Posted on Nov 11,2021
Tips To Help You Become More Productive
Productivity is undoubtedly one of the essentials of leading a successful life yet it’s quite difficult to achieve. Usually, it is said that “when talent doesn’t work, hard work takes all the limelight”, and hard work is directly associated with productivity. Remember, how you kept postponing studying in high school despite being good at a subject? Or how you kept trying to put your brain on track for just 2 hours of exercise, but binge eating or watching Netflix sounded better?
Productivity can be anything that is considered to level up your quality of life through your efforts. Yet, we hardly put the effort in the right direction and fall into the trap of procrastination and lounging. In the article, we will dissect human behaviour further and understand productivity in detail in the context of your professional life.
What Does It Mean To Be Productive?
Productivity refers to a person's, a team's, or an institution's capacity to work successfully within a certain amount of time in order to optimise output.
According to Psychology Today, aspiration, character, natural talent, education or training, surroundings, support from others, time management, and even luck, all contribute to high productivity. Exercise, a good diet, and adequate sleep are all physical factors that can help you be more productive in the short and long term. Some people appear to be natural super-producers, while others struggle to become more prolific and may seek support from regular workouts and improved habits.
Factors That Decrease Your Productivity
1. High Workload
A good and conducive work environment is a crucial component that impacts performance. Having the required skillsets alone will not make an individual producer. Nearly 800 people who took part in the poll conducted by Times Job said they are overburdened, and that has hampered their productivity a big-time as they kept losing a track of their work.
2. Lack of Clarity Regarding the Role
The Times Jobs study recorded 70 per cent of employees said they are less productive at their present employment, revealing a significant insight. According to 40% of the experts polled, unclear employer expectations are the main issue preventing employees from being productive at work. This difficulty is exacerbated by the fact that 35% of them believe they don't have defined work duties.
3. Noise and Interruptions
Sound has an impact on our health, happiness, and productivity. What we hear has an impact on how we feel and behave, whether it's the sound of workmen drilling outside, an aeroplane breaking the sound barrier nearby, angry blaring horns from traffic congestion, or the sound of birds happily chirping. Employers were extremely disturbed and less able to do their tasks when they could hear the talk surrounding them, according to a classic study published in the British Journal of Psychology. Another study found a link between office noise and elevated stress hormone levels as well as a reduced motivation to interact with people.
Distraction at work has the potential to interrupt your focus and spoil your productivity, whether it's your colleague next to you tapping their fingers on the desk, tinny music seeping from your colleague opposite's headphones, or the guy on the other side of the office shouting into their phone.
4. Unregulated Emotions
Positive and negative emotions may both help or impede productivity, however the impact varies depending on the person. Negative emotions, on the whole, have a significantly higher impact on a person's productivity. A person who is concerned and nervous about a looming deadline, for example, maybe motivated to work diligently to meet the deadline; another person may try to avoid such unpleasant feelings by deferring the project till the last minute.
5. IT Issues
According to a Ricoh poll, just 25% of employees feel productive when working from home, with IT difficulties being the main cause of dissatisfaction. Others say that while they have the most up-to-date equipment at home, their office is antiquated, forcing them to be less productive.
How You Can Overcome The Issues With Productivity As Per Human Psychology
1. Get rid of the temptations and distractions
Distractions are hardwired into our brains. Every time you take in new knowledge, your brain releases a rush of dopamine, the reward neurotransmitter, according to researchers.
This is one of the reasons why social media is so addicting. Every time you log on, your brain is exposed to new stories, facts, and images, and the dopamine surge makes you want to log on again. It's tough to combat your brain's natural dopamine surge, so limiting your exposure to distractions is the most effective approach to be more productive.
2. Create a balanced schedule
If you look back on the previous 40 hours of work, you'll probably find that approximately 30 of those hours were spent on activities that were either unexpected, unneeded, or even counterproductive. And it's not simply the last 40 hours of your working life; it's an issue that occurs week after week.
Take the time to keep a 15-minute interval journal for the following 40 hours of work if you don't feel that is the case with you. For each 15-minute session, write down what you're working on. At the conclusion of the 40 hours, add up all the periods. Even if you think you're 80 per cent or more productive right now, you'll be surprised at how many useless things you're doing.
3. Work with your body
Jennifer Ackerman writes in her book Sex Sleep Eat Drink Dream that the hormones we need to feel productive are produced according to circadian rhythms, which are natural cycles that our bodies go through to carry out everyday activities.
Our brains are most awake 2.5–4 hours after we get up, according to her studies. This is the time of day when your brain produces the most productivity-related hormones, which aid in problem-solving, idea generation, and careful work.
Don't put off working on major tasks if you find it difficult to get started and stay focused. Use your body's peak hours of the day to your advantage.
4. Don’t chase perfection
Have you ever gotten 90% of the way through a job that took you 10 hours and then it took you another 20 hours to finish the remaining 10%? Is it truly worth it to spend the final 10%? Or, instead of 20 hours, could you sand the project's edges and do some last-minute dusting and have a finished job in just one hour?
You must use your best judgement. If you're a heart surgeon or rebuild engines, you'll almost certainly have to go all out. However, whether you're writing an article, a book, delivering a class, or completing a variety of other tasks, you may be 99 per cent or 90 per cent done. So simply finish the final 1%, give it your all, and leave perfection to the experts, and you could discover that your productivity skyrockets!
5. Give priority to the most valuable work
It is more important to succeed at the tasks that provide the greatest value to your life than it is to do the most chores. According to K. Anders Ericsson's study, the most effective musicians do not practice more frequently than their counterparts. Rather, they are more deliberate in their practice.
What's the difference between the two? They practice only the sections of their performances that are the most difficult, rather than all of them. They surpass their colleagues by focusing their efforts on mastering their most essential tasks. You'll create more and better work if you prioritize instead of trying to tick everything off your to-do list.
6. Get rid of negative emotions
You simply cannot be as productive if your mind is dragging with bad ideas, concern about what you need to do, or even shame or guilt over things you are doing wrong. So, get away from such negative ideas, address the issues that contribute to a bad conscience, and cleanse your mind!
7. Divide big tasks into smaller portions
Have you ever observed that the most time-consuming undertakings are also the hardest to get started on? You know they'll take days, if not weeks, to finish, yet you ignore them. The next thing you know, the deadline is approaching, and you're scrambling to meet it.
It seems out that we procrastinate for psychological reasons. According to psychologist Janet Polivy, huge, intricate tasks overload our minds, causing us to refuse to work on them.
Large-scale initiatives are unavoidable. They don't have to be difficult, though. Breaking down huge jobs into tiny, manageable activities might help you be more productive. Being productive is a breeze after you've eliminated your brain's stress trigger.
There's really no such thing as a productivity formula. However, decades of the study suggests that some people are better at executing and being productive than others, and that personality, motivation, and emotions all play a part in one's ability to get things done. While certain characteristics that influence productivity, such as personality, are difficult to alter, individuals who are inherently less productive should not be discouraged. Anyone may take measures to boost their productivity, find productivity hacks and strategies that work for them, and overcome productivity roadblocks.