Productivity is often a variable thing, and it can be frustrating if you have problems with it. If you want to become more productive at work, there are some things that you can do about it. Whether its disruptions to work, distractions, or simply a difficulty managing tasks and time, there are lots of reasons why productivity might be lower than you would like it to be. Businesses like TechQuarters, an IT support provider London businesses rely on to manage their IT, need to maintain high levels of productivity, or else the services they provide to clients will be impacted.
Challenges to Productivity
One of the first things to do when looking to improve your productivity is to identify the things that you find challenging. There are many challenges to productivity that people experience. Below are a few examples of things that can impact you.
One study suggested that the average employee is productive only for about three hours each day. In that time, it is crucial to really prioritize what is most important. A lot of employees focus on more on getting things done, rather than getting things done in the right way – if you focus on the former, you will likely find yourself spending most of your time on low-priority tasks that don’t have much impact on your workload. This can be very disheartening in the long-run, when you are working hard and not feeling like you’re completing much.
The solution is usually to learn to prioritize tasks correctly. By making progress on high-value tasks, before working down the list of tasks, your time will be better spent. You might even be able to delegate lower-value tasks to others, to lighten your workload and allow you to get more done.
Some tasks take a short amount of time to complete, while other tasks take a long time to complete. As well as this, it takes time to switch tasks, to get back into the flow of work (for instance, when you come back from lunch, or when you arrive at work), and it even takes time just to prioritise your task list.
A frequent challenge to productivity is not being able to complete tasks in an appropriate timeframe. This is where time tracking can be very valuable. It’s not just about tracking how much time something takes, it is also about how much time a task is supposed to take. You might get distracted during a task, or simply be having a slow day, and you don’t realise you’re taking far too much time on one task. Knowing the average time to completion can help you remain aware of when you’re on track, and when you are not.
Some of the ways in which you time gets wasted is through office gossip, and though mobile phone usage. These are both things you can control quite easily, provided you are aware of it.
You might be surprised to hear that multitasking is actually a major barrier to productivity. A lot of people have the (misguided) believe that multitasking makes them more productive. In fact, some research has suggested that it can in fact reduce productivity by up to 40%. In fact, research also suggests that only 2.5% of the population are actually good at multitasking.
The trouble is that switching between tasks takes time, just like how switching gears in a car cannot be done instantly – the car needs to slow down or speed up enough to engage the appropriate gear. If you think of multitasking as repeatedly slowing down and speeding up in order to change gears, you begin to see how it can actually be more time-consuming.
The solution is to plan tasks before you get to work on them. Rather than switching between your responsibilities, try grouping your tasks into groups – some tasks might be relevant to one another, or else require similar skills; if you do this, you should be able to transition into tasks without too much difficulty.