As any real estate professional knows, time management and office productivity are crucial skills to master in order to become a top producer, but this is of course easier said than done. There are a whole host of factors that can drag down your productivity, whether or not you are conscious of them.
Here are 4 of the most common office productivity killers and how to prevent them from affecting your own productivity:
1) Sleep (or lack thereof)
Sleep might not be the first thing that people associate with productivity, but it is surely one of the most important factors influencing it. In fact, studies have shown that sleep deprived workers consistently perform tasks more slowly which of course will directly impact how much you can accomplish in your workday. In addition, sleep deprivation has shown to increase the error rate – that is, the amount of mistakes you make in your work – by up to 30%!
How to fix this: This shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone, but get more rest! But because this simple solution might not fit everyone’s lifestyle a great first step is to try and add a 20 minute “power nap” in your day. This has been proven to be the optimal time necessary to refresh your mind and help you stay productive.
2) Stop multitasking
This sounds counter-intuitive, we know. Wouldn’t doing more at once increase your productivity rather than decrease it? Turns out not exactly. While multitasking may lead to a short-term burst of added productivity long-term reliance will decrease your productivity by up to 40% according research conducted in 2001. Why does this happen? As you switch between tasks there is time lost which when added up is quite significant and this lost time only increases as you introduce more complex tasks.
How to fix this: The best way to combat the urge to multitask is to utilize the concept of “timeboxing” or “time chunking”. This is the idea that you only work on a single task for a pre-determined amount of time of your choosing. This way you can focus on producing your best work without ever giving in to distractions, be it a text message or a funny link from your coworker. You can help spur this habit on with Moosti which helps you set timers for your “time box”.
3) TXT free zone
Texts, Twitter, Facebook Snapchat, Instagram, Vine, WeChat or WhatsApp. There is no end to the amount of notifications your smartphone will send your way once you start using fun apps like these. It’s no wonder then that in a survey conducted by CareerBuilder 50% of respondents said that smartphones and texting were the number one cause of distractions and loss of productivity in the workplace. This is because when we shift our attention from the task at hand to checking the notification that has popped up our phones, it takes us on average 6 minutes to get back on task. With all the distractions that our phones bring in the day, think of how much productivity you are losing!
How to fix this: There are two options here. The easiest (and more extreme) of the two is to simply put your phone away and do not use it for the duration of your work day. The downside to this being that you might miss that all important client phone call or lead. The second option is to introduce a selective “do not disturb” mode on your smartphone which will temporarily halt notifications that may distract you, but will still alert you to things you specify, such as calls or certain emails. You can find a guide to setting this up on your iPhone right here and Android users can follow a similar guide here.
4) Let there be light!
The stereotype of the cold, barren office filled with flickering fluorescent lights exists as an office trope for a reason – anyone that has spent time in an office with bad lighting knows the effect it has on you. Numerous studies have shown that inadequate lighting will zap your mood and affect your productivity in a dramatic fashion so it is important to make sure that you have the right amount in addition to the right type of lighting for your workspace.
How to fix this: Begin by taking stock of your current workspace lighting and answer two questions:
- How well lit it the workspace?
- What type of light is being used?
If there is not enough light, consider adding more natural light sources which has been shown to increase alertness and happiness. If natural light sources are not available, look at introducing more 6500K lights. These are often referred to as ‘daylight bulbs’ are they have a similar spectrum to natural sunlight and do not have the same negative effects as standard halogen bulbs.
Do you have any other office productivity tips to share? Leave a comment below!