It can be challenging to pinpoint why you're unproductive, especially when there're so many variables to consider. From Facebook notifications to a talkative co-worker, there are a number of distractions that can be keeping you from your work.
To help you, here are 4 common reasons why you're killing your productivity and what you can do to stop them.
- Too Much Email Checking. Email might be important for your job, but it can also be a huge distraction. If you're using email to communicate with co-workers every minute, you're probably wasting time.
Solution: Remove your email app from your phone and only check your email 1-3 times a day. Instead, communicate with co-workers directly on the phone or in person. In addition, many people find it helpful to not look at their email first thing in the morning and right before they leave work or once they get home.
- Too Much on the To-Do List. To-do lists are great tools for keeping track of a lot of goals, but they can mentally bog you down with stress. Plus, many of us use to-do lists wrong: we add many low-priority tasks that we easily finish, but completing these tasks don't make us feel accomplished.
Solution: Create a small, prioritized list every day. Break down long projects into parts and address one part every day. With a focused, shorter list, you will feel more accomplished each day.
- A Belief in Multi-Tasking. Many of us believe we're more productive when we're multi-tasking. In fact, it actually takes more time to finish one task when you're trying to divide your energies across many tasks.
Solution: Stick to one task and remove all other distractions. If you have trouble staying on task, try timing yourself: see if you can work on one job for 15 minutes, then 30 minutes. You'll improve your focus as you challenge yourself to stay with a project for short periods of time.
- A Distracting Work Environment. An office environment can play a huge role in reducing your productivity. From an uncomfortable chair to a cluttered desk, your workplace might really be your productivity culprit.
Solution: Invest in your workplace. Get your office organized and limit your office space to things that will only encourage you to work. Get ahold of a comfortable, ergonomic chair and a desk that can only hold necessary equipment, tools, and files. You'll find yourself staying on task more when your workplace is conducive to your productivity.
Better Yourself Online has a great infographic on destroying your productivity, which expands on these ideas. For more tips on this and related topics, visit the Productivityor Career Advice section of our blog.
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