No matter how successful you are right now, it's still an everyday challenge to stand guard against temptations which eventually nudge you away from your important trail.
Whether you know it or not, there are 5 things that are killing your productivity if you initiate any of them during work. Let's put a light on them and get you out of this dangerous shadow right now.
Productivity Killer #1 Checking Emails First Thing In the Morning
Checking emails is one of the most evil time killers which is often disguised as productivity.
We love checking emails because every time there's a new hit in the inbox, we feel a sense of significance that "someone needs our attention". Happy chemical Dopamine is released, we feel good, and we will be too curious not to have a look.
Worse still, when we do this activity first thing in the morning, we're conditioning ourselves into a reactive state. It will be extremely difficult to revert back to the proactive state required to create progress you have planned.
What you should do is to schedule one to two 15-minute time slots (e.g. 12pm, 6pm) where you quickly delete most of the unnecessary emails while replying a few important ones.
Productivity Killer #2 Browsing Internet Mindlessly
The Wi-Fi & mobile device combo has aggravated the pandemic of instant gratification.
Computers and internet use has become popular at around teenage times in my generation. But it's even worse for kids nowadays as they were conditioned by this status quo from the day they were born. (I can foresee that this global problem is going to intensify across all fields when these new bloods continue to join the workforce.)
Anyway, it's very easy to start searching "interesting stuff" when you're using your computer. If you're not disciplined enough, you will fall into this trap of endless information searching black hole that kills your productivity.
Install some website blocking software if you need to. Set them to 30-60 mins of focused time where you will be disabled to surf around the internet junk. If you can, turn off the Wi-Fi completely if all you need is to write some good content in a Microsoft Word.
Productivity Killer #3 Engaging In Chitchats
Have you ever met someone who is an amazing orator with such a crazy ability to talk about this, to chat about that, to keep the one-sided conversation going and "blah blah blah" all day long until the boss comes back?
Yuck. How annoying to work under the same roof with such colleague!
If you're forced into such situation, the number one thing you should do is to give zero reaction, positive or negative, to that chatterbox. Show no emotions so they don't get anything from you.
Secondly, excuse yourself from the environment and explain that there are urgent important things you have to handle.
Chi chats are dangerous because even though that person isn't annoying and you love what you're talking, you will fall into an emotional loophole that carries your attention completely away from the work you were doing.
Stop entertaining people during work. You're not a clown.
Productivity Killer #4 Thinking About Your Outcome-Based Goals
Yes, I am saying that thinking about your future, grand, idealistic goals will kill your productivity!
If you always focus on how far it is you still have to go in order to realize your vision, you will feel unmotivated to take any actions. "It's too far, too hard, too arduous anyway," your brain thinks.
Instead, focus on performing your habits required in the goals.
Treat taking the next action as a success so that you show up, you perform the habit, and you make real progress that moves you closer to the final outcome.
Set your emotions and outcomes aside, just focus on the next action step.
Productivity Killer #5 Falling Into Shiny Opportunities
There are tons of legitimate, real, good opportunities around us that we can utilize to succeed. Sadly, most of us never fully take advantage of them and just keep failing one after another.
The reason is because we don't commit ourselves enough in the opportunity, and get carried away by other new, bright, shiny objects that carry our attention, energy, time and effort away.
If you want to succeed, focus on the work you're already doing. Spreading your focus on multiple opportunities is just going to diverse the intensity required to crush through challenges.
Don't kill your productivity like that. Don't kill the success that's waiting for you like that. Don't kill the final 10% of the journey to greatness like that.
Focus on one, make it work, and then you may consider expanding your empire.