Why You Aren’t As Productive As You Think You Are During Work Hours (& How To Change This)

Posted on - in Productivity Hacks, Work Productivity
why you aren't as productive as you think you are

When you are at work, you don’t notice all the small procrastination steps that happen. These can be making yourself a regular cup of coffee, catching up on the latest office gossip, and let’s not forget about watching the funny YouTube videos. [Here is one just for kicks.]

In an entire workday — that means the full 9-to-5, 8 hours of hardcore hustle — the average worker is only productive for 2 hours and 53 minutes.

Woah… What about the other 6 hours?

Through this article, we will highlight where the majority of time goes on average in the workplace as well as steps that you can take to reduce procrastination and get more tasks knocked off each and every day.

Where Does All Your Time Go?

In a study of over 2,000 employees, they discovered exactly where time was wasted.

This is what the study revealed:

    • Exploring the latest on social media – 44 minutes with 47 percent of employees admitting they do this.
    • Catching up on the latest news – Over 1 hour, with 45% of employees admitting to enjoying this at work.
    • Chatting with colleagues about non-work-related topics – 40 minutes with 38% of employees claiming to do this.
    • Fixing up a good cup of joe – 17 minutes, with 31% of smart office workers.
    • Smoking breaks – 23 minutes, with 28% of workers being hooked.
  • Instant messaging – 14 minutes, 27% of all employees regularly text and work.

The list goes on and on. Are you starting to see how you are not as productive as you think at work?

The question is, how can you break down the mental barriers of unproductivity and crush out what you need to do when it’s the last thing on Earth you want to do?

Goal Setting Is Your Step One

Would you ever just get in your car and drive? You know you want to go somewhere specific, but no clue where to go.

The road trip may be awesome, but you will never get to your end destination. At least, not without a specific destination in mind, right?

Setting goals are your end-destination. If you have a major project that needs to get done, break it down into goal-related tasks.

You can do this with important deliverables during the lifetime of the project, what you want to achieve, and when you want to have the full task completed.

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Get Some Fresh Air

Here’s a crazy thing to think about: If all businesses globally were to invest in an improved ventilation system to improve the quality of office air, each worker’s productivity increase would be work almost $6,500.

Air pollution has a direct impact on cognitive abilities. After all, oxygen is food for the brain. Lack of quality air means your productivity is bound to drop. In fact, you might be yawning for no apparent reason due to a lack of oxygen in the brain, which is why if you are really struggling to crush out the tasks for the day.

Stop. Breath, and go outside. It doesn’t have to be anything excessive. A quick, 10-minute walk around the block will work perfectly time. While doing this, take the goals you just created and go over them in your mind for inspiration.

Have An Easy-To-Follow Infrastructure For Major Projects 

“I’m not disorganized, just too busy.” Sound familiar?

Eighty-seven percent of employees admit that when things are all muddled, and disorganized they feel stressed, overwhelmed, and unproductive.

From a management perspective, your employees are your pillars of success. They are responsible for customer management, streamlining the pipeline, keeping long-term clients happy, and encouraging new clients to sign up or buy a product from your business.

This is why you want to make their lives as simple as possible.

That means rallying up organizational skills. Creating a  place where they can go to follow up on projects, completion dates, important deliverables, or tasks that they need to handle daily. There are plenty of options to choose from.

Regardless of whether you go with the lightweight Trello board system or a full packaged management platform – it’s probably the best investment you could make for team cohesion and a nice injection of productivity into your workforce.

Implement A Time Tracking Software To Help Your Team (Or Yourself) Out

Tracking your employee’s daily movements is a very fine line to tread. On the one hand, you can ensure that there are no funny cat videos taking up all of their time.

On the other hand, micromanaging your employees is never a good thing. Back In the day, it used to be necessary to ensure that no mistakes were made. But in the digital era, it just leads to more stress, pent-up frustrations, and poor productivity. A great tip to help your employees maximize their time, without micromanaging them is to introduce the Pomodoro technique to them. Essentially this is a brain booster tracker that will help them maximize their productivity 25-minutes a time. Read more about it here.

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Susan Ranford

Susan Ranford is a freelance writer who focuses on business, tech, and careers. She's experienced in career tips, business advice, and job search secrets.

1 Comment

  1. Paul

    Wow, its crazy to think how much time is wasted in the general course of the day,

    I run a startup myself, but typically use freelancers who I pay for a specific task. That way if they decide to take 2x as long to do the job I am not wearing that additional cost.


    2 years ago

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