones which tell you exactly how to be a more efficient person. You must do “this, this and that, and more of this”. They work a charm – but we’re getting a little tired of them.
Sure, some might see this as one of the more negative lists, but that doesn’t have to be a bad thing. This guide will tell you the habits that you should be looking to avoid; the habits which are associated with ineffective people. In other words, if you find yourself constantly performing these, it’s time to take action as well.
Following on from the above, let’s take a look at each of the five habits in detail.
Sticking to the unimportant tasks
We talk about procrastination through our guide, and in some ways this is another form of it. Sure, you might not be strictly procrastinating, but you can be sticking to tasks which are utterly unimportant. In other words, you are wasting your time completely.
How do you get around this? Prioritization. The best way to beat this habit is to develop a time management system.
The 80/20 rule is one of the best to do this and revolves around spending 20% of your time achieving 80% of your results. By taking this philosophy on board, you can quickly start to put unimportant tasks to the back of your queue.
Once your system is in place, it’s just a case of listing the most important things you need to get done. By starting from the top, you are immediately tackling those things that you have identified will net you positive results for the day. Even if you don’t finish all of them, you’ll have made immense progress in comparison to what you would have done before.
It’s a phrase which is branded around a lot, but in truth most of us don’t pay much attention to it or just don’t understand it properly.
It’s not about reading too many books or anything along those lines – it’s about condensing the information that naturally comes into your head through the course of the day. By taking too much of it on board, you’ll start to become more stressed and it will become harder than ever to make decisions.
Instead, be more selective. This might mean shutting off your phone or the internet, just so your brain doesn’t have to think about as much.
Not turning up to things
It doesn’t matter what the event is, this is one of the most ineffective sins you’ll make. In fact, let’s tune into a famous Woody Allen quote to hammer it hoe even more; “80% of success is showing up”.
If you were to analyze this is simple terms, it all makes sense. It’s all about going out and grabbing opportunities. Looking to boost your health? You must show up at the gym or maybe even the doctors to achieve this. Want to progress your career? Well not turning up for that interview isn’t going to do you any favors whatsoever.
From another perspective, it’s all about banishing the typical excuses that prevent most of us turning up. If we hone in on the gym example again, forget that you’re aching slightly from your previous session. Going out for a run? Don’t for a minute try and let the weather prevent you.
Not turning up to something guarantees that you’re not going to make progress. Whether it’s health, dating or career based – the same rules apply.
In some ways, this relates to another point we have made about turning up to things. Nevertheless, the nature of overthinking means that it’s well and truly worthy of a mention today, just because it’s a problem that hinders pretty much every ineffective person out there.
Again, it’s all about finding excuses to not take action. If you search the internet, you’ll find quote after quote from famous entrepreneurs which shows how much emphasis they place on taking action and not just planning indefinitely.
Sure, there are times to analyze, but sometimes it’s all about doing something and then reviewing it. If you never get to that stage, you’ll never become a success.
If you continue to overthink, you’ll start to invent more problems which in reality don’t probably exist. You certainly need to research anything before jumping in with both feet, but don’t let it consume too much of your time.
This is probably one of the buzzwords of the century, particularly as we’re talking about ineffective people. Regardless, there’s a reason it’s so commonly used nowadays – it’s something that affects far too many of us and prevents us from, you guessed it, taking that elusive action.
Fortunately, there are umpteen tips that can allow you to beat procrastination once and for all. We have labelled a few here:
- Split tasks down: Rather than attempting to take on a whole project at once, try and split it into smaller tasks which suddenly become more manageable. Stop thinking about the end goal at this point, you can do that later, instead look to finish your small task before moving onto the next one.
- Start difficult: In anything new, it can be easy to avoid the hard things. Unfortunately, you’re just delaying the inevitable and ultimately, procrastinating. Instead, get the hardest tasks out of the way first. You might not think of yourself as a morning person, but by getting something “difficult” done at this period of the day you will give yourself immense confidence for the remainder.
- Meditation: You could read a whole library on meditation, but there are some forms which can really aid procrastination. If you can take just twenty minutes out of your day to lie down, relax and perhaps listen to a meditation tape, you can improve your productivity significantly. Many people have found that they don’t slump into procrastination nearly as much after carrying out such “exercises”.