Not Getting Enough Things Done at Work? These May Be Why.
Does your work inspire you? One key to living a happy life is to love the work we do. After all, the average individual spends the better part of his day working. There are many ways to be inspired at work, one of which is to know that we are getting things done, that we are creating value and contributing towards an end for which we are working. But what if you’re not getting things done? What if you’re unproductive?
The first step to address this problem is to identify the cause or causes of your lack of productivity. In this article, we’ve identified the top 5 productivity killers at work and how best to manage and bust them. Is any of these familiar?
Top 5 Productivity Killers and What You Can Do About Them
From internal to external elements, there are varying factors that can affect productivity—and limit it. Check out our top 5:
Is it noisy around you? Do people talking around you keep you from achieving the focus you need to finish a task? Is the airconditioner too high, or too low? Is your desk wobbly and unstable?
While there are things around you that you can’t control, you can adjust and prepare for them. If you’re constantly bothered by noise, invest in noise-cancelling earphones. If it’s too cold in your workplace, bring a sweater or a blazer. The key is to know what is causing the distraction to learn how you can deal with it.
We’re all a victim to this at one time or another. We’re focused on a task at work and suddenly a notification pops up on our phone. We picked it up to check it and before we know it, we’ve spent 30 minutes scrolling through posts on Facebook or Instagram. Social media apps have a way of engaging the audience without us even noticing it.
So what do you do? The simplest thing you can do is to turn off your social media notifications, at least while you are working. If you must allot time for browsing, set an alarm to limit the time you spend scrolling through your phone.
This is debatable, and some people will say it even increases productivity. However, there are several pitfalls to multitasking. Remember what they say about 20% of your tasks able to deliver 80% of the results—and the rest are menial and not really that important? When you multitask, you lose the efficiency in choosing the tasks that matter the most because you treat everything equally. You are not able to prioritize. You are also unable to really focus enough to do something well, so you might end up with half-baked tasks.
The best way to deal with multiple tasks? Allot focus time for each one where you work on only the said task for a brief period of time, from start to finish, and then move on to another task after. One technique to do this is through pomodoro, which we wrote about HERE.
This is related to the previous point. It is saying yes to all the tasks handed to you without really thinking whether you are the right person to handle the said task. The result? You end up with an endless pile of work and you feel overwhelmed.
So what do you do instead? Categorize all the work on your plate into three:
- Urgent and important: Work that only you can handle, will create a large impact, and is needed as soon as possible – for this type of work, PRIORITIZE
- Important but not urgent: Work that only you can handle and will create a large impact, but can wait for later – for this type of work, SCHEDULE for a later time
- Not important, nor urgent: No significant impact and not needed asap - if this type of work is something that someone else can do, the best thing to do is to DELEGATE so you can focus on work that will create much better value for you and other stakeholders
With this system in place, you can have a much better grasp at how you schedule your work.
Body Pain and Fatigue
Pain and fatigue are major distractions when you are trying to focus and work on a task, and it can be debilitating and demotivating.
The first step is to identify the cause. Are you not getting enough sleep? Or are you perhaps overworked? If you are, then take some time off so you can bounce back and return with more energy.
Check as well if you are perhaps not moving enough or if your posture is bad. If you stay seated for hours without getting up and if you slouch or hunch while working, these can lead to body pain. Check that you are using the right office chair with sufficient support for your body. And to break prolonged sitting, consider a desk converter or a standing desk to allow you to stand while working. All these can help you combat body pain and fatigue.
Which of these productivity killers are you suffering from (or guilty of :p)? It’s time to take action and address the problem—only then will you be able to fully unleash your potential and excellence in performing the work that you do.
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