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Eliminate the Chaos at Work: 25 Techniques to Increase Productivity by Laura Leist

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Biggest Mistakes

Technique #1: Identify Problem Areas Up Front and Set Yourself Up for Success

Now that you are aware of the four areas of the office where productivity can be improved and how long it’s going to take, it’s important to recognize some of the mistakes that are fairly easy to make along the way. Don’t let yourself fall into one of these traps; I’ve seen them happen time and time again with our clients. This is your opportunity to identify potential problem areas up front and set yourself up for success.

Confusing Being Busy with Being Productive

Problem: Everyone is busy; not everyone is productive. There is a big difference between these two. Stop for a moment and think about a recent conversation you had with a coworker or friend you hadn’t seen in a while. Chances are that you reply, “I’ve been busy” when they ask how you are. But what does this really mean? What have you actually accomplished? Every day, there are going to be things that you must do and things that you want to do. These two categories of tasks are completely distinct from one another.

Solution: Take time each day to identify the three most important activities that tie back to your goals you plan to accomplish. These activities will often be the least fun and are usually time-consuming; that’s why it’s easy to neglect them and do those easier, more fun, or less time-consuming tasks first—just to be able to cross something off your list. This is exactly how you fall into the trap of being busy ...

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