Last Updated on May 21, 2024 by Angela Vaz

Sometimes, at the end of the day – do you feel like you’ve been unproductive?

Your brain suddenly thinks of 10 different to-dos you haven’t ticked off.

And you’re busy trying to find ways to fit them all in the next day.

Is this you?

Do you always have things to do but never have time to finish it all?

If yes, then this post is going to help.

I will list a few activities that are probably draining your time and energy. Reducing these will give you more time and space.

Let’s begin.

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1. Saying yes to everything

You have to realize that we all have 24 hours a day.

And you need to be okay with not being able to do everything.

This means you must prioritize specific tasks and let go of a few others.

Let’s say you planned to hit the gym in the evening.

But as you leave work, a colleague asks you to meet for coffee because she’s having problems and wants to discuss them.

So you say yes even though you don’t want to.

The coffee takes 3 hours, and by now, you don’t even have time to cook dinner for yourself, so you eat takeout and feel worse because you haven’t had time to work out or eat a healthy dinner.

Sometimes, saying no is essential.

When you say no to something, you’re saying HELL YES to the thing you actually want to do.

Being a people pleaser myself, it’s been hard to learn this, but my life improved when I became picky with my time.

In this post, I talk about how you can say no without feeling crappy.

2. Being a perfectionist

I speak to many people in my field who get so overwhelmed writing a blog post that they spend 5 to 6 hours scrutinizing everything.

Ultimately, they either don’t publish or delete the whole thing, saying they’ll work up the courage to attack it tomorrow.

No.

You need to do more of that activity to get better at a skill.

You cannot be perfect at Piano unless you play shoddily first.

You cannot become a good writer without writing a few garbage pieces first.

Nobody is judging you as harshly as you judge yourself.

So, get out there and create.

Do.

Be okay with not being the best until you have enough experience to be the best.

3. Delaying your most important tasks

If you constantly scramble to finish the most critical tasks at the end of the day, then your priorities need a check.

Let’s say that fitness is currently your number 1 goal.

Then, doing a morning workout rather than the evening is better because it will leave you feeling accomplished and more relaxed.

It will also give you a dopamine rush that will help you feel more energized.

This is where the concept of Eat That Frog comes from.

It means doing your most critical, unmissable tasks first thing in the morning.

It really sets the tone for the rest of the day.

4. Looking at social media

Unless it’s for work, avoid going down that rabbit hole.

Social media has almost no benefits unless you’re a photographer, artist, or creator and must attract more business or build a brand.

It’s a huge time-suck and actually makes people feel lethargic/worse.

You can set a timer for those apps if it’s getting tough for you.

5. Sacrificing sleep

You might think that sacrificing sleep is the key to getting more done.

But it doesn’t work that way.

When you forego sleep, your brain and internal organs haven’t had time to reset and repair itself.

This results in brain fog and lethargy.

Caffeine is an artificial time boost that forces you to stay awake—it numbs your body’s desperate need to sleep and rest.

Instead of abusing coffee/tea, get 7-9 hours of sleep.

And believe me, your body will work much faster and more efficiently when you’re well-rested.

Your energy levels will be stable.

You will feel more alive.

Your brain will be bursting with ideas.

6. Thinking about what others think of you

My father is very skilled and down-to-earth, but he’s very reserved, and I know he stops himself from doing things he really wants to do.

Watching him be self-critical has taught me to be more easy-going.

He always judges himself way too harshly.

I’ve seen him go to the store and come back without buying anything because he was too worried to ask anyone for help.

His anxiety was so self-crippling that it stopped him from having adventures and doing things he genuinely wanted to do only because he cared so much about what other people thought.

He did things he felt were “acceptable.”

And now, he does have regrets.

If you want to be happy, you have to stop worrying about what others think of you.

I stayed in an unhappy and abusive marriage only because I was afraid of the Divorcee tag.

The day I left my marriage, I found peace and happiness.

I also found a loving and caring partner, and we’ve been living extraordinary lives.

We take trips with our little dogs, play board games, get together with our friends, and eat really good food, and I can honestly say that none of this would have happened unless I had stepped out of my comfort zone and stopped caring about what other people thought.

When you’re authentic, you’ll connect with people as real as you are.

You will make friends, and you will find peace.

It’s easier to be yourself than to be someone you’re not.

7. Negative thinking

It is essential to be practical, but fighting yourself to do anything is both time-consuming and energy-consuming.

You have to believe in yourself.

You have to cut yourself some slack and give yourself grace.

We aren’t perfect.

We have to make mistakes to learn and get better at something.

And just because social media/TV shows you a filtered 5 seconds of someone’s life doesn’t mean everybody is always happy and living a perfect life.

Everybody has challenges.

Everybody is fighting something.

One thing that has helped me fight negative thinking is realizing that it doesn’t help in any way possible.

Instead of ruminating over my mistakes, I pause and ask myself how to correct them.

Think of solutions instead of berating yourself.

Accept that the problem has happened and find a way to rectify it.

Conclusion:

Of course, all of these cannot be implemented in 1 day, but the trick is to go about it slowly and try to incorporate cutting out these habits one at a time.

Cutting out these tiny traits will skyrocket your productivity and leave you feeling much, much better!

Angela is a 30 year old Illustrator and Blogger living with her 2 adorable labradors in Bangalore, India. She has a degree in Psychology and Human Relationships from the University of Toronto. When she's not writing her heart out or drawing, you'll find her sipping chai and reading non-fiction books.

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