High productivity is achieved by establishing good habits. Here’s six you can adopt today!
Your team's productivity is a direct result of the habits that they engage in when they sit down to work.
But while we tend to focus on cultivating good habits, we can sometimes overlook habits that are labelled as effective, when in reality, they’re detrimental to your overall productivity.
Whether your team is in the office or working remotely, their productivity is constantly under attack.
This comes from a range of time-wasting activities that can lead to decreased performance, longer work hours, burnout, and more. Which is why it’s so important to discuss these if you wish to learn how to improve employee productivity in the workplace.
If you’re focused on getting the best from your employees’ performance, time management and focus, here are six bad habits to break to boost their productivity.
6 Bad Habits to Overcome for Increased Productivity
1. Hosting Meetings That Could Be Easily Summarized in a Message
Arguably one of the biggest time-wasters in any work setting is meetings.
The reality is, most meetings can be communicated effectively through a message, or at worst an email.
Even when you’re working on a project with multiple team members, there are plenty of collaborative software tools out there that can allow you to convey your point without ever having to hop into a meeting or onto a video call.
What you have to consider when you host meetings is the number of hours lost to each member of your team.
For example, if you host a midday meeting with a team of 10 people, that’s a total of 10 hours lost across all your employees. This is the kind of insight that will be made clear through your employee productivity tracking software.
So, ask yourself, do I need to schedule a time and sit down with my team to explain this to them? If the answer is no, avoid having a meeting. Your time could be better spent working on other projects you have.
2. Staying in Meetings That Don’t Require Your Attendance
When meetings are essential, you should never hold anyone for longer than their presence is required.
For example, if they’ve already contributed to the conversation and have nothing further left to add, they can be dismissed.
Another situation that’s quite common is keeping people who sit idle in the meeting while you address other participants. In this event, their time is being wasted, which they could leverage to get work done.
Put simply, avoid hosting meetings for too long and holding onto people who no longer need to be in the meeting.
3. Putting the Simplest Tasks First
Most people want to tackle the simplest tasks first as they’re easy to accomplish. It’s only natural. It looks and feels great when you cross something off your to-do list.
But, you are better off putting the easy tasks at the back of the queue.
That’s because you only have a finite amount of brain power and energy to get you through the day. So, if you spend your whole morning and afternoon clearing simple tasks, you’re not going to have the energy or the focus needed to clear the bigger ones at the end of the day.
Take care of your major tasks first, then leave the ones you can easily manage for later in your day. You can help prioritize your most important tasks and projects using an employee productivity tracking software.
4. Not Batch Communicating
These days, most organizations use instant messaging apps like Slack to streamline communications.
How does technology increase productivity? In the case of Slack, it makes it easy to reach someone anytime, anywhere. But sometimes, leaders can make the mistake of using this always-available functionality to over communicate with their team.
With Slack and other instant messaging channels, it can be natural to ping questions and thoughts any time you have them to the rest of your team. However, doing so can slow down work and make communication disparate.
Instead, batch multiple questions into a single message that covers all of your topics. Then, send periodically so that you can consolidate communication and limit its impact on workflows. The same goes for emails.
If you have multiple team members to communicate the same message to, aim to produce simple group messages that will inform everyone. Rather than trying to reach everyone individually.
This isn’t just beneficial to your team’s workflows. For you, the less time you have to spend crafting messages throughout the day, the more time you’ll have to dedicate to the tasks that matter most.
5. Not Challenging the Current Systems and Processes in Place
Rome wasn’t built in a day; and your peak levels of productivity won’t be achieved overnight.
The key to becoming more productive is to challenge the systems in place at your organization. When one refuses to challenge the way things work, you can’t identify any of the existing issues costing you time.
Whether it’s at the end of the day, the end of the week, or the end of the month, analyze the systems and processes your organization uses to track and complete projects and see where the biggest weaknesses lie.
Then, come up with solutions and repeat the process to constantly improve your team’s productivity. Incremental changes, like using an employee productivity tracking application, will over time lead to significant productivity gains.
6. Believing Time Spent Working Equals Higher Productivity
It’s a common misconception that longer workdays result in more work being done when. In fact, it can be counterproductive.
Everyone needs to take breaks to recharge and return energized to complete the work ahead of them. When they’re forced to sit at their desk for 10 to 12 hours at a time, they’re going to burn out rather quickly and perform less effectively.
Additionally, this burnout can contribute to employee mental and physical health problems, which can compound and reduce their productivity levels further.
Give your employees the flexibility and breaks they need. As you’ll discover, the satisfaction will manifest in the quality and speed of their work.
Of course, one of the biggest concerns when giving employees greater freedom is that they’ll abuse it and spend less time on work.
To remedy this, you need to learn how to track employee productivity with the support of the right employee productivity tracking applications.
Do employee tracking devices improve employee work productivity? They do! Employee productivity tracking tools provide you with the best way to track employee productivity, and give you further insight into how well changes in habits are working for your team.
Final Words… Bad Habits Aren’t Always Easy to Identify
When measuring productivity in the workplace, it can be easy to overlook habits we think are beneficial that are actually impacting our ability to stay focused.
Understanding counterproductive habits like the six mentioned above allows you to eliminate them from your work day, replacing them with effective productivity systems.
If you’ve noticed a drop in employee productivity, see if these six bad habits apply to your team. Then consider supplementing your efforts with employee productivity tracking software to make sure your group productivity solutions are yielding the results you want!