Perfecting Productivity, Part Three: Protecting Productivity
We’ve been spending the past few weeks examining productivity and how to optimize it, and today, we felt it was necessary to address the issues that could throw the proverbial wrench into the works.
Don’t worry, though, we’re also going to touch on how you can avoid and/or mitigate the issues that might threaten your productivity.
How Your Business’ Productivity Can Be Threatened
Distractions, Distractions, Distrac…Wait, What’s That?
Here’s the thing: as humans, we are hardwired to be distracted. Research suggests that our brains are built to function in brief sprints of concentration, every so often taking a moment and scanning the environment around us. It just makes sense. Way back in the day, those who looked up from the fire they were trying to make every so often were more likely to see the dangerous animal approaching their camp.
Combine this short attention span with the stimuli we’ve saturated our world in, and it’s little wonder that it’s so easy for us to be distracted, despite the numerous costs that this tendency can have on us all—both personally, and on an organizational level. Whether an employee is working in the office or remotely, there is always something there that could take their attention away from their goals.
We Were Going to Say Procrastination First, But We Put It Off
Despite the many negative impacts that procrastination has, from missed opportunities to suffering performance to poor decision making, it can really feel good to decide that something is a problem for the future version of yourself. Of course, once you are that future version of yourself, you still have to deal with all of the stress. It’s just exacerbated. This problem is due to something called the avoidance loop…a pattern of thinking that always gives you something else that takes preference over your actual goal. The modern office doesn’t help any, either, as most people could tell you.
When everything is a top priority, nothing really is.
Time Poverty is a Problem that You Take Home with You
If you aren’t familiar with the term, time poverty is not having the discretionary time needed to focus on the things outside of work that are crucial to a successful and happy life as a human being. If someone’s life can be effectively summarized by “sleeping” and “working,” it’s going to have an impact on them. These impacts can range from physical and mental health issues to relationship troubles, as well as detriments to their work performance.
How Can You Address These Issues and Protect Your Productivity?
Let’s run through some of the steps that you can take to buck your procrastination tendencies.
First, you should do your best to identify your avoidance triggers and reframe them to become actionable steps toward your goal. For instance, instead of saying, “I can’t do X until Y,” reframe it so that it’s framed as “I need to do Y, so I can do X.” It may seem like a small thing, but even that can make a difference. This will help you create an actionable to-do list, turning an excuse into an honest to goodness productive effort.
Next time, we’ll dive into how you can actively boost your business’ productivity, so keep an eye out for that. In the meantime, you can always reach out to White Mountain IT Services for assistance with your IT at 603-889-0800.