How to deal with productivity killers? Just do whatever we need to do to achieve our productivity goals without letting up on the quality of our work. In any circumstances, that’s easier said than done. There are many reasons why dealing with productivity killers is not easy.
We don’t only have to deal with work per se but also with the other things that go along with our job – the positive and negative things. And who can really blame us if we grumble about politics at our workplace? Politics is not the only disruption we get at work. And I want to reserve that topic for some other time. The hurdles that hurt our productivity the most are not those things that stem out of conflict from the outside – namely, co-workers and other entities.
Self-defeating behavior can greatly diminish our ability to produce or yield expected results. A seeming mundane task may become an insurmountable burden simply because of our lack of attention on details or focus. The conflict from within us is always the source of productivity dip.
Here are the few productivity killers that we can identify in our workplace:
“Procrastination refers to the act of replacing high-priority actions with tasks of low-priority, and thus putting off important tasks to a later time.” That’s how we describe procrastination. Giving too much attention to less important things can give way to distraught productivity flow. Some may actually find working their to-do list from the bottom up (“less-important-to-important approach”) more productive than working it from top to bottom(trickle down or “important-to-less-important” approach). But that’s not always the best way to accomplish things.
Replacing high-priority tasks with the tasks that we don’t necessarily need at the moment can negatively affect our true priorities. Procrastination is intentionally neglecting priorities. How do we deal with procrastination as a productivity killer? An intentional act of getting ourselves on the right track can easily snap our senses back to our true priorities. It takes an intentional act to deter procrastination – it’s mind over matter.
Putting Things Off
We don’t only procrastinate our high-priority actions but we sometimes put them off entirely in favor of personal choices irrelevant to our productivity goals. “I don’t want to do this now because I still have a lot of time left in this deadline schedule” or simply “I still have time tomorrow.” How many times have we heard ourselves say this ?
Again, the problem here is the intentional act of putting oneself in the fold of complacency. Things can happen between now and when we need to have our productivity goals achieved (or when we need to turn in our job to our bosses on the deadline) . Accidents on the road, family emergencies, natural disaster, unexpected events – the list can go on and on. The things that can render us incapable of delivering what is expected of us could happen anytime. The right attitude would be “Do it NOW!”
Unless you have your own office, dealing with distractions takes a lot of effort. We do not have control over some stuff in our workplace. In reality, we do not have control over most of the things that transpire in our work environment. Anything can become a source of distraction.
Our brains are not wired to automatically eliminate the things that distract us. If your buddy knocks at your door or cubicle to ask your opinion about your favorites sports, your brain does not just shut to find a stopping point where you can get back after the meaningless discourse with your buddy ends. You can get distracted just by any thing . Are distractions costing you precious amount of productivity? Take a look at how you can take advantage of the Pareto Principle or 80/20 Rule for productivity.
If you are like most knowledge workers, most of your tasks are subject to other people’s decision. Those under the hierarchy of their organization are oftentimes at the mercy of the higher-ups. At least that is the case in some offices. If you are part of a team within a bigger team, the bigger team’s productivity goals may not necessarily align with your personal goals.
When your boss is killing your productivity, make sure you have an open line in which you can communicate your concerns and priorities with him or her. Your priorities and the teams’ priorities may sometimes come in conflict due to circumstances that are beyond your control. It is very important that parameters are clearly defined to put everything in order.
I know there are many other things than can kill our productivity in an instant. You may have experienced or are experiencing some in your workplace.
What are the common things that disrupt or kill your productivity? Share your thoughts in the comment below!