Updated April 20, 2023
Organizations hire the best people in the market to ensure one thing – more revenue. And to earn more income, they need to pay heed to productivity at work which is the sole cause of better results and better ROI. But how would they figure out what to do? Simply by not doing what kill productivity at work.
In this article, we will go in-depth about what sorts of things kill productivity at work. There are 14 things that your team and you should avoid if you want to ensure productivity at work.
Let’s Start and See what to Avoid and What to do Instead
This is the single most significant factor which kills productivity at work. Once you reach the office, the most important thing to do is start immediately on your most important task for the day. If the time between getting to the office and beginning to work increases, the chances of productivity at work that day drastically decrease. Instead of talking to your colleagues, checking social media, or checking emails, start immediately with your ugliest frog for the day. The best way to start immediately with your work is to set your MITs (most important tasks) for the day right before leaving the office on the previous day.
Not setting your MITs prior
The most productive people on earth set their tasks before the day begins. Now what will happen if you don’t? You need to spend at least the first half hour of your day figuring out what to do during the day and quite often, you would be distracted by people coming to the office and saying good morning or kind. Instead, you can set yourself up for the day. You can set your MITs even before you come to the office. So you would know the first thing to start working on for the day. The best is to set your MITs for the day on the previous day.
This finest tip is recommended by the author of “Success Principles,” Jack Canfield. Also, make sure that your MITs should not exceed more than 5. If you do just this, you will be ahead of most of your peers in ensuring productivity at work
Not structuring your workspace properly
How would you ensure ultra-productivity at work? Simply by keeping things in the right place! For example, if you come to work and see your desk is messy and there are papers, paperweights, and files, it looks messy. To make things work, you need to clear out the desk, and then you can start working. Why don’t you do this instead? Make your desk clean, and keep nothing on the desk. Take out only the things you need to get the first MIT done, not even a cell phone (if it’s not required). Along with clarity of mind, you need clarity of visuals to ensure productivity at work.
Excessive use of cell phones
If you look at what cell phones have offered us regarding technology, it’s a lot. But along with that, the by-product of the same is a distraction, a massive distraction. It’s being seen in the study that an individual unlocks their phone 1000 times a day. The number is shocking. And naturally, if we use cell phones this much, productivity at work is out of the question. So what to do instead? Use the formula – out of sight, out of mind. When you work and don’t want to get bothered by the unconscious unlocking of your phone screen, put it in the drawer and don’t open it until your work is done. If productivity at work is your priority, then you should not use a cell phone while you work.
Social Media will reach your productivity at work
Yes, it helps to get connected, to increase your network, and to communicate with people who can help you enhance your business. But do you also know that it significantly affects your workflow and productivity at work? We could remember one or more times when we were doing work and getting distracted by social media pop up or notifications. The best way is to block social media during the time you work. But then, shouldn’t you use social media? Of course, you should. Set a time block, maybe an hour of the day, when all you do is social networking, nothing else. This way, your productivity at work will reach sky-high.
Email refreshing syndrome
Every distracted person on earth has it. Do you have it too? If you have it, you would know that every few minutes, you go to your inbox and refresh it to check whether any new email is awaiting your attention. This is one of the worst things which kills productivity at work. The best way to deal with it is to close the tab and, if possible, turn off the net connection during the period when you work (if that seems likely). And to eradicate this problem, set two blocks of time per day (maybe for an hour) when you will check and respond to emails and no more. It will help you focus on the task at hand and increase productivity at work.
Lack of empathy with co-workers
You may have not much to do if there’s a lack of empathy shown by your peers. But it has a lot to do with the culture of the organization. Not being empathetic is a learned habit. Maybe the years they worked in the organization were the toughest, and they didn’t receive any empathy from their bosses or peers. To change this, be empathetic to everyone around you. Listen carefully, and show that you’re interested in what they’re saying and you want to know more about them. If you show empathy, they will be empathetic too. And they will ultimately help you ensure productivity at work.
