WORKPLACE / DEC. 01, 2014
version 4, draft 4

5 Things That Kill Productivity at Work and How to Avoid Them

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Different things kill our concentration at the workplace. While many of us are distracted by slight things like swinging doors and street noise, most people are carried off by larger distractions like frequent calls and unscheduled meetings. Here are top things that kill your productivity and how to avoid them.

Family Thoughts

Long and sprawling thoughts about the well-being of your wife and kids is the biggest culprit for your output. You spend hours thinking about last night’s discussion with your spouse, or figuring how you can get that behavior off your college daughter. While family thoughts are obvious, sometimes counterintuitive, it is good to strike a balance between work and home. You may consider rejecting calls from home during working hours. Also, spend break times with close-work mates trying to figure out a problem that faces your profession.

An Open Space

It appears some of us are classic performers behind closed doors. A survey conducted by, an online question and answer site, revealed 85% of respondents preferred working alone to hit the maximum productivity. To overcome this juggernaut, you may consider picking a desk facing the wall. Alternatively, you may request for an instant shift to a closed office. Forwarding a request to the HR manager for a closed space may work. However, prior oral clarification about your productivity is overly significant.

Impromptu Meetings from other Employees

Although most office set-ups feature what might be called untethered and fluid work environment, there is the problem of informal meetings. Casual talks that develop in the course of work is a great source of attention that shifts workers from one end of the office to the other. This is a great enemy of productivity. You may consider mentioning this to that guy who’s always at the center of this attention. However, ensure you do this politely by first inviting him for a cup of coffee, or for dinner with your family.


Most of us work in areas where complex projects are dropped on our desks every morning. As the assistant accountant, you are required to go through the balance sheet and cross-check every column adds to the desired figures. This is strenuous and mind bogging. Breaking down work would be a great solution to achieve the desired productivity. Also, you may opt for a software program that conducts a quick statistical scan to ascertain results.

Failing to Listen

Organizations and business set-ups are increasingly tolerating a range of practices in which innovation and creativity are ignored and spurned. While it might be easy to look blankly at the managing director as he addresses a team of you, it has a disastrous impact. Failing to listen fosters unproductivity and incompetency at the workplace. The best solution would be to develop listening skills by reading manuals and attending communication seminars. Many programs are available online and conventionally on how to develop these critical skills. Alternatively, you may make the decision to value other people’s opinions and therefore develop strong listening skills.


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