Employers hire employees because they need workers who can complete tasks and be productive in exchange for payment for their time. If your productivity level is low, then your job security can be in jeopardy. It is important to constantly assess your productivity level and evaluate where you need to improve. In a recent Time.com article, John Brandon shared various types of excuses that employees give as they shuffle along unproductively at the office. He advised that employers and managers need to pay attention to such excuses and work to correct the issue and try to get the employee back on track. This article will discuss excuses employees make and how to measure your own productivity level and make a change for the better.
Have you made any of these excuses for being unproductive while at work?
1. I’m overworked and underpaid.
2. That’s not on my job description.
3. I have time to finish that later.
4. I need more details before I start.
5. I’m waiting for instructions on my next task.
6. I still don’t understand all aspects.
7. There’s no benefit in it for me.
8. I’m not going to get credit for the work.
9. My work might not be up to par.
10. I might end up a total failure.
These ten excuses work against increasing your personal productivity level. If you feel underappreciated and continually make excuses for not doing your job, you need to take a step back and fix the problem. An employee, who needs constant instruction and never takes any initiative, is not going to measure high on the productivity scale.
Take a Self-Assessment on Your Own Productivity Level
MindTools.com is a great online resource. They have a productivity quiz where you respond to various scenarios in the workplace and then your productivity level is calculated. It is important to be truthful in your responses so that you can honestly measure how productive you are as an employee. Honest self-assessment always makes for a positive change.
Simple Steps to Become a More Productive Employee
There must be some reason that you got into the unproductive rut that you find yourself in. Either you have no work ethic at all or you have become de-motivated in your current employment. There are several steps that you can take to begin to get motivated again about your job. The first step is to evaluate why you lost your motivation. Think about your goals and why you took this job in the first place. If it was a building block in your original career path plan, then you should be easily able to reassess and get back on track. However, if you took this job simply because you needed the money, it may be more difficult to rise above your current unproductivity level. It can be done. You just need to look within and decide to become productive again. If you don’t, it is likely that your job security will be in jeopardy.
#2: Get Organized
Organization is a vital key toward becoming more productive in your work day. When you write task lists and keep track of your progress, you ensure that nothing is overlooked. This article provides tips on how to create a functional to do list. Be sure to identify which tasks should take priority, like those with deadlines. Focus on one task at a time and use time blocking techniques to set aside a block of hours for a specific task.
#3: Clear Away Distractions
Realize that you are your biggest enemy when it comes to getting distracted. You may have to work in the most distracting office environment and find it difficult to stay engaged in your work tasks. However, there are ways that you can overcome those distraction issues. Begin with keeping your workspace clean and free of clutter. You may need to disconnect from others and close your door. If you don’t have a door and work in a cubicle, ask your manager if you can use headphones to listen to music while you’re working. Maybe you can ask to be moved to another area where less noise and chatter is going on. If you address the distraction problems with your manager, he or she most likely will be willing to assist you—especially because it shows your initiative to improve your employee productivity level. Turn off your mobile phone and focus on your work. Make a decision not to log on to Facebook and other social media sites during the day. Limit that time only to lunch and breaks.
#4: Find a Balance
There will be times when you may need to take a personal phone call for a family emergency or you need to step outside for a quick moment of refreshing. However, learn how to balance those few moments with the larger block of time which is supposed to be devoted to completing your work tasks. Your job is to find that balance and continue to remain a valued and productive team member at work. In a NYTimes.com article, Phyllis Korkki shared that “a growing body of evidence shows that taking regular breaks from mental tasks improves productivity and creativity—and that skipping breaks can lead to stress and exhaustion.”
Being a productive employee is highly important in order to retain your job security, especially in today’s uncertain employment market. Ten types of excuses employees may make for not being productive were discussed. It is important to begin this process by taking a self-evaluation and ascertaining why you are now de-motivated. Getting organized with to do lists and using time blocking techniques is a second step toward becoming more productive. Clearing away the distractions and finding a balance between work and breaks are the final two steps. Becoming a more productive employee is possible if you make a decision to enact change in your professional career plan.