Have you received any advice from people that multitasking is good? If you did, then it is prudent not to follow it. Why? Because multitasking is a myth and the worst killer of productivity at work! If you pay attention, you will see that the mind can concentrate only on one thing at any given moment. If you can increase your engagement on that one thing for some time, you will achieve focus and, ultimately, flow. But if you constantly jump from one task to another, which will get done? Here’s the simple answer. None! Instead of trying to achieve too much within a short period, do less and concentrate on one thing at a time. When you make calls, focus on making calls, not the next activity you should do. When we instruct your employees, instruct, don’t worry about your work at that time. This is a habit one should practice. If you practice one thing at a time, productivity at work will reach much higher than you ever imagined possible.
Saying ‘yes’ to everything and everyone
Do you have a habit of saying ‘yes’ to everyone? If you have, you know in your heart that you always say ‘no’ to yourself. You can’t do everything that people ask you or request you to do. You’re human, and you have limited time during your work hours. If you say ‘yes’ to every tiny, petty, unimportant thing, how can you ensure productivity at work? Instead of saying ‘yes,’ learn to say ‘no’ gracefully. Use phrases like this – ‘I would love to do whatever you tell me, but my plate is too full. I won’t be able to take that right now.’
By saying ‘no’ to the priorities of others, you are saying ‘yes’ to yourself, and as a result, you will be able to increase your productivity at work drastically.
Too much emphasis on the future
If you are an entrepreneur or a very self-driven individual, you may always think about how to achieve your desired vision. Thus, you get trapped in the world of imagination and may produce very little work. Instead of overthinking your future vision, concentrate on the task at hand. For example, thinking about your summit will not get things done if you need to take 1000 steps to reach a destination. Instead, ensure your productivity at work by taking just one step right now and forgetting the rest. Then repeat and take one step at a time until you reach your destination. Productivity at work is easy. Make it easier for you to handle, and you’re done.
No delegation/ elimination
If you think no one can do anything better than you, then it’s a syndrome. It would be best if you got rid of it. Yes, no one may do a few key things as well as you can, but there are other things you can delegate. Best yet, you can eliminate them. Productivity at work is all about clarity. If you know you have 3-4 things to handle that generate revenue, you can delegate the rest and be in peace. And after delegation, you may also find that some things don’t need to be done. Then don’t worry about deleting them. By focusing on things that matter, you’re ensuring more productivity at work.
Taking unscheduled meetings
Leadership Guru Robin Sharma said – What gets scheduled gets done. But he didn’t mention that if you get busy with what doesn’t get scheduled, you will not even be able to do what’s already planned. So, stop taking unscheduled calls, appointments, and meetings. Streamline your key areas to work on. Schedule the important meetings, and don’t get bothered about unscheduled meetings or occupations. Remember, your time is limited, and you can only do a few things well, not everything that tries to snatch your attention! Concentrate on increasing your productivity at work and leave all unscheduled work or meetings at bay.
Taking no breaks/ taking too many breaks
Both are extremes. Buddha said – Do everything in moderation. And it’s perfectly applicable to breaks. Yes, it’s true that if you want to improve your productivity at work, then taking breaks are necessary. You need to take some breaks during the day to get refreshed and rejuvenated, but not too many that you get distracted along the way. The best advice is to schedule your breaks beforehand. You may plan it out like this – take a break after you do your most important work, then start with your next most important task for the day; take a lunch break and then begin your third most important task and then take another break; after the break handle all your emails and errands and set MITs for next day and go home. Taking breaks is like musical notes. If you don’t give pause in between, music will not make any sense. But if you offer too much pause, you will lose your audience.
Worrying too much about productivity at work
Are you too much worried that you won’t be productive? If you are, you’re probably not sure about your job, you don’t trust the employer to pay your dues at the end of the month, or maybe you don’t trust yourself enough. Toss productivity at work out and breathe, and relax. Yes, productivity at work is essential, but it’s not as important as you are. Try to pick any system that works for you and breathe. It’s a process of trial and error. You will learn eventually. But for now, let go. If you have a relaxed mindset, you will produce well. But you may lose your nerve if you always think about work productivity.
These are 14 tools for productivity at work that may kill your work or may make you the most efficient employee. They are a lot and don’t try to change everything at once. Simply pick one that speaks to you and apply it. See if it works or not. If it works, great! Take another one and give it a try. Little by little, you will become a ninja of productivity at work.
Here are some articles that will help you to get more detail about Your Productivity at Work, so just go through the link.