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What’s Killing Your Productivity?


You begin your day at work when the clock strikes 10. Several hours later, you find you haven’t accomplished much, aside from a few emails, a couple of meetings, and half a dozen mugs of caffeine.

Does it ring a bell?

There’s quite a difference between being at work and actually working. Staying productive amidst unavoidable distractions without succumbing to distractions can be a tough task, even for the most focused workers.

What could be the factors contributing to your declining productivity at work? How can you combat them? Let’s take a look.

Email and messaging

You’ve got mail. Open, read, respond (or ignore), repeat!

The situation is surely familiar. Every new email or message that hits your inbox is a distraction that pulls you away from your work. However much you try to break out of this cycle, you are inevitably stuck in a vicious circle. Productivity, therefore, takes a massive hit.

One way to not be affected by the mail bug is to snooze notifications and check your mail in bulk, once every hour or so, instead of reading messages as and when you receive them. Or chose more efficient internal communication tools like Slack or Chanty team chat.

Multitasking woes

You’ve often heard that multitasking is a preferred skill for employees to have. Being able to multitask is a vital part of working, but did you know that it can also be a real productivity killer? Switching back and forth between multiple tasks certainly dissipates the intensity of one’s focus and leads to lower workplace efficiency and poor work quality.

You can better productivity by avoiding multitasking – unless it’s absolutely essential – and prioritizing your tasks. By using the Pomodoro Technique (we’ll explain that in detail in a while) you can break down your work into a number of short intervals. This helps in bringing back focus, thereby contributing to better efficiency.

Or simply write down your plan of action for the day in the morning and stick to it.

Long hours of sitting

Studies have proved that sitting for more than eight hours a day increases the risk of heart diseases and diabetes. Considering how much time we spend seated at our work desk or binge-watching our favorite TV shows over the weekend, we are at major risk. But are there any alternatives?

Time magazine, in one of its recent articles, highlighted the advantages of using standing workstations to battle the negative aspects of ‘sedentarism’ in the workplace. Even if it’s just for an hour a day, standing had a significant impact on employee engagement. No wonder then that many bigwigs, including Apple, provide standing work desks for their employees.

Even if you don’t have a standing desk, there are scores of tools like EyeLeo, Workrave, SmartBreak, etc., that remind you to get up from your desk and walk around at regular intervals. Give them a try!

Poor time management

Ever wondered why some people seem to have enough time to do all they wish to, while others are always tossing themselves between tasks and never seem to finish anything? The former simply manage their time better. If having a clearly chalked out plan and staying organized is half the battle, time management is the rest of the struggle towards better productivity.

The Pomodoro Technique, which we mentioned earlier, is one of the most effective ways to manage time. Invented in the early 1990s by entrepreneur and author Francesco Cirillo, it splits work into short, timed intervals (called Pomodoros) that are spaced out by short breaks. Work happens in focused short sprints of about 25 minutes, separated by 5-minute breaks. A developer himself, Cirillo used this technique to track his work as a university student.

This technique makes sure you’re consistently productive, helps you stay on top of deadlines, and eventually improves your attention span and concentration. The regular breaks also are a source of motivation and keep you creative. Developers, designers, and other workers who have to churn out packages of creative work are fans of this method.

The Pomodoro Technique is remarkably malleable and can be adapted to different kinds of work.

Repetitive or redundant tasks

Doing the same things repeatedly is a huge waste of energy, resources, and of course, time. It doesn’t come as a surprise that there are many tools designed and created to circumvent the need to do repetitive tasks.

In the application development context, hpaPaaS (high productivity application Platform-as-a-Service) or RAD (Rapid Application Development) has been in vogue for a few years now. These aim to do away with repeated writing of actual code segments. Instead, developers can focus on tasks that actually require their expertise.

One of the most important features of hpaPaas or RAD is that it is ‘low code’, allowing applications to be built effortlessly, through a graphical user interface (GUI) and visual modeling techniques. This enables the rapid delivery of business applications with minimum hand coding, evidently contributing to better productivity levels within an organization. Projects developed on low code platforms like Neutrinos are generally more agile than traditional IT projects.

Research by Gartner reveals that low code obviates time-consuming and expensive development work and increases developer productivity by deflecting the need for them to engage with redundant tasks. CEOs investing in digital transformation are also finding massive benefits in low code, due to its many advantages and the promising possibility of delivering results more quickly.

You now know the many things that come in the way of your productivity at your workplace – and how you can effectively counter them. Knowing is one thing; acting on them is quite another. Take the next step and do all that is needed to transform your productivity. At Neutrinos, we direct every bit of our efforts towards channelizing productivity for organizations and transforming them digitally.

Call us to know how we can help you!

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