Updated: May 22
We have identified and listed the top 5 Issues which might be affecting your productivity and how you could avoid them.
We live in a world with constant #distractions and though we try to be more productive and stay focused we often end up in a state of chaos. In our day and age there is an overload of information that occupies our every minute. As companies are downsizing the burden is on individuals to get the work done which was previously done by more people. We need to work smarter and not harder. Whether we work on a single task or #multitasking, there are too many things we do which negatively impacts our #productivity.
Here are top 5 Issues which might be affecting your Productivity and how you could avoid them.
1. Social Media
Social Media, without a doubt, can be a big distraction and can affect our focus which in turn hampers our productivity. Our phones are loaded with numerous ever active apps and instant messaging, which we love to respond to immediately on every beep or vibration we hear, but Social Media #interruptions impact #performance. If we spend an average of 5 minutes within every hour, in an 8-hour workday means we lose 40 minutes of productivity in a day and 3.3 hours a week. Imagine what could’ve been accomplished in that time! We underestimate the time we spend looking at our phones in a day, which also impacts on our relationships.
Solution: Try to be more focused. Disable your Social Media Apps notification sounds and switch your phone’s WiFi/Mobile data off during working hours, which will enable only phone calls to come through. If you don’t find it distractive, try listening to instrumental or meditation music while working which can aid in keeping your mind focused.
Meetings can be a real time-waster. While some Team Leaders like to have the whole team present, if the meeting does not affect you directly or if you feel you can’t add anything valuable or you won’t learn anything of value from it, then there’s no point attending. Preparing for a meeting and post-meeting administration can also add to the loss of productivity.
Solution: Justify if a meeting is really needed or if the issue on hand can be resolved through email confirmations. If the issues really do justify a meeting, try to be swift and efficient or try “stand up meeting approach” whereby everyone stands around the meeting room table and discusses the item which will help speed up the process. Specific times need to be set aside for a meeting and time frames need to be kept to. Avoid off subject discussions. Excuse yourself from the meeting once your portion on the agenda has been dealt with and you are no longer required.
Constantly checking your email every time, you see a notification coming through can be a real killer to productivity. Outside of work-related emails we often spend time reading emails that are not vital to your work such as newsletter subscriptions and personal emails. Keep your work and personal email address separate and don’t check your personal email during working hours.
Solution: Unsubscribe from email sites that are not crucial to your work. Watch the clock and make sure you only spend a predetermined time on emails. Schedule time to check all your email during the day, either on the hour or 3 times a day.
4. Being a Team Player
We all like to be a team player, but this should never be at the expense of our own productivity. While at times it can be difficult to say “no” when a colleague comes around to your desk to ask you a favor, agreeing to do it can throw you off from your own tasks for the week and can create a situation with work piling up.
Solution: We need to be hard at times and develop the skill to say “no” when we need to. Try and help colleagues by doing favors that involve minimal effort through a verbal suggestion rather than taking on physical work which could lead to hours of work which wasn’t planned for.
5. Time Keeping
Timekeeping is crucial to many Organisations, but it’s also time-consuming and frustrating. Most people don’t remember what they did on Monday by the time its Wednesday. It’s important to record all your activities against what was planned for the day; however, this seems like a tedious task for most of us.
Solution: Plan each week with the results you want to achieve by the end of that week and create estimated time slots for all your tasks. This way you can keep track of your time of how long it takes you to complete tasks as well as measuring your distractions. Ensure your plan is aligned to your Performance Agreement and Departmental Plan. If a new task is given to you make sure that you establish the urgency of that task and be clear on what you are currently busy with and its importance.