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Tag Archives: interruptions

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5 routines that are ruining your productivity

Margie Davis 5 comments

We follow a routine everyday. The moment we wake up our routine brain kicks-in and we start tackling our morning tasks flawlessly and without much thought. These easy motion of actions follow into the workspace with just as much ease. This is where you need to be careful and assess your daily routine tasks. Are all the things you do on a daily basis efficient? Are you doing certain things that have become unproductive? It’s time to assess, and here’s 5 things that you should consider:

1. Make a Realistic To-Do List.  Although it’s tempting to add things to a to-do list, sometimes we keep tacking on more and more items that it becomes an impossible to-do list. It’s important to keep your list real and accomplishable because our brains tend to get fixated on incomplete tasks. Why stress yourself out? Make a list that is doable.

“Roy Baumeister and EJ Masicampo at Florida State University were interested in an old phenomenon called the Zeigarnik Effect, which is what psychologists call our mind’s tendency to get fixated on unfinished tasks and forget those we’ve completed. You can see the effect in action in a restaurant or bar – you can easily remember a drinks order, but then instantly forget it as soon as you’ve put the drinks down.” (killscreendaily)

2. Stop Answering Repetitive Questions. If you find yourself answering the same questions over and over again, regardless if they are from your clients or employees, you are wasting precious time. See this as an opportunity to improve the communications from your printed and digital media. If people have the same question over and over again, you are not efficiently providing your clients and employees with the accurate information. Try adding a FAQ’s section to your website for clients, and consider creating an internal wiki for employees.

“FAQ is the abbreviation for Frequently Asked Questions. FAQs are organized “collections” of valuable information that usually comes from questions (and their corresponding answers) for the most common issues raised by users, on various topics. Companies make up such information compilations in order to fulfill their customers’ need for answers. They are also a means to ease the burden of the customer support group by providing answers in written form to the most commonly asked questions.” (Avangate)

3. Stop eating lunch at your desk. Although you might think that you are being highly productive by eating at the desk, the reality of the matter is that your brain needs downtime too. A break will allow you to think and make clearer decisions.

“Taking a lunch break away from the desk lets people separate themselves from the source of that (energy) drain,” Cunningham says. “And that offers the opportunity to build back some of those resources in the middle of the day–rather than just at the end when work is over.

“Resource replenishment is specific to the person. You might need 10 minutes to recharge, your colleague might need an hour. The task for us, then, is totinker with our lunches in the way we tinker with an idea: If we experiment with the way we lunch, we can arrive at the meal that best feeds us”. (Chris Cunningham is the organizational psychologist for University of Tennessee at Chattanooga)

4. Stop making piles. Much like lists, piles create unnecessary clutter. When you pile things, you are organizing things per your own system, unbeknownst to everyone else. Stick to a systematic filing system that will allow others to help, and eliminate clutter so that you can boost your efficiency.

“Getting organized may have more to do with psychology than piles of possessions, according to professional organizers and the people who hire them. From low self-esteem and an inability to make decisions, psychology shapes a person’s relationship to his or her space and stuff. So the key to more organized lives may lie within the gray matter of the mind.

On a daily basis, organizers like Leeds suggest clients make simple, positive habit changes to establish a foundation for an organized, healthy, effective life.” (Regina Leeds, author of “One Year to an Organized Life”)

5. Stop signing every check. Designate a specific day and time for certain tasks, such as signing checks. Productivity works best when there are no interruptions. Instead of allowing a steady, unpredictable flow of interruptions, schedule these tasks for specific blocks of time to limit interruptions. Also check out why Jason Fried says that “work doesn’t happen at work“.

“Interruption is incredibly arrogant. When you interrupt somebody, you’re telling them that whatever they are doing is less important than the question you have to ask them.” — Jason Fried

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Sources:

Entrepreneur

 

 

 

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