“What do you think is your biggest roadblock to productivity?” one of my writing instructors recently asked.
The first thing that came to mind was replying to messages on my smartphone.
For seven years, my smartphone served me in the ways that a desktop computer serves most people. I wrote emails to my doctor and friends while lying in bed and using speech-to-text because I was weak to sit up and too foggy to spell correctly. I searched the web on my phone, and until this year, almost all my blog posts were written on Google Docs on my phone. My phone increased my productivity and allowed me to do things that wouldn’t have been possible otherwise.
But now I am well enough to use my laptop almost every day, and if I am not careful, my phone often serves more as a distraction than a tool. I lay down to take a nap in bed, only to see an email or direct message, and sometimes I reply immediately because I feel decent enough that I can. But most messages do not require an immediate response and just because I can do something doesn’t mean I should. Always pushing myself to reply to messages right away keeps me from resting and functioning as well, and I’m learning to instead block off some time each week where I reply to most messages on my laptop.
The second thing that I identified as a hindrance to my productivity was my incomplete to-do list.
I suffer from brain fog, and as a result, when I feel well enough to be out of bed, I often forget many of the things I need to do and end up spending time on things that are not urgent or most important when there is something such as a time-sensitive phone call I need to make. I’ve started using Todoist and adding everything I need to do from writing blog posts to following up with the pharmacy, and it’s helping me make the most of the time when I have the energy to be up.
What are the biggest hindrances to your productivity, and how can you overcome them?