It seems that I’ve seen a lot written lately about blind spots.
We all have them and I’m not talking about the ones you experience when you drive. This particular post was about leadership blind spots. But the ones I want to talk about here are individual productivity blind spots. Yes…they exist.
For the most part, you know when you’re not working at your best. And usually, you know why.
But what about those things you’ve done over and over and think you have nailed down a system or process that works for you? Do you stop once in a while to ask yourself if maybe your process/system/approach could be improved? Or do you think, why mess with something that’s already working ok? That answer is what tweaks your ability to be more productive.
Here’s what I did:
I like to practice what I preach. So I started thinking about the actions that I take more or less automatically. I’m not talking about which apps I use, but what I was actually doing. My personal workflow. I asked myself:
- If what I was doing optimized my time.
- Could some of these things be done differently to create more efficiencies, peace of mind and time to do more fun things?
I’m lazy by nature and wanted to get my priority items done quickly so I could go play and not worry about the ‘things I haven’t done’. Maybe you can relate.
To my surprise, I actually found several ways to speed up the time I spent doing things. I always feel so clever when I manage to do something like that. But wait a minute. I found what I thought was another rogue blind spot…except it wasn’t really a blind spot.
I uncovered something I didn’t want to see. Something that had been around for a while–taunting me as I tried to ignore it. This avoidance had cost me time, money, energy and peace of mind. And I had to acknowledge it had been hanging around maybe a bit too long. So I did something about it.
I started with a few small steps.
First I read a book. Then I enrolled in a class. Then I talked to a coach. Was it fun? Sometimes. Was I sorry I’d spent all this time procrastinating about taking an action? Absolutely. All the time spent avoiding it would have been better spent doing it and reaping the rewards without all the negative thoughts and self-talk.
So here are a few things to help you overcome your blind spot(s):
- Decide what’s been nagging you for way too long and confront it
- Set a time limit for doing some research on it
- Set a date for beginning to practice what you want to change
- Find a friend who’s willing to support you through the change because we all need cheerleaders!
- Define a timeline for getting comfortable with your new ‘thing’
- Celebrate your victory of living outside your very comfortable zone
Whether you call is blind spots, avoidance or procrastination, you can overcome this dilemma. You just need to be honest with yourself and your desire to change. Because everything we do or don’t do is dependent on the decisions and choices we make about how and where we spend…or don’t spend…our time. Onward!