Tips To Counteract Those Productivity Killers

Michele Warg
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Work productivity takes a dive when distractions become a standard part of your day. Whether you're struggling with personal procrastination or environmental disruptions, productivity killers often seem trivial and harmless until you repeatedly fall behind on your workload. For an immediate performance boost, follow these easy tips to identify and eliminate barriers to work productivity.

Avoid the Internet

The internet is a vortex, tempting you with everything from social media to sensational news feeds. Links, headlines, ads, memes and games are designed to keep you clicking on one thing after the next, so taking a short break to read, shop, browse or chat can quickly lead to 20 or 30 minutes of wasted time. Completely avoiding the internet isn't possible if being online is a significant part of your job, but you can commit to focusing solely on work for 30-minute or one-hour blocks. Set strict break limits, such as five to 10 minutes, and use a timer to stay on track.

Set Boundaries

Interruptions from colleagues can destroy work productivity, especially if you have a boss or teammates who frequently hover, invade your workspace or bother you with simple problems. The easiest solution is to tell others when you're too busy to chat or help with minor requests. If tough love isn't your style, use passive tactics to discourage others from disrupting you, such as wearing headphones, using a portable partition or closing your door. When you work in a shared or open space, try moving to an empty conference room or a nearby coffee shop while letting colleagues know where to find you if necessary.

Plan Your Day

In a hectic work week, you can easily forget last-minute requests from your boss, feedback from clients or changes to active projects. Instead of trying to remember everything on your to-do list, organize your workload in written or digital format, revising it as needed. To-do lists provide a plan of action and increase work productivity, helping you evaluate your responsibilities and prioritize the most important goals.

Limit Snacking and Socializing

Work productivity shouldn't come to a complete halt because of constant socializing or snack runs. These daily habits are beneficial in small doses, but they tend to slow your momentum and make it difficult to stay in a work-oriented mindset. The same goes for texting and making personal calls, which should be reserved for official break periods. Telling co-workers to keep their distance can be awkward, so let your friends know in advance that certain periods of the day are off limits for socializing. If you are comfortable being upfront, let friends know that certain postures mean "stay away," such as having your hand over your forehead, your head down or your arms crossed.

Balance Work With Breaks

Breaks are valuable if they refresh your mind without overconsuming time. Avoid staying at your workstation, and vary your routine by going out for a walk or doing some stretches. Being active can deliver a much-needed jolt of energy after working in one place for hours, especially if drowsiness reduces your work productivity in the afternoon.

Willingness to change your daily habits is essential for improving work productivity. By removing valueless interactions, you can zero in on obligations that matter most.

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