There are many different ways we can hinder our productivity. Some of the more obvious ones are lack of sleep and exercise and procrastination. But there are other less obvious ways that we can sabotage our performance, ways that we are not always aware of.
And now that many are working from home, these distractions are more prevalent and need to be addressed. Here are a few.
1. Switching back and forth between tasks
This is more commonly known as multitasking, and, simply put, it doesn’t work. In fact, it can impede productivity. Psychologists say that multitasking can actually reduce productivity by a whopping 80 percent. If you are trying to do two things at once, you are only devoting about 40 percent of your attention to each task, and losing another 20 percent by constantly shifting back and forth.
To avoid this, you need to set priorities. Decide the most important task you need to work on and devote all of your time and energy on it before moving onto something else.
2. Checking your phone
People do this way too often – most people check their email more than 70 times a day, and they receive more than 45 notifications. It’s obvious how this can destroy productivity. One way to reduce this behavior is by disabling notifications or batching them.
3. Being a perfectionist
This can lead to feelings of inadequacy and anxiety, which can harm productivity. It can also lead to procrastination and wasting too much time on minor details. Stopping this behavior means realizing that doing something well does not mean it has to be flawless. One good rule of thumb to follow – treat the difficult task as though it were easy, and the easy task as though it were difficult.
4. Leaving things unfinished
This is more likely to happen working from home when you have to deal with interruptions from children or other household obligations. But it also saps productivity. When you leave something unfinished, it stays at the forefront of your mind, dominating your thoughts, and crowding out other considerations.
Before moving onto something else, or leaving to do another task, finish the task you are working on first.