Not happy with productivity at your workplace? Go home happier by making these 4 rectifications.
I was in the same place
Let’s be Real.
I was unhappy like you.
I was someone who was not good with productivity.
So, this was my problem as well.
My work pattern was doing more work no matter how much time it took me to do.
And that is not productivity.
But over the years, with a lot of self-contemplation I figured out what could be done to improve my productivity.
When I started my career as an employee, I had an altogether different perception towards work. My work ethic was high as a result of which I felt trapped after a period.
Working for an organization where I had several errands and daily tasks to complete, I either slogged through the whole day to get them done or I would leave them undone.
But doing them with ease and smartly was something that I struggled to get my hands on.
The very thought of executing multiple tasks would overwhelm me and I would feel the urgency to brush up on the tasks.
For the longest time, I struggled with my productivity.
But then being a laborious and obsequious employee, I knew I could run circles around the ones who worked smartly, by extending my working hours.
But that was not beating the smart.
It was beating myself extra.
And that was unhealthy.
I still remember the very initial days of my career when my manager would allot me tasks, I would go nuts about how I would get them done.
And the first thing that would come to me would be to rush and get things done fast.
But the result would always have everything messed up in the end.
To help myself and get things done smoothly, I tried writing tasks on a piece of paper so that I could remember the order.
But the problem needed much more than this which I had to figure out and work upon.
My Careless attitude hampered my Productivity
From the get-go, I have been tagged by the family as someone careless and my job showed me how much I needed to work on it.
Carelessness came from doing things in haste. To do things quickly was something that my body was used to but while doing so, my mind failed to catch up with the body’s pace and that’s where I would make the real mess.
The time limit would further add to my problem.
When I’m given a time limit, my mind rather than working fast, slows down. It gets stuck in the tick-tock and the pressure that it creates to get the task done in the given time messes up everything.
No, I’m not dumb, I have some IQ but doing things under pressure makes me like one.
I realized my capacity to decipher complex things was not less, but it was slow and when I tried to speed them up, I landed up making things botched.
But being someone, whose work ethic was high, and I would call myself no less than a workaholic, my grades for the year were always more than I expected.
It would surprise me to receive an appraisal that I did not feel worthy of.
I was never complacent with my credits, but rather critical.
My office management focused on my dedication, arduous efforts, and my behavioral interactions with others but they knew where I lacked as well.
To make up for things that I was not good at, I would show up for work without any excuses and that would make balance for my weak attributes.
With time I did slow down to do things with more vigilance.
What I learnt; I want to share with you
What I learnt over the years while working on my productivity and still working on it, is something that I want to share with you.
I never let myself down for the things that I was not good enough at, I rather picked up choosing to work on them.
There were certain things that I mended on my way and there are some I still am working on.
So, if you are someone who is high on work ethics but still fails to get the best out of your workplace, the blog is for you.
I’m not having some big secrets that you would have never heard before but want to share the simple tweaks I made in my workplace that helped me escalate my productivity.
Productivity is a challenge because we have multiple tasks and a time limit for them.
If you leave the tasks incomplete or you exceed your time limit to complete them, productivity is compromised.
You will neither get the extra time nor will your salary expect you to do one simple task all day.
So, the work will never go simple, it’s you who will have to become the pro version of yourself if you want to go uphill in your career.
4 things that obstructed my productivity and what rectifications I made for them is what I have compiled for you in this post.
Obstruction 1: I wanted to do all the work
I wanted to do all the work and saying no to any single work was my biggest weakness.
And for the longest time, I assumed it to be my strength. Getting a dream job and always reminding myself of it made me work like a honeybee.
There was no, No sir.
And that “Yes Sir” came with its concomitant worries and burden.
But the honey bee was so happy in making the honey that she didn’t bother whether the honey she collected she would ever get to taste.
If my body worked endlessly in the office, my soul would go home happy.
But I took my body’s capacity for granted and that came with its penalties.
Our problem is that We do not make changes until we see anything troubling us.
And when things begin to trouble, we have already lost a lot of it.
For how long would my body Work for my soul?
In the end, the body had a limit. It could only catch one bus at a time.
And rushing to catch all of them finally encountered me with accidents.
It was when my body started cutting ties with my soul, I sensed something was wrong. Something was not going right.
I was productive but it was self-sabotaging.
And this kind of productivity has a timeline, a very short one.
If I was trying to be productive by stretching beyond my capacity, I was being destructive instead.
It looked great for my boss to see my swiftness and dedication to work but he was aloof that this dedication was taking a toll on my body’s limit.
And if not released soon, it would collapse.
Acknowledged and accepted that it was not my strength, it was my weakness.
The problem is not when you have negative stuff, it is when you do not know what your negative stuff is.
It’s like becoming friends with those negative bugs.
I found I had become a great friend of my workaholic side.
But when the bug started to show its symptoms, I addressed it and took steps to get away with it.
But what is new here in this?
Probably this is the same old advice that every other person keeps giving us.
Do not become a Yes man.
The news is that we underestimate the strength of this change.
We have normalised workaholism.
We take pride in being that honey bee.
What is more important?
The quantity of work or longevity of our working capacity?
You are not productive if you want to take all the work, but making the specific work reach its final level without fail makes you productive and a better employee.
Obstruction 2: Failing to divide my energy equally for all the tasks
If I had 10 tasks to complete, I would start with all my zeal and energy.
