Five Mental Blocks That Sabotage Your Productivity

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You’ve sat down to work on your big idea. You’ve cleared your calendar for the next 3 hours to focus. You are extremely excited, and then you hit a wall. I mean a big wall, a down the Netflix rabbit hole till 3 am, staring a blank sheet of paper, no closer to your goal, wall.
What happened? You had everything ready. You knew what all needed to be done. You decided to take your training program to the next level by adding a digital training option so you can expand your reach and help more people get in shape!

You had everything ready. You knew what all needed to be done. You decided to take your training program to the next level by adding a digital training option so you can expand your reach and help more people get in shape! You’ve found

You knew what all needed to be done. You decided to take your training program to the next level by adding a digital training option so you can expand your reach and help more people get in shape! You’ve found an awesome online program to use for digital sessions that allows you to do everything you’d do in a real life course (sans actually physical contact). You’ve even decided which customer relationship management system you want to use. Now all you have to do is design your coaching packages and set everything up. Seems simple enough but then you just sit there. It’s not that you’ve lost interest in what you wanted to do. It’s not that you can’t do it. You probably found yourself in one of these five mental and behavior blocks that sabotage your time management. Don’t feel bad, they happen to the best of us. Knowing these blocks is the first step to overcoming them.

Five mental blocks and behaviors that sabotage your productivity and time management

Getting hung up on your weaknesses

Okay, truth bomb time. You aren’t going to be great at everything. It sucks when you want to build something and parts of it isn’t perfect, or you have to rely on someone else to make it come to life. I know, gasp, the horror. I’ll be the first to admit I’ve spent many nights fighting back tears while trying to work on website development tasks. I will also admit that while most nights I fought through the desire to give up and forget whatever site change I was trying to make. Other nights I was less inclined to proceed and just stopped working. I don’t mean; I moved on to a different task. No, I mean a full on, “Nope. I’m done for the night. What’s on my DVR,” stop.

I’m not saying that it won’t happen sometimes, but by knowing that I am not exactly Mark Zuckerberg when it comes to development, I can do a few things to decrease these productivity killers.
For me it this looks like this:
Problem: I don’t have a lot of knowledge in website development.
Possible solutions: Hire someone to work on the things I can’t do myself. Take an online development course. Utilize the crap out of SiteGround‘s support team.

What are some things you struggle with but are a necessary part of your business model? Think of 3 different alternatives to help you lighten your load.

  • Hire someone to do it
  • Educate yourself or learn a new skill
  • Find resources or alternative (To go with my example above if SiteGround isn’t able to help, I can do research or even ask a coworker in our development team)

Getting caught up in the things you hate doing

Maybe because it’s so mindless or maybe because it’s part of my day job but I am not the biggest fan of social media. Filling up my social media content each Sunday used to be daunting…to be honest; it still is sometimes. Just trying to search for relevant posts I agree with to share with my audience and stay valuable is a drag. When I first started, I was using the free version of HootSuite for my social media. This meant typing each post out every Sunday and scheduling it. While HootSuite is a great tool, it wasn’t what I needed.
When you have those tasks that drain you like email, social media, bookkeeping, etc. they have to be done, but they don’t have to kill your momentum or motivation.
Just like with the tasks that aren’t your strengths you have to find a way to do the tasks that you hate doing.
I keep my social media content updated with Buffer, not only does it allow me to add posts it schedules them for me automatically in the best time field, allows me to recycle posts and add feeds from my favorite websites quickly with its content feed feature. I still have to make the time to do this once a week, but now I can sit down and watch tv while I quickly feel up my feed.
Depending on the tasks that frustrate you, you need to determine a way to get them done more efficiently and with less pain.
Maybe you develop a reward system. “If I get to inbox zero I can have that Dove candy bar.
Another thought is to schedule them for your most energetic or least active time of the day. Depending on you and your work style, you may find your job sessions are more productive if you do that annoying task first thing and get it out of the way. Perhaps you’re the other way. You know if you do the task you hate first thing you will be in a bad mood and not get any work done afterward. So you do all the stuff you need to tackle then that task you dread at the end. Perhaps you make a game out of it? “Let’s see if I can get five blog post pitches out in the next hour, last week I did 4. Maybe I can beat that record.”

If you are at a point where you can afford staff you can hire someone to do the task. Another option is automating the task or batching it, so you only have to deal with it once or twice a week.

Overthinking and overwhelm

This is probably the biggest culprit for me. I come from a long line of over-thinkers. My mom, grandpa and great grandma all worry warts. While I’m working hard to break that generational curse, it’s still a battle from time to time.
Often we find ourselves with a task at hand and it’s too much. While it’s important to know what the big picture is and what you want your result to be, it can be overwhelming. Remember, little by little becomes a lot. Refrain from trying to build an entire empire in a day.
Fun fact time: Construction of the Golden Gate Bridge took four years but before that construction start date in 1933, the first plan for the bridge was presented and rejected in 1916. It took multiple tries and countless people to get the project up and running. I’m not saying your project will take that long to happen or that you need a huge team of professionals. What I am saying is remember everything takes time. Instead of trying to take everything on at once break it down into smaller parts.
It’s easier to solve a small problem than a larger one. Instead of worrying about all the moving parts break down the big pieces into small actionable steps and get to work.

