We are all guilty of having bottlenecks in our workflows and taking too much time to complete certain tasks. When I walk around the office , I see people in all kinds of different states of non-work – including walking around the office!
But sometimes, productivity killers aren’t so obvious. They sneak up on us slowly and stealthily. They work their way into our daily routines and put a strangle hold on our productivity. It pays to re-examine your habits every once in a while to make sure you aren’t letting these 5 killers murder your productivity.
It is a fact…humans are not wired to multi-task. Trying to tackle more than one task at a time spreads your attention and focus so thin that nothing really gets accomplished. I know that things like Twitter, IM, email and phone calls seems more important than the document you are working on but you will be more productive if you ignore those distractions and fully focus on the task at hand.
2. Notification & Alerts
Technology tries to make our life easier but letting us know whenever an email has arrived, a person has followed or shared something with on social media or even that a friend has offered to play a game with us. But these desktop and phone notifications and alerts are incredibly distracting and take us away from the true work we need to be doing. If it seems a little overwhelming to turn these off cold turkey, try it for just 3 days. You’ll realize that the world didn’t end and your business didn’t collapse even though you weren’t alerted to every e-mail coming in!
3. Not Taking Breaks
Studies have shown that humans are more productive when they do focused work, separated by small breaks. There are systems coming out now, like the Pomodoro Technique, that force us to focus and then take a break. You will be amazed at how much more productive you can be when you implement on of these systems.
4. Managing Meetings
You probably don’t have to remember far back to recall a time when going to a meeting not only killed your productivity but also took way to long. We have a meeting obsessed corporate culture. But just because we have to have them doesn’t mean they can’t be efficient. Every meeting needs 2 things – an agenda and a stated goal or outcome. The agenda will keep you on track and the goal will keep the meeting’s focus. Requiring these 2 items BEFORE you go to a meeting will reduce meeting time and eliminate some meetings as everyone will realize they aren’t quite ready to meet yet.
How much time did you spend looking for your last file? When you need to attach a document to an email does it take you 2 minutes just to find it on your over bloated desktop. You need to get organized! Having both an electronic and an offline filing system will not only save you a bunch of time, it will also eliminate the stress of looking for documents. This stress can cause in-action and destroy your productivity.
I hope you can find ways to enhance your habits and your workflows so that you can eliminate these 5 productivity killers!
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