Your professional success and that of your company depends on your being productive. Despite the positive payoff, many office workers struggle to maintain high productivity levels throughout the work day.
Most employees wish they could get more done and want to be more productive than they currently are. Sometimes, personal habits are to blame. In other situations, employee output is negatively affected by the dynamics of your office environment, or your boss’ management style. Here are the most common employee productivity pitfalls. Once they’re aware of these productivity-killers, employees can get back on track toward establishing a more efficient workday routine:
- Lack of Sleep. Are you getting enough shut-eye? Nothing contributes to stress and kills productivity like skimping on sleep does. Sleep restores us mentally, emotionally, and physically. If you want to reach your maximum brain power and get your work done, clock in at least seven hours each night.
- Too Many Meetings. Meetings that revolve around actual brainstorming and collaboration are a good use of time. But, needless meetings that eat into precious working hours are a terrible waste of employees’ time. Be conscious of when meetings are held and how often they are held; consider changing your team’s schedule. Only schedule meetings when they are absolutely necessary.
- You’re Multitasking. Humans are not effective at processing more than one task at a time (computers are). Make a concerted effort not to answer the phone while you are typing and stop chatting while you are working on an important excel spreadsheet. Working on one project at a time will not only allow you to work more efficiently, but the quality of your work will increase and you’ll make fewer mistakes. Research has found that chronic multitasking harms your performance, causes stress, and overloads your brain.
- Allowing Distractions. Distractions are something we all deal with–but that doesn’t mean we have to cater to them. Just because someone calls you, texts you, or knocks on your door doesn’t mean you need to prioritize that distraction. Remember: you don’t need to drop what you’re doing at the slightest bid for your attention. You shouldn’t to the needs and requests of others before getting your own work done. You control how you spend your time. Wait until your next work break to return calls, texts, emails, and the like.
- Not drinking enough water. Most of us walk around in a constant state of dehydration. Many people don’t realize that being dehydrated (or under-hydrated) reduces their cognitive performance and ability to think clearly. Dehydration also makes people more lethargic. When people feel unusually tired, or experience foggy thinking, not drinking enough water is often the culprit.