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The best intentions and most focused to-do list can be derailed by the slightest distraction. Productivity killers are everywhere.
Like a dog who hears "squirrel" or a kid who sees dessert sitting on the counter before dinner, it's easy to find ourselves off track even when we have a pressing desire or responsibility to work on other priorities.
Productivity is a corporate buzz word that is thrown around when talking about worker effectiveness, and of course, the bottom line. But productivity is much more than just how much work we can get done in a certain time frame -- and it goes far beyond just the corporate realm. Productivity means that we are working on tasks that are meaningful and will help us reach our goals more quickly -- both at work and at home.
When you putter away a morning surfing social media, you aren't being productive (unless your job is checking your Facebook wall and "liking" your friend's status on her kid's latest sports win). Productivity is embarking on tasks that strategically align with your goals. This strategic alignment can be professional -- like when you have a project due and you consciously create a plan to finish it pulling in resources to make it happen by the deadline. This strategic alignment can be personal -- like when you have a dream of paying off debt so you can send your kids to college. You consciously choose to cut out the daily fancy coffee drink or those to-die-for shoes that you really want but don't need. You consciously choose one activity or decision over another to get you closer to your goal.
Productivity is about much more than just getting work done. It's about getting the right work done for the right reasons to achieve your goals. But between the constant beeping, ringing, dinging and blinking of our always-on technology and the work demands, polite requests and family must-dos, it's often hard to stay productive even when we want to be productive.
Here are seven surprising ways to keep yourself on task when your productivity is suffering.
- Do something else. This seems completely counterintuitive, but when you step away from something you need to focus on, you will come back with a fresh perspective and newfound energy for the project.
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How do you keep yourself motivated and productive when you're sidetracked by distractions? Share then in the comments below.
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