WomanSittingHoldingClockAs a Productivity Coach I’ve seen many things over the years and there are mistakes that I’ve seen people making all the while.In this post I’m going to share three that are quite common. First and foremost, you’re checking your email first thing in the morning. STOP IT! Now I know this is a hard one for some of you because you live in your inbox. Close your email when you’re not checking and replying to it. Plain and simple, email is a distraction and a major time suck!

Instead of diving head first into your inbox at the beginning of your work day, is to check your email 1½ -2 hours after you start your day. Use the first 1.5 to 2 hours of your day to focus on your top priority for the day. By the end of that period of time, you’ll either be done with that task, or you’ll have a good dent in it. This makes the first couple of hours of your day more productive instead of you fishing around in your inbox and having a priority sit on hold.

Working against your grain is one of the worst things that you can do to yourself. It zaps your level of productivity. What works is to learn your personal energy cycles and use them to make your day productive. If you don’t know what time of day is best for you, start taking notice to see when your physical and mental energy is highest. You might find that you’re not at your best until almost noon and that you can work past dinner time before you start to fade. Make the shift in your day and use that time for the things that require you to be at your best. Use the other time in your day for things that don’t require so much of you like returning phone calls.

The third mistake is not spending enough time on top priorities. You can be busy all day and still not get the important things done. You’ve got to know what your priorities are before you get in motion. Look at the projects and goals on your agenda and determine their priority before anything related to them hits your daily list or calendar. If you know your priorities prior to adding them to your activities, you know what your focus should be on and therefore, you can focus your time on your priorities so that the important things get done.

Those are just three of the mistakes that you could be making when it comes to productivity. Take action to shift from what you’re currently doing and you’ll see a difference.