5 Notorious Productivity Killers And How To Overcome Them
How much success could you achieve in the coming year if you could be more productive each and every day?
Everyone wants to be more productive, the problem is people find it easy to stay focused for a short period of time and then their minds wander.
Being aware of what affects your productivity and how issues in and around your workplace can have an impact on your output allows you to develop strategies to counter these issues.
As the Founder of Task Pigeon, a team task management application, this is an area that I study closely. To help you lift your game I have developed a list of five notorious productivity killers and strategies to overcome them.
Procrastination is one of the major killers to any plan’s success. You simply cannot move forward if you keep pushing things back. Procrastination often goes hand in hand with perfectionism where one thinks their plan cannot succeed unless everything else is perfectly aligned.
While preparation is essential, you should not let fear of failure prevent you from pursuing your goals and making the first move. Rather than thinking and readjusting the drafts, you should create your own list of priorities and take on each task one at a time.
If you are not able to commence tasks due to procrastination, then you have already failed before you even start. The best way is to learn on the go and adjust accordingly.
Attending valueless meetings and discussions can become a habit hard to break. If you are invited to a meeting that offers you no value and you have nothing important to contribute, then why waste your time?
Instead of attending to impress others or pass time, focus on your priorities and accomplish little tasks. At least this will be an effort towards your goals. It is therefore recommended to evaluate every meeting invitation and determine what the discussion is all about. If there is no value to add or gain, then ask to be excused.
Relying on general emails for confirming details or information is advisable as it is often important to get things in writing. However, emails can be productivity killers if you use them for instances where a phone call can get a much quicker response.
If simply picking up the phone can bring an issue to a quicker conclusion then that should be your default method of communication. Using the phone also helps reduce the chance of misunderstandings taking place.
Sending a general email or an email that covers a whole host of topics increases the chances that the responder doesn’t provide the necessary level of detail you require. This only adds to further delays and a reduction in your own productivity.
Social Media & Office Chit Chat
Social media has become part of our daily lives and while platforms like Linkedin, Twitter and Facebook can be used to gather information and attract leads, spending hours of the day browsing these sites will only hinder your productivity. It is advisable to plan your time and decide when you will log in to your social account and set a limit for how long you will be on there.
Office chats also consume a lot of time that can be spent attending to more important tasks. To be a productive person or employee, you must learn to control how often you engage in office chats. They can be insightful but tend to sway into other subjects that add no value.
If you have a hard time avoiding social and office chats, it may be advisable to book a private meeting room at your office. You can also put in headphones, even if no music is playing, as it will make people less likely to interrupt you.
We know that office chit-chat can have a big effect on productivity given a whopping 91% of people who work from home feel more productive than when they are in an office.
Working In An Office Where There Are Not Clear Lines Of Responsibility
Offices that lack clear lines of responsibility will find it hard to get anything done. Even the simplest of tasks may lie in wait for someone to attend to them resulting in diminished productivity.
If you work in an office where responsibilities overlap and cause confusion, then it is time to read the job description once more. If this does not work, then try to request clarification from management on who has ownership of a particular task or project.
Having clear lines of responsibility allows everyone to contribute and do their work. It also establishes a framework for accountability and who to approach when something goes wrong. What’s more, it prevents disputes and improves group/teamwork performance.
This is a big issue, even if you don’t immediately believe it affects your organization. A recent study highlighted that 70% of employees say that their manager does not provide clear goals and direction.
As you can see there are several other impediments to productivity that may seem quite subtle, but keep you from achieving your potential. With some honest self-evaluation, you will be able to identify where most of your time is going on any given day. Focusing your effort where it matters most and cutting down on non-essential tasks can provide a significant boost to your productivity.
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