Spending more time planning than you do working

As a planner myself, I see people fall into this trap often. Yes, a goal without a plan is just a dream but plans don’t make things happen action does. You should regularly make time to plan out your goals and the steps it takes to achieve them but doesn’t over do it. If you are spending two hours every day planning your day you are probably overdoing it.
As a team of 1 with the occasional VA, I aim to do a 90-day planning session that takes about 2-3 hours. Then a monthly planning session that takes about an hour and a half an hour on Sundays to plan out that how to break up that week’s goal into daily tasks.
You need to plan but don’t go overboard. If you spend all your time planning you aren’t spending enough time doing.
It takes action to get results!

You need to plan but don’t go overboard. If you spend all your time planning you aren’t spending enough time doing. Click To Tweet A goal without a plan is just a dream. Click To Tweet It takes action to get results! Click To Tweet

Doing things you don’t have to do

You have to do YouTube videos. 

You need a podcast. 

You should post on your blog every day.

You have to build your email list.

Are you on Instagram? 

You’re snap chatting right?

Make sure you do Facebook Live at least five times a week.

It’s easy to feel like we all have to do all the things but not everything is necessary and not everything will work for you. Figure out what you need to do, not what everyone else is doing or what others are telling you to do. Don’t feel the need to be on every single social media site when you’re starting out. Do what you need to do and as things get easier or more streamlined, then you can test out new things. Trying to do all the things before you are ready can bring on that paralyzing productivity killing feeling. This doesn’t just apply to social media either. If you hate being on video don’t start a YouTube channel, start with live streams and webinars to help you build up that muscle. Before I launched my podcast, I played with audio on select posts to get a feel for it.

It’s easy to let these things stop us in our tracks but if you’re honest with yourself about your strengths, weaknesses, time and direction, then you can push past these blocks.
If you’re ready to do this snag my Productivity Checklist or if you need more help you can work with me in one of my productivity and time management coaching packages.

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  • I’ve had many nights that I wanted to give up making website changes. Editing the coding is so time-consuming and frustrating! I always have this wonderful schedule that I SAY I am going to follow but 9 times out of 10 I don’t. My attention span is seriously that of my 4-year-old’s.

  • RebelSweetHrt

    This post may just be the boost that I need for me to finally work on my YouTube channel. It’s something I’ve been trying to put off for the past few months, haha!

  • Getting distracted by social media and the television does prevent us from being 100% productive. Gotta learn to turn them off!

  • I fall into the category of spending WAY too much time planning. Then I’m tired and the working doesn’t get my best effort. So bad at this!!!

  • I am fairly organized and perhaps that leads me to take more time planning than doing but I also get lost in nonsense like social media

  • These are really distracting lists to us. Especially as a blogger we don’t want to be distract from anything.This article will help us to be focus to our work, and can keep us away from any distractions.

  • mail4rosey

    I spend too much time planning sometimes. It can definitely deter from the work itself, esp. if you’re doing it at night and end up too tired to work at all!

  • Poop Poop

    I agree with your post as I tend to spend way too much time planning and ended up not doing too much work at all

  • You’ve hit the nail on the head! My last few weeks I feel like I’ve been a hindrance to myself… my productivity is at an all-time low and it feels like I’m avoiding doing what needs to get done. 🙁

  • As the popular Nike ad would advice, “Just Do It!” There are times when it’s harder to get stuff done because of other concerns pulling on us. When that happens I say, take the time you need to focus on that issue and return when you’ve found your
    equilibrium…

  • Lesli

    What a great post! Sometimes you can be your own worst enemy…

  • Rebecca Swenor

    This is a great post and tips. I have had one of the worst weeks for me and have been overwhelmed with everything. It is so true that smaller projects you can get done better rather than huge ones. Thanks for sharing the information and tips.

  • Dia

    Thanks for checking out the post. I hope it helps and that the next few weeks get better 🙂

  • Dia

    Exactly! Thanks Lesli!

  • Dia

    YeahI try to shift focus and come back when I just can’t.

  • Dia

    That happens a lot this time of year. Just keep going Ronnie.

  • Dia

    Yeah it’s an easy trap. Setting up a plan feels good and focused but then it can make you feel accomplished before you get it done.

  • Dia

    Haha yeah I tend to work my best at night so I can see that happening.

  • Dia

    Thanks Julie!

  • Dia

    I totally understand that. On the plus side social media usually annoys me so I don’t wander too long.

  • Dia

    Be sure to share it when it’s up! 🙂

  • Dia

    Haha I have days like that for sure. The best thing I can do is leave my apartment and go somewhere with no distractions.

  • Emily Vinyard

    I am really bad about some of this… I do over think things. I do put myself down in some ways about not knowing what to do. As a blogger, I often feel that I’m not doing enough. But then I lose the joy I originally had in it. Thanks for the encouragement in these!

  • Dia

    Emily, you aren’t alone. You have to move at your own pace, celebrate your wins and keep going. Don’t put yourself down. You got this!