We all have a lot to accomplish each day, and there are only so many hours in a day to get things done. As we’re running that race against time to get it all done, many of us struggle with making sure we take care of ourselves, devote enough time to important relationships, and make the most of this life we’re living. Trying to juggle it all can be overwhelming, but it doesn’t need to be! Improving our ability to be truly productive changes the game.
Too many of us get caught in the trap of thinking that working harder and putting in longer hours is how the game of getting more done and achieving success is played. I can tell you from personal experience, that’s not a healthy way to live. I’ve lived that lifestyle and ran myself into the ground trying to do it all and have it all. As a result, I was diagnosed with a stress-induced, life-threatening illness.
Facing that health crisis was a difficult and scary time, but what I learned through that experience changed my life for the better. It forced me to re-evaluate my values, goals, and habits. I learned to work smarter, not harder. It also led to my mission of helping others develop healthier work habits, so they can excel in their work life and balance it all with time for the people and things that matter most in their personal life too.
Healthy habits, beliefs, and behaviors are at the heart of productivity and creating a balanced, more productive life. They are the foundation for successfully juggling and balancing it all – or not. The decisions you make about what you will focus your time and energy on every day impact your ability to achieve your goals and dreams. The question is, what are you basing those decisions on? Sometimes we don’t even know.
Our choices can be dictated by mindsets, beliefs, and habits we’re not even aware of. Those mindsets, beliefs, and habits can create productivity roadblocks that keep us stuck and feeling overwhelmed. Insight and clarity into what we’re doing (and WHY we’re doing it) allows us to make more intentional choices. Being more intentional with the choices we make has a powerful, positive impact on productivity – and our lives in general!
So, what are your roadblocks to productivity? What could you focus on and change to have a real impact on your productivity and help you work smarter, rather than harder?
The 5 Roadblocks to Productivity
There are a number of potential roadblocks to productivity, but they all tend to fall within 5 key areas that have a huge impact on your ability to be productive and successful.
The first, and perhaps most important roadblock, is Mindset. Our mindset consists of conscious and subconscious beliefs about what we can or can’t do. Those beliefs can skew our view of the world around us – both positively and negatively – and affect every aspect of our lives and businesses. They influence how we choose to use our time. They affect our ability to clarify what we want and why. They also impact our ability to dream big, which prompts us to set goals for the future. Basically, if our mindset and beliefs are limiting, our potential will be limited too.
The second roadblock is Planning. It’s been said that a goal is really just a wish without an intentional path you will follow to achieve the goals you set. That makes planning a critical piece of the productivity puzzle. It helps you break larger goals into manageable steps and milestones that keep the goal right in front of you, which provides motivation to keep moving forward. Planning helps keep you on track, but it can also shed light on potential obstacles.
One of the greatest obstacles to staying on track is the third productivity roadblock – Prioritization. Anyone can look at a list of to-dos and decide to do one task over another. That’s the easy part. The challenge comes in knowing which tasks should be prioritized. Determining what tasks fit with your vision and goals can be the difference between success and failure. Prioritization helps you be intentional with the tasks you choose to invest your valuable time and energy in versus just being busy.
That element of learning to be intentional with your time brings us to the fourth roadblock – Focus. Focus is key to working smarter, rather than harder. It helps you make the most of the time you spend working on tasks. Distractions and interruptions, a cluttered work environment, and unproductive daily habits can all shift focus away from what truly matters and keep you stuck. However, there’s something even bigger that affects what you’re able to accomplish each day.
Your ability to do everything you need to do depends heavily on the fifth roadblock – Energy. Productivity can either flourish or fizzle based on the pace you set. If you’re overwhelmed, overworked, or stressed and trying to function without enough rest, your productivity will suffer. Your mind and body simply won’t have what they need to fuel your efforts.
Overcoming these five roadblocks starts with taking an honest look at where you currently stand, then making adjustments and creating healthier habits in areas where you may be struggling. In doing that, you’ll align your mindset and actions for greater results. You’ll find yourself focusing on what really matters and getting more done, in less time, with less stress. You’ll also be on your way to actually achieving the goals you set, and that’s the ultimate goal!
So, start reflecting on where you stand – where you’re struggling and where you would like to see improvement – in the areas of Mindset, Planning, Prioritizing, Focus, and Energy. The insight you gain can change the game for your productivity.