Everyone aims to be productive at work, but everyday distractions coupled with bad habits can make one less so. Although achieving optimal levels of productivity all the time can be challenging, it is not impossible to overcome obstacles to productivity. Get more work done by avoiding these productivity mistakes.
Multitasking seems like a good way to get several tasks done at once. But trying to do two (or more) things at once -- such as editing a report while attending a Zoom meeting or chatting with a colleague while solving an urgent client query -- is one of the biggest productivity mistakes people make.
Multitasking might make it seem like you're getting more done, but in reality, it reduces work efficiency by 40%. Concentrating all of your attention on one task can increase how much work you get done each day.
2. Delaying difficult tasks
There are days when you feel sluggish and tend to procrastinate. This is obviously bad for your productivity, as this means you get very little done and likely leave important tasks unfinished.
When you feel sluggish, it pays to work on the most important or difficult tasks first. Doing so can give you a feeling of accomplishment that will motivate you to continue working productively throughout the rest of the day. Additionally, breaking up hard tasks into smaller chunks can make them feel more manageable and less daunting.
3. Wasting the most productive hours of your day
Working smart, as opposed to working hard, entails spending the most productive hours of your day doing the tasks that require high-cognitive abilities, or those that involve decision-making and/or problem-solving. For instance, organizing your inbox is a non-urgent task, and can therefore be done later in the day. On the other hand, complex tasks that require focus such as creating a marketing campaign plan should be done during your most productive hours.
Track your own energy levels throughout the day so you can find out when you are most productive. The times when you feel the most alert and awake are when you should do your most demanding tasks.
4. Saying yes to all requests, all the time
Saying yes to all work requests can also affect your productivity. If your colleague wishes to discuss an idea via a meeting, it can be tempting to agree right away. But if the task isn't particularly urgent and/or doesn't help you finish more urgent work, saying yes to this and other similar noncritical tasks will eventually become a habit. Before you know it, you are constantly being pulled away from the things you need to do, thereby reducing your productivity.
Saying no to less urgent work requests and matters can help boost productivity by freeing up your time for more important tasks.
5. Focusing on the number of hours worked instead of results
A study by Stanford University found that a person’s productivity declines sharply after working more than 50 hours per week. In many cases, working long hours can have negative consequences on productivity. For example, when you’re tired, you tend to make more mistakes and your focus diminishes. Additionally, after working for a certain number of hours, your brain stops being as effective at processing information and making decisions.
6. Letting yourself get burned out
Experiencing temporary work-related stress is normal, but long-term chronic stress is extremely detrimental to productivity. According to an employee burnout study, burnout results in decreased optimism, more errors, and lower productivity. It's important to take care of yourself both physically and mentally in order to stay productive and avoid burnout.
7. Not making the most of technology
Many employees rely on a variety of technology tools for work, but there are also many instances when technology is a massive drain on productivity. Some tech tools can inhibit productivity, such as when the tools are not up for the job (e.g., outdated equipment, sluggish computers, incompatible IT systems) and when technology prevents productive communication.
Professional IT services such as XBASE’s VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) phone systems help ensure you are using phone systems that break communication barriers. What’s more, a hosted VoIP solution provides greater flexibility, reduces operating expenses, and eliminates the stress of having to manage your own communications system.
Regardless of whether you're working remotely or at the office, distractions make it difficult to stay on task all day long. Fortunately, there are plenty of IT solutions that can help you stay focused. Our experts at XBASE Technologies offer tech solutions that will help improve you and your team’s productivity. Call us today.