Most of us want to do a good job and be proud of the work we do, but even the best-intentioned employee can inadvertently be sabotaging his or her productivity. Researchers have been delving into the science behind productivity, and it turns out making a few small tweaks can have a massive impact on morale and how much a team can accomplish.
Here’s a look at five of the biggest productivity killers with tips from Pat Hall Jaynes, the owner of HR Source, on how you can help your employees overcome them.
Our bodies naturally follow circadian rhythms. They tell us when to wake, when to sleep, and can dictate how we behave throughout the day. A lot of people think that by tackling the easiest tasks first, they’re priming themselves for greater success as the day goes on. The problem is, this leaves people doing the hardest work at the end of the day, when their circadian rhythm is telling them they’re done and zapping them of the willpower to see projects through.
Teach employees to tackle the most difficult tasks before lunch or keep this in mind if you’re responsible for scheduling. To make the most of a person’s natural high-productivity time, try to keep mornings clear and schedule meetings and conferences in the afternoons.
Sitting in front of a computer all day can zap energy and make a person’s mind start to numb. All this sitting is bad for our health and bad for productivity.
A lot of offices are switching to stand-up desks, but the expense of this, upper management push-back, and the potential employee revolt may put this out of reach for many offices. You can encourage your employees to move more by scheduling standing meetings. Some companies also swear by walking meetings and say that this is when their employees do their most creative thinking.
We’ve all heard the adage, “If you want it done right, you have to do it yourself.” The reality is, this perfectionist mentality stops us from teaching others valuable skills and keeps us from being productive.
Make sure employees are being cross-trained to handle tasks they don’t normally perform. You can also create mentor programs and divide the workload, so everyone is being tapped in.
If goals are unrealistic, you can’t ever hope to meet them. This kicks off a vicious cycle of missing deadlines and low employee morale. Both kill productivity.
Help your staff set realistic and measurable goals. You can also break down large tasks into smaller tasks, so they get a boost of energy and positivity with each milestone they complete. When we’re accomplished, it makes us feel good and it boost productivity, even if it’s a small task.
The human brain literally cannot multitask. We think we’re multitasking, but what we’re really doing is shifting our focus for brief periods of time. This also means that we don’t do any of the tasks we set out to do very well at all.
Have your employees create a to-do list each morning and ask them to work through the tasks one at a time and don’t let them work through lunchbreaks.
Could your office use a boost in productivity or additional HR help? Contact us and we’ll help you find the ideal solution for your needs.