You look up at the clock and realise that it’s almost time to wrap things up for the day, except that you haven’t even completed one thing on your to-do list. Sound familiar?
This is a common phenomenon that can haunt people for various reasons. Here are 9 of the most common of them so that you can figure out which one most likely relates to you.
If the project or work that you’re meant to be doing doesn’t have a strict deadline, or the deadline is far off in the future, then this isn’t going to be exactly stimulating.
Luckily, our minds aren’t very smart and so can quite easily be manipulated or tricked into performing.
Making personal deadlines that you hold yourself accountable for can help to solve this problem. You might even want to make it more exciting by creating your own self-punishments and rewards.
Searching for distractions
If you’re reading this article, then chances are you’re currently finding anything to do except for what you’re meant to be doing.
Anything and everything can suddenly seem very important and interesting when you’re trying to avoid doing work.
This can be solved by putting your phone away for set periods of time, scheduling break times, and setting up in a quiet work area (if possible).
Keeping everything in your head
When you’re feeling overwhelmed with how much you have to do, it’s easy to get caught up in multiple thought loops at once.
This stress can cause you to somewhat freeze and not do anything but stare into space thinking your thoughts.
Simply writing out everything you need to do can help to clear some space in your head so that you don’t get frozen and can move ahead with a clearer idea of what needs to be done in that moment.
Waiting for motivation
It’s a common mistake for many people to wait until feelings of motivation and enthusiasm hit them before they do anything.
The reality is that this motivation probably isn’t just going to magically come to you after waiting a certain amount of time.
Motivation can spark action, however we also have the ability to bring about motivation by taking action. Even if it’s a small action such as turning your laptop on, every small step is a step closer and perpetuates further movement.
Doing everything at once
Multi-tasking is great in theory, but in reality, it can be much more draining and ineffective than is necessary.
Doing a million things at once is tiring for our poor brains and can cause confusion and stress, and at the end of the day you realise you began 10 things but finished none.
Try and focus on one thing at a time, or group similar jobs together, so that you can stop this from happening.
Not getting enough sleep
As much as you might not want to hear it, getting enough hours of sleep is important.
Even if you think that you don’t have time, at the end of the day you’re going to be able to get a lot more done if you put enough hours aside for some rest.
You can work 18-hour days as much as you like, but you’re not going to get much done if you’re a sleep-deprived, zombie version of yourself.
Not making yourself a priority
This one applies especially for the caretakers out there. If you’re someone who constantly puts the needs of others in front of your own, then you’re never going to get where you want to be.
It’s time to set some boundaries, advocate for yourself and take yourself and your needs seriously.
Any relative or friend that doesn’t understand this could maybe do with some distance.
Underlying health conditions
Not being able to focus can often be dismissed as being a personal fault that has to do with being lazy or stupid.
However, struggling to concentrate and complete tasks can actually be a sign that there are serious and legitimate disabilities that are going under the radar.
For example, Attention Deficit Disorder or even mental illnesses such as depression could be the root cause of your unproductive ways.
You’ve lost the spark
Sometimes you’re just not passionate enough about what you’re doing. If you’re stuck in a job that you find boring and lacks purpose, then no matter how hard you try there’s going to be little you can do to motivate yourself.
Not everyone has the means to change their job, but there’s no harm in looking for opportunities to change into an area that you have a genuine interest in.
It’s been found that working around other people increases your productivity. This is because when people are in groups, they’re more likely to feel a social pressure to perform.
This is part of the reason why coworking offices work so well for people who would otherwise be working by themselves at home.
Author – Madeleine Goodman
With a background in Sales and Psychology, Maddy combines her knowledge & love of words to bring us all of the things we need to know on how to survive modern day working life. She currently works as the in-house writer at deskPlex.