Creating a productivity plan is hard for sure. The road is filled with trial and error, small wins, and headaches when things aren’t going as planned. So what makes it hard in the first place? And how can we streamline the process?
Here are 5 reasons why we fail at creating a productivity plan that works for us:
Are you trying to copy someone else’s plan?
Multiple people are sharing their productivity plans with the world, and I’m rooting for it! We should all learn from each other and get inspired by other human beings.
However, we should always remember to take this as inspiration only. This means taking ideas, workflows, and what we think works for us, and leaving the rest.
Trying to copy someone else’s workflow, and trying to adapt your life around it will not work. In the end, that person is living a different life than you.
Make sure you’re not trying to replicate a productivity plan, but building yours slowly.
Are you trying multiple things at once?
Remember new year’s resolutions? Yeah, that never works.
One of the human flaws is getting excited about multiple things at once and trying to do them all at the same time. At first, that seems like a good idea. We have the energy, the will, and the inspiration, so better take advantage of that. A few weeks in, and you stop everything. Why? You’ve been trying to do many things.
This is also true when working on your productivity plan. Trying multiple tools, workflows, or methods are all examples of that.
Picking a to-do list app is a task on its own. Pick one, get used to it, before moving to something else, like how to use projects/tags, etc…
Are you not using the best medium?
What’s the best medium for you? A physical to-do list? Post-its? A to-do app? You know yourself better.
If you don’t use your phone, or if your work doesn’t involve working with a computer, picking a to-do app just doesn’t make sense. Another example is if you’re a manager or an individual contributor. A calendar works best for the former, and a to-do list for the latter.
If you’re trying to force yourself to use a specific medium or a specific app, but your environment isn’t optimized for that, this will lead to a broken plan.
Are you not giving it enough time?
We are living in an instant gratification world. Do you want to deliver some food? Click a few buttons and you’ll have it by your door in a few minutes. Want to order some furniture? You’ll get it by the next day. Posted a new photo? You’ll get your likes in a few minutes.
That’s how we think the world works in all areas, but that’s not true. You need to give your productivity plan enough time before deciding if it’s worth it or not. The first few days/weeks will be hard, that’s for sure. But that doesn’t mean your plan is not working, it just means it’s a new change that needs time to fit in.
Is it time-consuming?
Always remember: your productivity plan should still work on your busiest days, with minimal maintenance from you. If your plan needs constant tweaking, and manual input from you then you’ll have a hard time sticking to it the first time you hit a busy day.