10 Critical MISTAKES Highly Productive People Never Make

By Krystal Brown

If you procrastinate too much or find that you never complete your daily tasks take a look at these 10 things highly productive people never do.

Say ‘Yes’ All of the Time

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It is great to be able to support people and take on additional tasks when you can do so but if you are saying ‘yes’ to too many things then you are unlikely to be productive. Those who say ‘no’ when they do not want to over-commit are more realistic in their expectations and meet their goals. When we take on too much we risk burning out and not getting even the smallest of jobs done. 

Allow Themselves to Be Distracted

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It is easy to say that you will not allow the things around you to distract you from your work but, in reality, it is much more difficult to avoid things taking you away from your task. Productive people will take away any risk of distractions so that they can get on with the job at hand, which can mean sitting at a desk away from others when they have a deadline to meet, working in the office at home rather than in the kitchen were their family will walk in and out of, or switching of background music so their mind doesn’t wander. 

They Don’t Multitask

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You cannot load the dishwasher at the same time as bathing the dog, so you would never attempt to do so. The same should be said of any tasks that you need to complete as the truth is that you may think you can do two things at once but you will end up doing both things less effectively. It is better to create a short list of the things that you need to do each day and prioritize which things need to be done first. This way you can quickly work your way through one task before moving on to the next. 

They Never Have a Zero Inbox

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Having an empty inbox is simply an unrealistic dream so it is not worth spending hours and hours every day trying to get it down to as low as you can. Instead, take a leaf out of a productive person’s book by having a quick scan for important emails each day and ensuring those corresponding to you mark their emails as urgent if need be. To manage the expectations of people emailing you, an auto-response with an expected reply time can be helpful. 

They Don’t Make Excuses

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Successful people know that they are not perfect and that means that mistakes will be made. Instead of wasting time deflecting responsibility for the mistake or playing the blame game, productive people accept the error, learn from it, and move on to the next task ahead. 

They Don’t Spend Hours on Social Media

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Social media is great for keeping up to date with what is going on in the world and what your friends or up to but it will not do your work for you. Like successful people, limit the number of times you check Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram and instead get on with your tasks and reward yourself with social media time once you have finished work for the day. One tweet can quickly turn into hours of doom scrolling and nobody has time for that. 

They Don’t Do Things Without a Deadline

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To achieve your goals you need to set them. If you are not given a specific deadline for a task then you need to create one for yourself. You will need to work out how many hours/days/weeks/months you need for a specific task and give yourself a deadline so that you are motivated to meet it rather than everything being open-ended. 

Rely on Memory

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When we lead busy lives it can be difficult to remember everything which means we fail to complete some tasks. Smart people will keep notes and send emails and reminders telling themselves and others what they are up to and what they need to do next. 

They Don’t Try to Do Everything Themselves

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Delegating tasks is essential if you want to be as productive as you can be. Not only is multitasking difficult, but as we have discussed, we cannot be good at everything. Assessing your skill set and those that you work with will benefit you a great deal, after all a problem shared is a problem halved, as the saying goes. 

They Are Not Always Perfect

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It is great to do things to the best of our ability but sometimes compromise is needed when it comes to a perfect output. Just like a straight-A student may have to cope with getting a B now and again, sometimes we have to get things done rather than be perfect. 

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