Work has seen a dramatic change in the last few years. This has led to a rise in productivity killers that can impact success. These productivity killers can be devastating to businesses and careers due to the fast pace of work, digitization, and time pressures.
Warren Bonheim is an entrepreneur and the managing director of Zinia. Zinia is a leading ICT/Telecoms company that focuses on business success and driving productivity. Here are his top six productivity killers.
1. Incorrect energy and focus
Every person’s body and mental rhythm is different, we all have times throughout the day when we have more energy to focus, and times when our energy dips. If our energy level is low, our ability to focus is affected.
Yet. Most people don’t know this and don’t use peak energy to their advantage. Using your peak energy times to focus on high-impact activities and low energy times to do tasks that don’t require huge mental focus, will dramatically increase productivity.
Driving in traffic can negatively impact your focus and energy, especially if your peak time for energy is early in the morning. You might be better off using that time to your advantage, and setting your travel time later.
People who work hard and don’t take breaks can drain their energy. Although it might seem that you are working hard, you may actually be losing your effectiveness and could end up burnout. It is better to take short breaks in order to recharge your energy, then get back to work and focus more.
2. You are stuck in the capacity trap
It is a productivity killer to have too many tasks and not enough capacity. Most of us are content to just do our best and get on with it. What really matters is your ability to accomplish.
We rush to complete tasks in order to meet deadlines and never give each task or project the attention it deserves. We are not satisfied with our work, which can have a negative emotional impact.
Find ways to improve efficiency and work more efficiently, which will ultimately result in greater productivity. You can use productivity tools to analyze your time and help you improve efficiency.
You can improve your productivity and the productivity of your team by taking the time to assess your work hours and how you work realistically.
3. Too many distractions!
Distractions can interfere with your ability to concentrate and complete your work. It is important to be aware what distractions are around you. You can be distracted by children or household duties while working from home. It is essential to have your own private space.
People can interrupt you in a work environment, especially if it is open-plan. It’s much easier to simply walk up to someone to get a reply, even if they are busy with something else.
It is important to establish clear boundaries. For example, you might wear headphones to indicate that you do not want to be disturbed. Or you could work in a boardroom when your focus time is required.
A common distraction are messaging apps and email, whose presence can be immediately felt with an audible sound signaling the arrival a new message. You can give yourself some focus time by turning off notifications for a few seconds or refusing to check emails. Then, you can respond to any new messages.
4. Where has the time gone?
No matter whether you work from home or the office, time management can be a challenge. Time management is a problem that many people have to deal with.
It is important to be aware of the areas you spend most time on and to find a way to manage it.
This is far more difficult to do when you don’t use a productivity tool as the day goes past so quickly that it is virtually impossible to remember what you worked on, when, and on which day.
It is important to recognize the root cause of your problems so you can manage your time more effectively.
This must be the number one productivity killer. Although micromanagement can be useful if someone isn’t performing well, it puts immense stress on the person and leads to the opposite result.
Have you ever felt your heart rate rise when someone stands over your shoulder or asks where something is that you haven’t gotten to yet? It is normal for the body’s to respond negatively.
Micromanaging is a way to understand why people do it. It’s usually driven by fear and/or a lack information. The shift to remote work where people are disconnected further complicates this problem.
Constant check-ins can disrupt the flow of work and hinder progress.
6. Utilization of technology systems or processes
Even though it’s not something anyone wants to admit, sometimes technology or processes can lead to inproductivity.
It is not a good thing to try and complete a difficult task only to find that it takes you an hour, instead of just a few minutes. Or, be told to go along a process that takes more time than it saves.
This silent killer of productivity often slips under the radar, whether it’s inefficient processes, inconsistent internet, slow computer applications or inefficient processes.
There are now many productivity tools such as WorkStatz which can help by measuring where you spend your time on your computer. Similar to a fitness app, this monitors your exercise so you can stay on top of your fitness goals.
WorkStatz gives valuable insights into time problems such as too few meetings, long meetings and applications that hinder success. Ineffective processes, high or low workloads. Too many administrative tasks. Multitasking challenges.
Technology tools can help you be more productive and may even make you a better person.