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  • Aug 1, 2018
  • 4 Min

The paradoxes of productivity


What to do to finish your work on time? Hurry it along, of course! And what do you need to successfully complete a large-scale project? Give it your all and spend every minute of your time on it, having put the rest of the things you need to do away. On the one hand, the answers seem obvious. The truth is, however, they are not entirely correct. How come? Read below to find out.

Boosting productivity is something most of us long for. Especially during the periods of crazy-busy workload with the time ticking away ruthlessly, approaching the deadline. How do we go about improving our performance? Increase the time spent working on the project, speed up our work in every way possible. But that may not affect the work results in any noticeable way, as we remain oblivious to major productivity blocks along the way. Below we give you a few golden rules of productivity that are often ignored.

Estimate the deadline realistically from the beginning

Quite often, we do not have time to fit into the deadline for a simple reason: our timing was initially unrealistic. Yes, it happens quite often! We often fail to correctly assess the real scale of the project, which results in a very approximate deadline. Not only is this unprofessional, but can potentially hurt your reputation, as often missing deadlines is detrimental to the way people perceive you as a professional. In order to adequately set the deadline, you need to know your own average work speed: that way you’ll be able to calculate the amount of time necessary to complete the entire project. Just make sure to adjust the results keeping any potential unforeseen circumstances in mind. We’ll talk more about those below.

Consider force majeure in advance

Our life is full of various circumstances. They pop up on the horizon as something planned or totally unexpected. When assessing the amount of time your project will require, it’s important to consider both types. This will surely increase the time by a third, but it doesn’t mean that’s how much longer the project is actually going to take. After all, submitting it 2 days ahead of the deadline is a lot better than being one day late.

Set your daily output

If the due date is feasible, then your daily output should not have you overexerting yourself at any point. Try not just to observe your daily output, but also exceed it. We already talked about force majeure situations and obstacles that can pop up right in the middle of your work. Working a bit over the set limit will help you observe the schedule and finish the project on time no matter what.

The Internet hurts your concentration

The fact is, everyone knows it, but only a few will draw the right conclusion. In the meantime, by unplugging from the net you will boost your productivity by at least 30%. If you need the internet to actually work on your project, it’s highly recommended to log out of your accounts and mailboxes, leaving just the work-related tabs open.

Like-minded people help to cope with work

The support of those around you can make it easier to work on even the most complicated project. And this doesn’t necessarily mean working alongside others.  Sometimes the emotional component proves to be much more useful. Friends, loved ones, like-minded people can inspire and supercharge us on positive energy while ensuring an emotional surge for further work. In this case even most routine kind of work stops being that way, bringing sincere joy and satisfaction.

Give yourself a chance for a distraction

Even the most productive people are unable to keep their maximum concentration all the time. Not only is it impossible, it’s also harmful for us. The brain must rest, switching into the wandering mode from time to time. In the state of idleness and daydreaming we are capable of generating most interesting ideas and making amazing discoveries. In addition, such distractions allow us to go back to our state of maximum concentration without any particular effort.

Haste kills productivity

Perhaps, this is the most counterintuitive rule, because in our mind productivity is always directly related to how fast we work. In fact, this paradox can be explained quite simply. Being in a hurry makes it difficult to be conscious while performing your work, which affects your productivity. Weird as it may sound, you need to make haste slowly. Concentration and a sense of purpose are the main rules of productivity you need to keep in mind. Try to avoid being in a hurry and working slowly – you will be surprised to see it that in the end it does not slow your work speed.

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