I apologize in advance if you thought this was a post all about how to be a slacker.  I’m sorry if you were looking for tips and tricks on how to be lazy, have more time for video games or Pinterest and get nothing done.  This is not that…but don’t click away just yet.  Figuring out what you’re NOT doing to boost your productivity can be helpful in your daily challenge to be productive.  Making a few quick changes might even leave you with some extra time for that laziness you were so looking forward to.

I know.  I know.  I’m always telling you how to get more done, how to better manage your time, and how to generally be productive.  As a Productivity Consultant, it’s kind of my job.  However, this time, I’m going to tell you what not to do.

5 Ways to Not Be Productive

1.  Try to do everything yourself.  In the end, you might have a longer list of checked boxes, but how long did it take you to get there?  Learning to delegate can be tough, especially for perfectionists, but once you experience the freedom of it, you’ll be handing out tasks like candy on Halloween.

2.  Have no goals.  Ok, maybe that’s a little harsh.  Everyone has goals, but you need to dig them out from the depths of your inner to-do list, write them down and be specific.  Most importantly, BE REALISTIC.  An unobtainable goal is worse than no goal at all.

3.  Have no deadlines or timelines.  Now that you have a goal, give it a deadline.  Whether it’s a personal goal or a professional goal, remind yourself what the consequences of delaying it are.  Maybe not learning to ride a unicycle isn’t quite as important as missing a chance at a promotion, but all delayed or ignored goals have consequences, even if it’s just disappointment.

4. Have a lot of distractions.  This is a big one.  Busy professionals are expected to do it all, to be everywhere at once, and to know everything and be productive.  After all, it was posted on Facebook and twitter and LinkedIn just this morning.  And did you watch the instructional video on Youtube?  If not, you can subscribe to the newsfeed, and a bird will chirp when you receive the message.  Speaking of birds, I just pinned a recipe for chicken cacciatore.  I wonder if I have the ingredients. Wait, what I was I talking about…oh yeah…distractions!  Get them under control!

5. Try too hard to be productive.  Maybe this one won’t help you get more done, but it might inspire you to be happier.  Don’t neglect the non-work areas of your life.  If you’re taking your work home with you regularly, know that it DOES affect your emotional well-being, and it DOES have an impact on the people you live with (aka your family).  So, ask yourself if it’s really necessary, and then buy your significant other a box of chocolates.

Now that you know what not to do, hopefully you’ll have a little extra time in your day to get in touch with your inner slacker.




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