Consuming more than you create – Effective people tend to create a lot of content. Content can mean a lot of things – but the rule is always the same, create more than you consume. Ineffective people, on the other hand, spend the majority of their time consuming the fruits of others’ labor. They are consummate lurkers.
Watching your own vanity metrics – Everyone suffers from some level of vanity. A need to be liked. The Internet feeds that need, keeping popularity at the forefront of any online identity with lists of ‘Friends,’ ‘Followers,’ ‘Connections,’ ‘Re-Pins’ and even the ‘Like’ itself. Ineffective people tend to feed on these popularity metrics, whereas effective people recognize that these are shallow indicators. Effective people focus more on engagement and strength of relationships; they create quality content to solicit engagement from others, or seek out interesting people and proactively engage them on their own terms.
Starting the day responding to others – Ineffective people allow others to set the agenda for their day. They start their morning reading or responding to others’ requests. Effective people approach each day with an agenda for what they want to accomplish, start their day tackling a task crucial for accomplishing their goal, and respond to others when (or if) it works with their agenda.
Prioritizing the wrong activities – Busy work. It’s quite literally work that keeps you busy; it saps your time, but gets you no closer to your end goal. Ineffective people tend not to recognize busy work, and therefore, they prioritize tasks that will not move them any closer to their goals. Effective people recognize busy work for what it is and waste little to no time trying to appear busy when they know there are more important tasks to be completed.
Relying on multi-tasking to “save time” – Multi-tasking is a scam. Being able to walk and chew gum at the same time may be the only true form of multi-tasking worth doing. Ineffective people use multi-tasking to appear busy, or to fool themselves into believing they can reach their goal faster by making minor progress on a lot of things at once. Effective people have a secret weapon to saving time. Focus. Effective people know which tasks are important for reaching their goal, and they focus on each one after another.
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