5 Barriers to Your Productivity

productivity May 02, 2021
5 Barriers to Your Productivity

There are many obstacles that are keeping you from being your most productive self. Here are five of them and suggestions on how to deal with each.

On the show, today we're going to talk about five barriers to your productivity.

Number one, not getting enough sleep.

If you are an adult, neuroscience has proven that you need seven to nine hours of sleep.

But not just seven to nine hours of sleep, you need seven to nine hours of sleep consistently. Your body loves consistency.

In other words, it wants to go to bed the same time every night and get up the same time every morning, seven days a week.

Now, most people will go to bed at a reasonable hour Sunday through Thursday and get up at a reasonable hour Monday through Friday. But Fridays and Saturdays are wildcard nights.

And as a result, your body does get discombobulated with sleep. You cannot catch up on your sleep. There is no such thing as your body catching up on sleep.

I want you to set yourself up for sleep success. A couple of things you can do and I will share with you how I do it.

I turn all screens off by eight o'clock. Screens mean television, phones, tablets, any screen gets turned off an hour before my bedtime, which is nine o'clock. I will go sit down next to my nightstand, where I have a soft, yellow 40-watt light bulb and I will read a print book.

You can also read a print magazine, or you can read an actual Kindle, not the Kindle app on your phone. You want to get away from all blue light.

Number two, make sure you are sleeping in a dark, cool room. I personally sleep at 71 degrees and I have my ceiling fan as well as an oscillating fan on because I have this thing about air not moving around when I'm sleeping.

But you need to make it as cool as possible as your body will sleep much better when it's cool.

And the final component is to make sure you have a comfortable mattress. If you are not sleeping well it may be because of your mattress. Ensure you're taking care to get a good quality mattress.

The final point about not getting enough sleep is tossing and turning. When this happens, do not get out of bed and pick up your phone. Pick up a print book and read into your tired.

The second barrier is social media.

Social media is not your friend. Go watch the Netflix documentary, The Social Dilemma. Social media wants to take your information and sell it so they can make money.

One of the lines from The Social Dilemma that haunts me to this day is, "if you're not paying for the product, you are the product." Think about that.

Social media is a double-edged sword. You need it to promote your business, your brand, and your cause But it can also waste hours of your time.

You do not have to be everywhere, on every social media platform. Find out where your tribe is, and go there be very intentional.

When you are in social media compartmentalize. Say, "I'm going to be on social media for an hour and I'm going to get off".

The third barrier is one you may not think about: ambient noise.

Maybe you're trying to write a blog post. You're trying to create a course or whatever. Maybe the TV's on upstairs or in another room. Maybe you hear people talking in the distance. Maybe you hear cars going by wherever you are your house or business delivery vehicles coming and going. Here's something really way out there: cats meowing and dogs barking.

I don't know about you, but if I'm trying to focus and I hear a dog barking, I can barely hear it, but it's breaking my concentration, it's affecting my ability to focus.

Consider the ambient noise because that is the third barrier that I think will dramatically affect your productivity.

The fourth barrier is clutter.

Now there are two types of clutter: physical and emotional.

Physical clutter is all those things in your work area that you don't need for your current task or project.

Back to our example of writing a blog post, what is in front of you, besides your laptop, maybe a pen and notebook? Do you have leftover newspapers, magazines, cups, pizza boxes? You want to work in an environment that is as clutter-free as possible to help you focus.

Why? You may be looking at the word you're typing on the screen for your blog post, but your eye, with its peripheral vision is scanning everything that it can see. And it's like, "What's that? The curtains are open and it's sunny outside. I see a cat in the backyard."

So you have to make sure that you eliminate as much physical clutter in your work area as possible. Only have what you need for the current task and project.

The other kind of clutter is emotional. Are you worried? Are you stressed? Are you watching too much news?

You're worried about COVID, the elections or social justice, or what's going on in another part of the world. This is emotional clutter. If you have a lot of emotional clutter in your head, it's very difficult to stay focused. This isn't anything you don't know, it's just that you've never thought about it before.

When you're going to sit down to write that blog post, in our example, maybe you should take some deep breaths or do some meditation to clear as much emotional clutter as you can so that you can focus.

The fifth barrier to your productivity is the person you see reflected back at you when you look in the mirror: you.

How's your mindset? Do you believe you have something to contribute to the world? Do you believe that you can do that what you're trying to do? Do you believe you're worthy? Do you believe that you can do or say things that are going to help people?

Belief is a really big deal. There are people, maybe you are one of them, who are like, "you know what? I want to do thus-and-such, but I don't think I can". If you don't believe in you, why should anyone else believe in you?

I'm not saying you're the next Oprah or Tony Robbins, but you have to believe in yourself. And if you don't believe in yourself, you have to start there.

Maybe you have to start saying affirmations out loud or writing in your bullet journal, "I believe in myself", "I can do it". Because I think you can do it if you really want to do it.

The other part of you is your health and wellness.

Are you taking care of yourself? Are you drinking half your weight in ounces of water every day? Are you eating a lot of processed foods or a lot of Whole Foods? Are you exercising? Are you standing at least one minute for every hour you're awake? Are you moving? If you're not taking care of yourself, you are creating a barrier to your productivity.

Now, I could go on about barriers to your productivity. You probably have come up with some on your own after reading this. I encourage you to write those down someplace.

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