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Why Can't You Get Anything Done?

How often do you get to the end of your day at work and feel like you haven't got anything done? You may have been very busy all day but you don't feel like you have achieved anything. So what are the reasons why you feel like this and what can you do to make things better?

Here are some potential causes and ideas for what you can do differently:

No clear business strategy, plan, priorities or deadlines. If you have no clear business strategy, plan, priorities or deadlines you may find yourself drifting from one thing to another and feeling like you are not achieving anything in your day. This is because you are not clear on where you want the business to be and how you are going to get there. Spend some time developing your business strategy and plan, including setting deadlines and priorities. You can then focus on your end goal and the key actions that are going to take you there.

Too many distractions. In this world of instant communication including smart phones, social media, internet, messaging and emails you can find yourself being distracted all day. However to cut out these distractions so you can get the important things done at work you need to take control and set boundaries. There are many solutions including allocating set times each day for emails and accessing social media or limiting private use to outside working hours, however you will also need to get out of the habit of wanting to check everything instantly.

Being interrupted. You will find that you don't get anything done if you are constantly interrupted. You may be interrupted by phone calls or your team wanting answers to their questions. To minimise interruptions consider changing the environment you work in (for example working in an open plan office may encourage interruptions), being more proactive in managing your team through regular team meetings and one to ones and maybe think about delegating responsibilities so everything doesn't have to come to you.

Unrealistic expectations. Due to your unrealistic expectations you may always feel that you don't get anything done. However you may actually be accomplishing a lot each day but you are not feeling this because you expect to be able to do so much more. Consider carefully what you can actually achieve each day and be realistic when writing your to do list. Having less on your list but completing it all is much more satisfying than only ever completing 25%.

Doing all the non urgent and unimportant things. How often do you find yourself doing all the non urgent and unimportant things and never getting round to the important actions that are going to take you towards your business goals? Decide each day the key actions for that day that are going to take your business forward the most to where you want it to be. Focus on these actions only and delegate or outsource the other areas.

Too many or ineffective meetings. Do you feel like you are not getting anything done because you are always in meetings or the meetings are not being run well? Consider each proposed meeting carefully as to whether you need the meeting, the purpose of the meeting, the attendees, the agenda and the timing. Also where you decide to have meetings make sure they are effective and well run so the business benefits from them.

Being reactive. If you are reactive you may feel like you are not achieving anything as you are continually reacting to events, the latest conversation, customer feedback etc. Try taking a proactive approach where you decide what you and the business are going to do each day and you will find that you achieve a lot more.

Cannot say 'no'. Do you find that you cannot say 'no' to everyone you deal with? If this is you, your day may feel very unproductive. Consider carefully what you say 'yes' to, including making sure that you only take on work that your business is resourced to deliver, that tasks are allocated to the right person in the business, that work is planned in line with the business strategy and that you are delegating and outsourcing work accordingly.

Disorganised. Disorganisation may be the reason that you feel that you are not achieving anything. You may be disorganised in the way you manage your time, your work or in the way you manage the business and your team. Get organised and you will be surprised at how different you feel. This may be through getting your work space or computer filing organised, introducing new systems, processes and procedures, developing a business strategy and plan, team meetings or better communication in the business.

Procrastination. So how often do you put off doing all the important things and do something more enjoyable or easier instead? Procrastination will make you feel that you are not getting anything done. Tackle procrastination and you will find you achieve much more whether through better time management, tackling your emotional barriers like fear of failure or success, breaking projects down into smaller more manageable tasks or improving your business planning.

Multi tasking. Trying to multi task at work can result in not getting anything done as you flit from one thing to another but don't actually finish anything. Try working on specific task and actions one at a time and see the difference it makes to what you achieve and your business results.

Feeling stressed and anxious. If you are feeling stressed and anxious, you may find that you struggle to get anything done. Signs of stress include being indecisive, difficulty concentrating and inaction so it is not surprising that you don't achieve anything. Understand the root cause of your stress and take action to move forward and feel less stressed. This in turn will enable you to become more productive again.

Hopefully the above tips and ideas will help you to think about ways in which to achieve more at work or in your business.

Author: Liz Makin
Published: March 2017

Through Makin It Happen - Coaching, Mentoring & Stress Management, Liz Makin provides personalised business coaching, business mentoring and stress management services to business owners, directors, managers and professionals. If you are looking for a business coach, business mentor or help with stress please contact Liz on 01780 765270 or email Liz@makinithappen.co.uk to arrange a free consultation session.


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