Giving all of it to the first few ones and then my mind and body would fail to distribute the energy to the last ones and this would make the quality of work dropdown.
I did not give an equal portion of time and my energy to every task. Some were given the most of my time and energy and some were left with no time and energy.
It was like when I knew my tank was full, I would not use it cautiously but consume all of it and then when I would be done with it, the rest would become a mess.
Time blocking and slowing down.
Well, slowing down is the most misinterpreted notion.
We assume working slowly will slow down our progress and productivity, but the reverse is true.
Slowing down makes the work catch up a quality pace.
Haste is waste.
I have been a victim of haste which landed me in several problems. Trying to do things in a hurry made my work do no wonders but instead made more mistakes.
And that disturbed me majorly.
Slowing down never means taking a rest.
It just means catching a pace in which your body’s speed gets aligned with your mind’s swiftness.
A body working faster than the mind can never give accuracy in work.
A mind working faster than the body will slow down the productivity.
You have to come somewhere midway.
The second is Time blocking.
If you want all the tasks to be done on time and with maximum productivity, time blocking is the sure short key.
For the longest time, I did things without looking at the needle.
And this made me exceed the office working hours on all days.
Assess the weight of all the tasks allocated to you and allot them a time limit.
The time blocking will help you to complete all the tasks without feeling burnt out in the end.
The idea is not to get everything done right away but to get them done the right way.
Target the completion of the tasks that are a priority and keep the rest of them in an ongoing state.
Time blocking gives you a limit so that your mind does not linger on with one task for long thus stopping you from doing the other ones in haste.
In addition to scheduling your working time, you may also include your break times between each task block so you can refresh yourself as you complete and start new projects.
Obstruction 3: Interruptions
I was severely a big victim of interruptions.
Now what are these interruptions?
So, the entire day at your workplace is not like the one sitting in a corner of the office with zero interruptions.
We have all sorts of distractions and interruptions.
I’ll start with the first one.
If I have been given my tasks on time, it does not confirm that I will not get any urgent piece of work at any point of time in the entire day.
My manager had every possibility to come up with a sudden immediate requirement that would be a priority along with other tasks.
Now being that obedient employee, the Yes Sir would come up without thinking much, no matter how much it would make me suffer in delivering my other tasks.
Then there are other times when someone seeks your help and definitely, we are first humans and then we are employees.
And I was high on my human side.
That would further interfere with my work.
Now how can we skip the interruptions that our discussions and conversations with our co-workers make.
Its legit to have such conversations as we are no machines.
But then sometimes these conversations take over our priorities and we fail to take track of our time.
Saying yes to all the sudden urgent tasks is perfectly fine but not conveying your boss how these unplanned tasks will hamper your allotted tasks is where you go wrong.
And your productivity is silently attacked.
Taking responsibility is great but failing to not meet the responsibility is bad.
That is what I needed to work on.
I started conveying my work status when anything new would come my way in the middle of the day so that there would be a clear dialogue between me and my boss.
When it comes to helping someone, Stop doing things for them. Just tell them how to do it. This is the most underrated advice which might look rude as well.
I was the kind of person who had a different opinion about helping. I felt my work can be compromised but helping someone cannot be.
Well, that’s not how it works. Had it been about goodness, our parents would have done the homework for us. But they never did that.
So, it’s important to guide your colleague who feels stuck rather than spoon-feeding him or her.
And then there are random discussions with your colleagues that you just cannot dodge.
But you need to have your eye on the needle as well. You do not have any office help who will look after your pending tasks.
So have discussions but don’t let them steal your time.
Obstruction 4: Postponing the small tasks because they looked easier
This is a tiny task; I will do it later.
And there is another tiny one, it can be done in the very end.
And when the time is up, these tiny ones look no longer tiny.
I did not procrastinate but I used to assume I would do them in the last hour.
And the last hour would be terrific.
The result would be, the tasks that would just take me minutes would be left undone by the end of the day or I would exceed my working hours like crazy to get them done.
Just because those tasks would look small and easy to me, I would pile them up and when the pile would stack up, they would no longer look small.
The most dreaded tasks are not to be left for the end. That’s the bitter truth if you want your other tasks to look less daunting.
But before you dive into the bigger tasks, check for the tasks which are just increasing the number of your tasks and take a minute to be completed.
To not make my last hour feel unsatisfied, I made a small tweak.
I started to squeeze time in the middle of a bigger task where I would accommodate these tiny ones.
And getting them done unburdened me.
Our capacity to be productive is hampered a lot when our mind is stuck with completing many tasks. The moment you make your mind free from some of the small tasks, its speed gets catapulted.
As it no longer has the other clutter, it finds it easy to focus on the remaining one.
And when I implemented this change, the last hour became like the happy hour.
Besides these 4 obstructions, there are many other small changes that we can make to improve our productivity.
Streamlining your space before you start the day’s work makes your mind clutter-free.
Our mind’s functionality is dependent on what we surround it with. The more is the mess around you, the harder it will be for your mind to process things.
By cleaning up and organizing your space, you can increase your productivity and limit the time you spend searching for items.
Avoid meetings that have no agenda. The main reason most work meetings feel like a waste of time is because they are.
So, if there is no big agenda, you should skip such meetings.
I hope these 4 rectifications will ease your work life balance and make you more productive. Let me know in the comments section below.
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