6 Productivity Killers and How to Avoid Them

What is the key to keeping productive? Seek out and be aware of your productivity killers and figure out ways around them.Do you have days where you just feel like you got nothing done? Or does your to-do list seem to continually grow to an overwhelming length?

Some days and weeks it can feel impossible to achieve everything you’d like to. Plus, as the list grows, our productivity levels seem to go down, not up. Moreover, with our minds constantly embedded in our technology, distractions lurk at every moment of the day.

In our digital world, our minds have been forced to be plugged in and on-the-go 24/7. Unfortunately, our ever-growing list of attention-grabbers can make it increasingly difficult to accomplish anything.

So, what is the key to keeping productive? Seek out and be aware of your productivity killers and figure out ways around them.

Here are six productivity killers and how you can avoid them.

1. Your Phone Notifications

Mobile phones. It seems hard to imagine life without being able to be in constant communication with one another. With the invention of smartphones came the ability to be connected all day-every day and the invention of myriad avenues of communication. From Instagram to Facebook to Snapchat and Twitter, the days of communicating through one form are long gone. Of course, that also means that you likely receive a multitude of notifications throughout your day.

When you’re working, this can become a constant distraction and productivity killer. As much as you might try to resist, our brains are wired to want to check that notification as soon as our phone buzzes, which can ultimately lead down a rabbit hole that has you wasting solid work time.

Moreover, even if you do ignore it, chances are that the sheer fact that you’re aware that you have a notification. So, how do you keep the distractions at bay? Try either putting on your do not disturb during work hours, restricting the notifications you receive through your settings, or use an app or software that can reroute notifications to one place that files them away for the moment you’re free.

2. A Cluttered Space

While this might not seem like it inherently messes with your productivity, you’d be surprised what clutter in your workspace or on your computer can do to your concentration. Now, that’s not to say that your space has to be spotless if certain things help trigger creativity, but to move or put away items that aren’t being of some use.

Too many things can be a source of distraction, and if you do err on the tidier side, a source of anxiety until it’s taken care of.  Take a few minutes every Monday or halfway through your week to clear up your desktop, both digitally and physically.

3. Being Confined

Let’s be honest, no one loves sitting in a cubicle day after day. That feeling of being enclosed, and usually in a stark environment with fluorescent lighting, can begin to feel a little claustrophobic after a while. Being stuck in your cubicle has a tendency to make you feel antsy and lacking inspiration.

Unfortunately, unless you get promoted or change jobs, there’s likely not much you can do about your work space. But, there are ways to combat your cubicle space. Make sure you get up at least once a day to go outside and enjoy the outdoors, or if you really can’t leave, be sure to take a loop around the office to get your juices flowing again.

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4. Constant Interruption or Noise

Unless you have an office of your own, you probably hear all of the on goings of those around you. And even with an office, most co-workers likely interrupt you throughout the day. Even if it doesn’t bother you necessarily, sitting in constant noise and interruption can make it extremely difficult to concentrate on the task at hand.

If possible, make an effort to find spaces away from the noise, like an open conference room or private space. And if that’s not possible, investing in a good pair of noise-cancelling headphones can be a savior.

Furthermore, if constant interruptions from co-workers is your problem, it might be a good idea to let them know when you’d like not to be bothered or set aside specific times when you can sit down and meet.

5. Little Breaks

Whether you take a smoke break or a snack one, you might not realize that what you’re really doing is procrastinating your work. After all, we usually do these things when we’re bored or looking to find something else to do.

If you really need to take a break, then do so, but be sure you’re keeping these trips few and far between and that you’re not just using them as a way to put off your to-do list.

6. Emails & Social Media

Just like with your phone, we live in an era where people expect you to be connected 100 percent of the time every day. And while you probably need to respond to emails, that doesn’t mean that you need to be checking them every minute. For if you do, you could be wasting valuable time that should be used for other, more pressing needs.

Instead, set aside a time each day to respond to emails and organize your inbox, but be brief in your response. If you can’t, then a meeting might be a better way to respond. Moreover, be sure to unsubscribe from any junk or miscellaneous emails that’ll only take up your time.

The same goes for social media. Leave it for a time when you aren’t working on important projects or even better, wait until you get home. If it’s really a problem for you, you might want to consider a site blocker.

It seems as though we seek out distraction whenever we’re trying to concentrate. And unfortunately, our world seems to make procrastinating easier and easier. That being said, be aware of the things that consistently kill your productivity and take steps to work around them. You might find that you can get a lot done if you do.

What do you do when you’re having a hard time being productive?