The 4 Deadliest Productivity Killers

Many things conspire to make you unproductive. But there are four I find the deadliest. If you deal with those, your productivity will skyrocket. Master these and you won’t have to worry about much else.

1. Procrastination

Procrastination is perhaps the deadliest of all the productivity killers. It affects most people in varying degrees and drops their productivity.

Productivity means taking action. No action, no results. No action, no progress. No action, no productivity.

To boost your productivity, you must overcome procrastination. And this requires commitment and determination. Procrastination is a fierce enemy. If you leave it an inch, it will completely sabotage your efforts to be productive.

2. Distractions

Your productivity is directly linked to your ability to focus. Nowadays, distractions are a great impediment. They’re everywhere. For example, it’s hard to work on a task without having your phone beep, ring, vibrate, flash, or what have you.

Distractions are lethal to your productivity. They entice you to place your attention on trivial activities while your important ones go unattended.

Distractions also break your momentum. They break your flow. And like a “rookie” learning to drive standard, you start and stop and start and stop…

To be productive, you must focus on your high-value tasks and activities until you complete them.

3. Misdirection

If you’re not careful, you’ll spend time and expand energy on various activities but have little results to show for it because your efforts are misdirected. You’re doing a lot of activity, but because your activity lacks direction, it doesn’t translate into productivity.

To be productive, you must align your actions to your goals: your actions must push you forward in the direction of your goals. In that sense, all activities aren’t equal. Make sure your actions support your intentions.

This implies that you define your goals. What do you want to achieve? Without the answer to this question, you’ll be on the hamster wheel, moving but getting nowhere.

4. Perfection

Perfection paralyzes many. They never start producing anything because they’re waiting for the conditions to be perfect before they begin. But because the conditions are rarely perfect, they keep waiting and waiting, stuck in inaction, hoping for the right moment to come one day.

Few break inertia and get started. However, they get stuck again, but this time, they get stuck in the “perfection loop”: they tweak their work indefinitely, trying to make it “perfect”.  This affects their productivity because they never ship anything, and productivity is about shipping: finishing what you start.

Strive for excellence, but don’t confuse this with perfection.

To increase your productivity, you must deal with productivity killers. In particular, you must overcome procrastination, resist distractions, avoid misdirection (i.e. misdirecting your efforts), and escape perfection.

About The Author

Vladimir Elie

I help people learn and apply success principles and strategies so that they can get the results they want in life.