“Helpful” Things That Slow Down Your Productivity

On September 20, 2012, in Guest Posts, Productivity, by Deb Lee, Certified Professional Organizer®
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Today’s guest post about increasing your productivity is by Michelle Rebecca. She’s new to OTR, so please give her a warm welcome. 

Multi-tasking is no longer a desired quality in an employee, it’s an absolute requisite. Unfortunately, there is no way to get more hours in the day … so employers seek out avenues for increasing productivity. Sometimes, this can have the reverse effect.

Here are a few of the most common “helpful” tips that often don’t work:

Maximize Your Time

Eating lunch at your desk used to be a universal symbol of a hard worker. This person is so dedicated that they don’t even take a real lunch break.

Think again…because trying to simultaneously eat and send an email slows down both processes. There’s also a possibility that this worker is prone to checking Facebook while munching on a wrap rather than filling out reports.

It’s also very important to prioritize breaks. Taking a lunch hour or 30 minutes away from a workspace rejuvenates you and allows for better use of time when lunch is over. Whether you manage a private investigator company or a staffing firm, happy employees are productive employees.

It’s All About Planning

Planning is important, but not as important as results.

Your mom might have been the queen of “to-do lists,” but writing things out by hand doesn’t help productivity. An office needs to have an established means of prioritizing tasks, such as Google+’s latest ESN features, which you can quickly scan and update in just a few brief seconds.

Offices can get caught up in the planning of things and putting the action by the wayside. Yes, documenting things is important. Having clear goals is essential. However, goal planning is something that should be done during set times (and not daily), and documentation should be a clear, straightforward process that administrative professionals are in charge of.

Work’s a Party?

You know morale is good for the office. Having solid professional relationships is beneficial and if colleagues genuinely like each other, that’s an extra perk. However, those requisite birthday parties for every single person and team building exercises don’t always work. If everyone considers it just another part of the job and no one really enjoys it, what’s the point?

Consider what your staff is saying and be honest with yourself. You know if everyone secretly dreads those office parties, so don’t force something that’s not there. Open up a discussion about what your staff really wants. Maybe it will work and maybe it won’t, but it beats sticking to the same old routine just because it’s familiar.

Trial and Error

Remember: Just because something has “always been done this way” doesn’t mean it’s right. Be open to change. More importantly, keep an eye on the overall productivity level and if it’s not up to snuff, get creative about ways to change it.

Also keep in mind some of these not-so-helpful tips actually do work for some people. The real secret is finding out what works for you and your staff. Everyone is different and everyone works differently. Being able to take an objective look at real work output, employee happiness, and overall morale is key.


About the Author

Michelle Rebecca is a Content Specialist and Blogger with a passion for the Internet, specifically social media and blogging. She loves how social media connects people across the globe, and appreciates that blogging gives her the opportunity to voice her thoughts and share advice with an unlimited audience.

Connect With Michelle: Twitter | Blog | LinkedIn | Google+


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