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3 Notorious Productivity Killers and How to Fight Them

Productivity Killers – What is Your Focus Factor?

Your #1 Productivity Killer – INTERRUPTIONS

You are laying on a blanket, between the dunes, at a beautiful sandy beach ? . You are looking up at the vibrant blue sky and watching those puffy white clouds floating above your head. Image their configurations. When you gaze up at them, they may take the form of a dog ? , star ? or even an angel ?.  It takes you to another place. Maybe your dream place. You fixate on the subject at hand. It becomes your center of interest. In short, this causes INTERRUPTION.  It’s time to get your head out of the clouds.

Whether you work in the office or at home, you experience interruptions all day. In today’s multimedia fast-pace environment, distractions constantly come at you in all directions.  The biggest culprit is the phone and the internet, which makes you feel the need to respond immediately. But that luxury comes with a high price tag. Interruptions will distract you and cause you to lose focus on the task at hand. These are huge productivity killers. This can lead to a waste of valuable productive time. And in essence, time is money ?.

It takes you to another place. Maybe your dream place. You fixate on the subject at hand. It becomes your center of interest. In short, this causes INTERRUPTION. It’s time to get your head out of the clouds. #productivitytips Click To Tweet

#1 Killer Solution: Increase Your Focus Factor.

You need to focus at the beginning of your day. Open your email, listen to messages, examine your to-do list, then prioritize.  Place your tasks into four distinct categories. First, MUST do ASAP, followed by,  MUST do later.  Then, perhaps, “I can delegate this,” or you might have to just say “NO. I can’t get it done today.”

You need an uninterrupted time slot. Schedule a set time in your day and group your return calls, and emails together. Then, create a designated time slot to reply to them at that time.

Doing this, will keep you from getting interrupted with each one separately throughout your day. Otherwise, you must keep refocusing your thoughts and priorities and lose precious time. Therefore, it makes it harder to get things accomplished. This can be the worst of the productivity killers.

For example, put the phone on silent. Don’t open your email…even if it’s only for an hour. Whenever possible, make your team aware of your scheduled time for replies. Time management is the greatest tool to increase productivity. You may have remembered this point from the last post on 10 ways to make your team more productive today.

Take a break. It’s okay. Sometimes you have to drop everything and walk away. You need time to refocus. Shake out the cobwebs. That’s why they put water coolers in the workplace. And you thought it was just used as the gossip corner. Schedule time away from your desk. Plan a lunch date. Take a walk. You need to change your focus, in order to refocus.

For example, put the phone on silent. Don’t open your email…even if it’s only for an hour. Whenever possible, make your team aware of your scheduled time for replies. Time management is the greatest tool to increase #productivity. Click To Tweet

Your #2 Productivity Killer – PROCRASTINATION

How do You Like to Eat your Peas?

Remember when you were a kid and your mother told you to eat your peas? You did one of two things. You ate them first and got it over with, so you could enjoy the other favorites on your plate.  Or you ate them last, because they don’t taste pleasant and are boring. If you did the latter, you were procrastinating.

Do you tackle a task the same way you eat your peas? We all have a tendency to procrastinate from time to time. However, when facing a deadline to complete a project, you may not have that luxury. Procrastination leads to poor time management as well.

There are several reasons why you may delay the start of your project. You may be overwhelmed with it and simply don’t know where to start. Fear of failing often causes someone to procrastinate.

Maybe this project theme is not within your field of expertise. Perhaps you’ve reached a stumbling block. Maybe it’s the exact opposite. After all, you could be bored with the entire thing. It just doesn’t “sing”. Or it could be a physical thing. You may be over tired. You need to take a break, regroup and set it aside and refocus later on.

We all have a tendency to procrastinate from time to time. However, when facing a deadline to complete a project, you may not have that luxury. #productivitytips Click To Tweet

#2 Killer Solution: Eat your peas First!

Be proactive. Jump right in. Eat the peas first!  While getting them off your plate, you can anticipate how delicious the rest of the meal will taste and not have to worry about those yucky tasting peas again. Then, take that overwhelming project and separate it into bite size pieces.

Start by making a list of the directives. Break them down into segments and assign them each an attainable deadline. This leads to small victories leading up to the final goal. After all, you could use a project management software to help you along the way.

To overcome boredom, one must refocus. It’s time to call in the team and brainstorm. This can  inspire spontaneous contributions to project solutions and generates enthusiasm within the group. It can be the catalyst that drives the team to success.

When your body is telling you “I’m burned out. I need time-off”, LISTEN. Physical tiredness causes your mind to wonder, thus avoiding  the task at hand. It causes you to lose focus. It’s time to give your brain a break. Have a snack. If your timeline permits, sleep on it.

Regroup your thoughts tomorrow. Another way to refocus your thoughts is to put them in print. Jot down some key ideas to keep your thoughts and ideas fresh. If you get interrupted, you can refer to them and immediately pick up from where you left off.

Another way to refocus your thoughts is to put them in print. Jot down some key ideas to keep your thoughts and ideas fresh. #success Click To Tweet

Your #3 Productivity Killer – INACCURATE PLAN

If you Fail to Plan – Your Plan will Fail!

As a project leader, you create the pathway to a successful productive plan. Poor planning produces poor results. If you don’t have an outline, you have no plan. How can you keep your team focused if you have no plan. If you fail to plan, your project won’t come to fruition. A weak plan is an inaccurate plan and is doomed to failure. It’s a killer.

Lack of dedicated communication with your team, could jeopardize their productivity. In addition, if a team doesn’t have direction and guidance they lose their focus. This could result in missed deadlines and loss of time and money. Likewise, it could be a productivity killer!

Poor planning produces poor results. If you don’t have an outline, you have no plan. #productivitytips Click To Tweet

#3 Killer Solutions – Step up the Focus Factor

Can you pat your head and rub your belly at the same time? You tried it, right? It’s not that easy. Consequently, you have to concentrate and focus on what your hands are doing. But, anyone can do each exercise separately.

Why not approach your project the same way? Split your project in two separate stages with two separate deadlines. The end goal of your project will be less overwhelming. It works better for you too. You can detect any problems or obstacles at midfield, rather than let them creep up on you at the end zone. Plus, your team can work on each segment separately, and keep their focus.

Numerous consultation meetings should be scheduled on a regular basis. Communication today can take many forms; land line telephone, cell phone, text and email. By and large, any one of these instruments should allow you the ability to keep the lines of communication open. In order to maintain an accurate plan flow, you must constantly monitor your team’s productivity.

Finally, begin by learning which form of communication each team member prefers.  It works quicker to get their response. Then, utilize them when you plan progress and conference meetings. It’s prudent time management. Hence, it eliminates interruptions and procrastination, the other 2 productivity killers.

Split your project in two separate stages with two separate deadlines. The end goal of your project will be less overwhelming. #success #productivity Click To Tweet

Productivity Killers Infographic

The following Infographic to avoid productivity killers, is brought to you by Wrike online brainstorming collaboration tools. Productivity tools you need to stay productive today!

What productivity killers are you guilty of today? Which productivity tips did you like the most? Do you have any additional tips to save time and be productive?

I’d love to know more in the comments below!

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