Five Common Productivity Mistakes To Avoid
Entrepreneurs face lots of challenges with one of the biggest being work-related stress. One study found that between 2015 and 2016 stress accounted for 38% of all work-related health cases. Notably, it can cause health conditions that can lead to sick leaves. So that leads us to another challenge: decreased productivity. Stress impacts productivity and often leads to employees making mistakes. So, here are five productivity mistakes to avoid that will increase your workflow and decrease stress.
Lifestyle editor Ellen Scott points out that many of us attempt to multitask to be productive. But the opposite happens. We think we can do several things at a time, and that our brains are capable of processing multiple stimuli all at once. That’s not necessarily the case. What we do instead is task-switch — we do one thing, and then another, and then another. Every switch distracts us from the original task on hand causing a dip in concentration. Yes, we get to do more, but at the expense of quality. This is counterproductive, as you’ll more than likely have to redo more tasks due to mistakes. Rather than multitask, it is best to focus on one task at a time and do it well.
In today’s connected work environment distractions are a common occurrence. Distractions limit our productivity, according to ‘9 Ways To Handle Interruptions Like a Pro’. They are most damaging when a person returns to the task they had previously postponed as their concentration has been broken (see above). The best way to combat this is to communicate your schedule to your co-workers. Give them clear times when you’re available and went you’re not. If you need to address an issue, finish your task at hand first then move onto the distraction.
Hitting the snooze button
We cannot be productive if we are groggy the whole morning. But that’s likely to happen when we press the snooze button. Sleep Clinic Services explains that pressing snooze can prolong the feeling of grogginess we all feel when we wake up in the morning. If you get up straightway the feeling usually lasts 15–30 minutes. Hit that snooze bottom and it can extend to 2–4 hours. The extra 5–10 minutes of sleep prepares the body for another sleep cycle. Waking up abruptly then messes that up, and you end up feeling fatigued and heavy headed. It is a simple trick that requires discipline, but those who follow it will be much more productive during the morning.
It’s tempting to be a control freak and do everything. Don’t let that happen. You need to delegate, especially simple, low-level tasks. Otherwise, these tasks will pile up. So, identify tasks you should be working on and tasks you can delegate. It is also best to make a conscious effort to train and guide your staff so they can accomplish these tasks correctly. By doing this it will give you the confidence to assign tasks to your staff, freeing you up to do other more pressing duties.
Not taking breaks
Fatigue adversely impacts productivity. A Chron report on the negative effects of fatigue notes that extreme tiredness results in a physical and mental slowdown, which in turn leads to a reduction in productivity. The solution is to take a break as necessary. A post on working smart by Verizon Connect recommends taking a break every 90 minutes, as that’s the maximum time we can focus on a task before losing focus. When this happens, a quick 10-minute break is the best way to “refresh the mind.” So, rather than waste time forcing our tired selves to finish a task, we’re better off taking a break, and then coming back refreshed.
Running a startup or enterprise requires us to be productive. That’s because we have plenty of responsibilities — managing people, reviewing deals, checking processes, etc. We must, therefore, avoid the productivity mistakes above, so we can be as efficient and as productive as possible.
content intended only for the use of labliverpool.co.uk By Leanne Li