Invisible barriers to personal productivity

Modern life can be busy. There is a lot to fit in and get done. We have a work, home, and social life, and an internal world with different responsibilities to fulfil, lessons to learn and a life to live. 

All areas need time, care and attention if we want to be and do our best.   Sometimes we have goals that we reach and others we don’t. Some of us spend all of our time working or doing things for others and there is no time for ourselves.  

My father used to say: ‘if you want something done, ask a busy person’. It is true.   Productive people have a habit of finishing things. Their neuro pathways and standards expect that and it happens. Some people are good at completing things for others but not for themselves. What about you?

If you have things on your list that are not getting done, have a think about why.  What are your ‘invisible barriers’ to achieving them?

I have taken inspiration from friends and clients about their invisible barriers and solutions for this article. 

Top 12 barriers and solutions: 

  1. Not believing in you and what you are doing. This is a big one. Belief is essential to success. If you don’t believe, you will give up when the obstacles come.   
  2. Indecision and doubt.  When your head is full, it is hard to have clarity.   Have a plan, and move towards it every day, come what may.   
  3. Time lost in friction / arguing with others – in your head or in reality.   We can focus on what we want or what we don’t want. If issues with others are slowing you down, address them and move ahead. Some issues take more time to sort out. Be patient.   
  4. Disorganisation. Have a plan and move towards it every day.   
  5. Procrastination. This can be caused by a lack of confidence or laziness – or a combination.  When we cannot rely on ourselves, it is difficult to achieve what we want to in life.  Take a few steps daily towards where you want to go and you will get there. See here for more on procrastination
  6. Overthinking a situation – Some of us have a habit of overthinking which leads to more of it. If we overthink at every stage, we won’t complete tasks. Doing things we are not used to doing will feel uncomfortable. Know this and take action.  
  7. Worrying about what others think. You will not please everyone all the time.  Too much time spent thinking leaves less time for doing.  It also creates and reinforces a habit of overthinking. 
  8. Fear of taking risks. Doing new things is challenging and moves us out of comfort zones. Know this and drive on. 
  9. Fear of being rejected. What is more important to you – what others think or living your life? Decide and progress. 
  10. Voice in your head telling you, you’re not good at this or that. They say it takes a child 4000 attempts to learn to sit up straight. As adults we often expect to be able to do things we have never done without practice. This is unreasonable and giving into it will severely limit your productivity and potential.    
  11. Afraid to ask for help. Ask for help when you need it. 
  12. Afraid to make independent decisions. Support is good but we should not be over reliant on it. 

What are your invisible barriers to productivity? There is 5 months to go before the end of 2019 – plenty of time to assess and address. Start today.