As a former nine to five worker, I know the stresses of the work day can make you feel as if you have to work as hard as possible to complete all the tasks before it's time to clock out. With looming deadlines, tough clients, and big projects on your plate, not being productive is the last thing you want to risk doing. But working longer and harder might not be the ways to eliminate those unproductive days. Unfortunately, there are several office mistakes that are making you less productive that are more common than you may realize.
When I worked a desk job as a publicist, I was always stressed. I suffered from high anxiety, excessive migraines, and an increased amount of depression because I didn't enjoy what I was doing. I would wake up in the morning stressed and tired from the night before because I was forced to take work home and be available throughout the night. Essentially, there was no time off even after I left the office. Since I essentially was working when I should have been relaxing at home, when I got to work the next day, my productivity suffered tremendously because I never had time to shake the stress from the day before.
If your productivity is suffering in your workplace, or even if you don't realize it's suffering quite yet, these 11 mistakes will help you notice your transgressions and encourage you to make a change, ASAP.
1. You Don't Make Your Vision Clear
According to Life Hack, not having a clear vision is causing workers to be less productive in the office. The site noted that because people are addicted to being productive, the focus is on working faster and better which may cause one to forget the point of what we're doing. Make sure that the time you're spending is worth it.
2. You Stay Available On E-mail After You've Gone Home
When I worked in PR, my boss wanted us to put our e-mails on our phones and be accessible at all hours. I found that, by doing this, I was less productive the next day because I wasn't getting a good night's sleep. Disconnecting yourself from the office when you get off work is a good way to stay productive when you're in there.
3. You Open Your Online Chat
If your office doesn't require you to use chat sites to communicate, it's best to stay away. A quick message to a co-worker or friend can turn into a hour long discussion. If it is a requirement for you to communicate via chat sites, make sure the chatting is only with those needed so that you can stay on task.
4. You're Often Late To Meetings
The Center For Competitive Management noted that being late to meetings cuts down on your productivity in the office, because you could be missing vital information that you may not be able to catch up on. Try setting a reminder on your phone or computer to ensure timeliness.
5. You Check Your Email First Thing In The Morning
Huffington Post noted that checking your e-mail first thing in the morning ruins your productivity because it puts you in immediate stress mode and makes it harder for you to focus later in the day. Try waiting at least 30 minutes to an hour after you've gotten into the office to tackle your email.
6. You Browse Social Media When Not On Break
Have you ever got on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram for just five minutes and realized it's been two hours? When there's an assignment or project that I'm not too excited about, I end up getting on social media to take my mind off of it. Doing that in the office is an easy way to get thrown off task and ruin the productivity of the day.
7. You're Participating In Workplace Gossip
The Center For Competitive Management also noted that participating in workplace gossip or massively complaining disrupts your productivity,too. The site added that workplace gossip can breed resentment and become a roadblock to effective communication.
8. You Sit At Your Desk All Day Long
According to Huffington Post, sitting down rather than standing disrupts your productivity because it could be making your less engaged and creative. Try standing during your next group project to see if your levels of enthusiasm and creativity increase.
9. You Decide To Work Longer Hours Every Day
Harvard Business Review stated that overworking yourself hurts both you and the company you work for because it causes health problems like impaired sleep, depression, heavy drinking, diabetes, impaired memory, and heart disease. Try taking scheduled breaks to help with stress if you decide to work a few extra hours this week.
10. You Multitask
CoSchedule.com noted that multitasking is not good for your productivity because it damages your brain and it takes more time to switch tasks instead of sticking with one until you finish. Focus on one task at a time to be more efficient throughout the day.
11. You're Working Through Lunch
During my stint as a PR professional, I thought working through lunch to get tasks completed was the best idea. I learned that taking a break to go on a walk, eat, or just to breathe, helped me focus better and knock out more assignments than what working straight through did.