Sometimes we can become our own worst enemy when it comes to being productive in our daily jobs. There are a variety of activities that we do each day that can hinder our workplace productivity. Our interactions with other people, mobile devices, our negative habits and the way we allow disruptions to rule our day can drastically decrease our daily productivity level. Many times, we fall prey to subconsciously doing these activities and don’t always realize that they are making us less productive. Those top six activities will be discussed in this article.
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1. Arriving Late to the Office
If you are constantly running into the office late or barely making it on time, you are not doing yourself any favors. Rather, you’re causing a domino effect that will greatly decrease your productivity level. If you’d make an effort to arrive 15 minutes early to work each day, your productivity level would be drastically increased. Continually arriving late to the office causes you to be delayed in starting work on time. Then you need to play catch up with your morning routine of getting coffee, chatting with coworkers and getting organized to start working. Simply by arriving late to the office, you are already losing out on productivity because your mindset is not focused on work being as important to you as it should be. When you arrive late, you are more prone to distractions from fellow coworkers to stop you from getting back to your desk to begin promptly at your work start time.
2. Being Physically Inactive
Another activity that is hindering your daily productivity is when you are physically inactive throughout your daily routine. You park as close to the office as possible to shorten your walk inside and take the elevator to avoid climbing stairs. Your break time includes staying at your desk to eat lunch and hardly moving from your workstation during the day. This physical inactivity is hindering your productivity because you are not making room for daily exercise to improve your mood and concentration throughout the workday to help you manage your weight and improve your health. When you are healthier, you work in a more productive fashion. If you are physically inactive each day, you are only setting yourself up for failure in both your personal and professional life. Being inactive can cause health issues where you may become sick more often and need to stay home from work. You’ll be more tired and not as motivated to diligently complete your work each day.
3. Taking Too Many Coffee Breaks
It is important to take breaks each day. However, if you are constantly heading over to the break room to get multiple cups of coffee simply as an excuse to chat with coworkers and avoid working, you are definitely hindering your own productivity. Even if you don’t consciously decide to skip out on work, heading to the break room too often to refill your coffee cup takes you away from your desk. The more times you are away from your desk, the more time it will take to regain your focus when you return to get started on work again. Consider bringing in coffee from home in a larger thermos or getting coffee on your way in to work. Then you won’t need to stop by the break room in the morning and can get started right away on work. Additionally, if you bring a larger thermos, you can refill it less often during the day than the smaller sized disposable coffee cups available in the break room.
4. Eating Unhealthy Meals & Snacks
If you eat unhealthy meals and snacks, you are also hindering your daily productivity because you won’t be as healthy and your concentration level will be less. Eating nutritional meals and healthy snacks throughout the day have been found to increase workplace productivity. When you eat healthier nutrient rich foods, you increase the vitamin and mineral intake that your body needs to properly function. Your brain will be more focused and you’ll be better able to concentrate on completing all your daily tasks during the day. Take your lunch break and ensure that you are getting a healthy meal or bring one to the office and eat it in the break room so that you get some time away from your desk. Consider bringing healthy snacks like raw vegetables, fruits, granola bars or yogurt to snack on during the day—especially to avoid the mid-afternoon slump—instead of heading over to the vending machine to buy unhealthy snacks like chips and candy bars that only give you a temporary boost of energy.
5. Working in a Disorganized Fashion
If you are spending too much time during the day checking your emails, you can be limiting your productivity. When you work in a disorganized manner and multitask throughout the day, you will hinder your optimal productivity level. That’s why it’s important to use time blocking to organize your work day in a more productive manner so that you are not hindering your success in completing all tasks. Basically, you need to set aside a specific block of time each day for checking emails, doing expense reports, entering time sheets or whatever else it is you need to accomplish each day. If your day is all haphazard and you work in an unorganized manner, you are decreasing your chances of having a more productive work day. Of course, this doesn’t mean that you have to strictly follow the schedule every day. Sometimes, you’ll need to change things up too.
6. Checking Your Cell Phone
Some employers are more lenient than others with regard to allowing employees to check their personal emails, texts and make phone calls. However, even if you are permitted to use your cell phone during the day, you can quickly become sucked in to the negative cycle of constantly checking for texts, scrolling through your social media newsfeeds and responding to personal emails and answering calls. Depending on your specific workplace situation, you need to limit your cell phone usage so that you stay focused on staying productive and completing your daily work. If you have a problem with your cell phone use hindering your daily productivity, you may need to take drastic measures like shutting your phone off, leaving it in your car or purse or locking it in a desk drawer. Let your family know that if there is an emergency, they can contact your office to get in touch with you.
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There are times that the workplace environment can become a distraction to your work and decrease your daily productivity. However, many times we need to evaluate what types of activities we’re engaging in each day that hinders our productivity.
If you constantly come to the office late each day, don’t expect to get off to a productive start. When you are physically inactive each day, you are not doing yourself any favors. Taking too many coffee breaks throughout the day will make you more unfocused and not help you to be as productive as you could be. Engaging in unhealthy eating habits is another major activity that you might be doing each day that will hinder your workplace productivity. When you work in an unorganized fashion and don’t use time blocking techniques to help you complete work, you’ll be less successful in completing all daily tasks. Allowing yourself to continually be drawn to your cell phone to check for notifications during the day is another activity that does nothing to help you stay focused and on track with completing the required job tasks each day.
Have any of these activities caused you problems in the workplace by decreasing your daily productivity level? What have you done to refrain from doing these activities, remove the distractions and become more productive again?