5 Sneaky Productivity Lies

To Do List - Getting Things Done

The To Do List Has Become Ridiculous

I recently realized that I’ve lied to myself AGAIN about my work. I’m so busy. My work is so hard. I’m so stressed out. Waaaaaaaaaaaah (enter Lucy cry). Granted, some of it is hard & yes I am busy. But most of it I’ve created myself – I have a part – and that’s the truth.

Same dance, different tune — I’ve been here before. But somehow I forgot the lessons I had learned.

My lies are sneaky. They creep in slowly, disguised as my being a productive-worker-bee and they are dangerous. They hurt my work. They hurt my relationships. They hurt my health.

And the time is now to say no to the nonsense.

  1. I have to work 12 hours today to finish my work. I don’t know about you, but my work is never finished. EVER. I produce much higher quality work during a well structured 8 hour day than in 12 frenetic hours. PERIOD. And if I really need loads of time all the time to stay afloat? Perhaps #5 applies or a rendezvous with Erika @RedHeadWriting is a must.
  2. I have to check my email tonight. Wrong. Unless there is a TRULY time sensitive project, I don’t “have” to check my email at night. And quite frankly, my work does not involve banning nuclear arms, so it’s important to keep perspective. Besides, when we return emails during off hours, we TEACH people to expect immediacy and that is a slippery slope….
  3. I’m too busy to exercise and eat well. This is a big lie. Taking time to exercise – for physical, mental, and emotional benefits – is critical for my professional well being. PERIOD. It’s as important as going to meetings, returning emails and other more directly related tasks. And if I’m hungry and jacked on coffee and crap, how thoughtful and effective can I really be? Plan ahead, schedule the sweaty time, prepare healthy food, and honor the physical health which creates a happy energizer bunny at the office.
  4. I have to stay tethered to my computer to get things done. Really? I actually remember a time before email. I remember when I didn’t have a computer in my house. I remember when cords were required for telephone calls. There are lots of great ways to step away. Grab that stack of magazines you’re behind on and go to the park. Walk to the coffee shop to buy your team lattes. Close the door and do some pushups. Head to the copy room and do some tidying up. Hell, my own space could use some tidying.
  5. It’s a too hard to delegate. The trick here is to get help before I’m in crisis…  when an hour invested in proper guidance will not feel like a burden. But, this requires me to look ahead, be realistic, know early on when I will need help and allow myself to ask for it. I work in a team where I am the leader.  I regularly support my staff in many ways, and it’s appropriate and healthy to ask them to support me.

Are there any lies you want to come clean with?

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