7 Ways to Overcome the Biggest Productivity Killers

Prove productivity by following these tips.

Low productivity in the workplace is costing US businesses billions of dollars every year. According to an online article published in the CFO Daily News, mobile devices, internet (particularly emails and social media) and office gossip are costing US businesses an estimated $650 billion per year. In addition, a significant amount of time is also wasted on meetings and smoke or coffee breaks.

Considering how these things can seriously affect your productivity in the workplace, here are some tips that can help you maintain your focus and get things done.

  • Stick to a schedule. Create a schedule and determine the best time to check your emails and social media accounts. For best results, do these things during your downtime to avoid getting sidetracked.
  • Take regular breaks. Taking regular breaks can help you refresh your mind so you can concentrate better on what you are working on. On the other hand, going for long hours without taking a break can unnecessarily stress you out and dampen your performance. For optimum productivity, try working in 90 minute intervals. Researchers at the Florida State University found proof that this can further enhance your productivity.
  • Set a rule for conducting or attending meetings. Since these are often cited as one of the biggest time-sucks in the workplace, don?t attend meetings that do not have a set agenda or goal. You may also want to consider using alternative means (email, phone, or web-based meeting) to achieve your goals.
  • Stop multitasking. Contrary to what most people believe, multitasking does not enhance your efficiency. As a matter of fact, juggling between tasks can result in lost time and decreased productivity, according to a study published in the journal American Psychological Association. So, instead of doing multiple things at once, commit yourself to completing a single task before moving to another project.
  • Minimize interruptions. While having a small chitchat with co-workers may seem harmless enough, these minor interruptions can alter your work patterns and reduce your productivity. The same goes for checking your smartphone whenever a new notification arrives. As a rule, turn off your notifications during office hours.
  • Give yourself a deadline. Set deadlines even if you are working on open-ended projects. This simple tactic can help you focus on what needs to be done so you can complete it in less time.
  • Quit the quest for perfection. Instead of trying to perfect a single task and get hung up in the process, try to give it your best and move on to the next project. Keep in mind that there is no such thing as perfection.