Are You Guilty of These Productivity Killers?
Consistent productivity at the office can be an elusive thing, especially when you’ve been at the grind for a while and the environment is getting stale. Productive people do find ways to get more done in a more effective manner, managing their energies and time with ease. Unfortunately, the secrets to productivity are rarely ever spelled out for those of us who find ourselves easily distracted or bored during our days.
Productivity doesn’t have to continue to elude you, though. You can get more out of your work day and feel less stressed out while you’re at it; it just takes a little management and changing some habits.
Here are a few things that productive people don’t do; if you do these things, stop immediately and watch the more productive version of yourself materialized right before your eyes.
1. Not Identifying Your Most Productive Time Frames
Maybe you’re optimally productive at around 9 am after the first cup of coffee has kicked in. Memorize these types of patterns in your work habits and take advantage of them. Using your productive times to knock out as many tasks as possible is a great way to up your overall productivity and allow yourself to work more leisurely throughout the rest of the day. If you squander your most productive times checking Facebook or working on less urgent projects, you’ll find yourself with a more concentrated amount of work later in the day when you’re going through caffeine withdrawal or experiencing after-lunch drowsiness.
2. Misusing Your Break Time
Even though many people equate taking breaks with being lazy and getting nothing done, breaks can be very strategic in helping you be more productive. Especially if you work at a computer (as most of us do), taking a short break every hour is vital to avoiding eye strain. Stop assuming that eight-hours with your nose glued to your screen is the only way to get the most done. Know when you need a few minutes away from work and take it; let your brain rest and come back to your task when you’ve sufficiently detached yourself for a few minutes.
3. Socializing Excessively
Socializing can be important for both productivity and office culture. You want to have a good rapport with your co-workers and bosses, to ensure that everyone is informed, comfortable and familiar with one another. Familiarity is also a vital part of teamwork and being able to pull together with your co-workers to accomplish group tasks.
Unfortunately, excessive socialization is also one of the top reasons for lapses in productivity. While it is wonderful to get along well with your co-workers, you must also realize that socializing can get out of hand easily and make a serious divot in your overall productivity.
4. Leaving Your Toughest Tasks for the End of the Day
When you get to work in the morning, knowing that you have a time-consuming and challenging task on your queue for the day, how do you approach the challenge? Do you use your freshest, most productive times to power through it, or do you leave the end of the day when you’re mentally and physically exhausted?
Time consuming tasks are best tackled when you have plenty of time left in the day. Get a big project done and out of the way early, and you won’t have the dread of getting it finished hanging over your head all day.
5. Never Saying “No”
Many people believe that being a good co-worker or employee means accepting extra work, accepting every challenge, or being involved in every special project and task. Not feeling comfortable saying “no” to your co-workers or bosses can result in your feeling overworked and absolutely frazzled, both of which can actually result in lowered productivity. Know your limits and your boundaries and feel comfortable expressing your limits and boundaries to your co-workers. When an honest representation of your limits has been communicated to your co-workers, they’ll know that you can’t, in fact, do it all and they also won’t be tempted to push extra work off on you because they always assume you’ll say yes.
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