Why do you fall off the productivity wagon

James Mallinson — №3 with Michael Bungay Stanier

Lack of energy

If you have no energy, it’s hard to find the motivation to do a weekly review, to organize your projects, to actually do anything in general. And all it takes is a late evening sucking up to the boss, a bad night’s sleep, skipping breakfast or having a very hectic day running around like a headless chicken. In that groggy mood it’s all to easy to fall off the wagon.

Lack of clarity

This is probably the most common reason why people fall off the productivity wagon. You skip a weekly review or two, you forget to define your next actions, you let thoughts and ideas build up in your head… before you know it, you get hit by the fuzzy-head syndrome. And in your unclear state, you hit a bump in the road and go flying off the wagon again.

You’re doing too much

Half the reason people obsess over getting productive is because they have so much to do, they need to gain some control to stand any chance of doing it all. But that’s like walking a tightrope. When your entire day is about getting as much done as possible, all it takes is one delayed meeting or one task that’s a little more complicated than you imagined, and you’ll take a a head-cracking fall off that wagon.

Your system doesn’t work

Yes, yes. It’s about what you do (or don’t do), not about what you use, but you do need to get organized and get a plan, and you can’t do that in your head, you need a system that works for you. The problem comes when you obsess over the latest app or tool rather than actually putting it to good use. That isn’t going to help you get productive, and if it doesn’t suit your needs, it will let you down at some point, predictably shoving you off the wagon onto the dirt below.

You’re trying to function at 100%

You are not a robot, you are not a machine (unless you’re some secret Government AI project that’s reading this, in which case I apologize) so don’t try and function at 100% all the time. You’re just asking for a fall. Just remember, every up has it’s down… a down that will invariably leave you a mangled mess under the wheels of the productivity wagon.

So what does this mean? If you don’t want to fall off the wagon so often, find a system that works for you, make sure you get plenty of rest and stay energized, giving yourself a break when things aren’t going so smoothly and make sure you have a clear picture of what you’re actually doing on a very regular basis. Doesn’t sound too hard…

Photo: Flickr / Jason Verwey CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

James mallinson

James Mallinson

James Mallinson comes from the UK and is an aspiring author. He started Organize IT nearly two years ago after he began dabbling in productivity, and wanted to share his tips and experience.

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