By planless on January 10, 2020

THE TOP 6 PRODUCTIVITY BLOCKERS AND HOW TO HACK THEM

Team productivity is one of the most essential aspects of working in an organization, and since an individual is an integral part of a larger team, it is everyone’s responsibility to keep their heads in place and put the team’s project on track.

A team with individuals lacking productivity can cause a severe dent to projects leaving the team to deal with consequences from falling behind on deadlines.

A distracted team can cost you far more than team productivity, and it can cost the organization a lot of money in revenue loss and scare potential clients away for lack of quality. Members of a team are liable to spending productive work hours getting distracted by calls, emails, texts, social media, sincere energy burns out, or by their guilty pleasures.

Productivity is critical in project management. Having firsthand knowledge of what is slowing your team down is vital in knowing how you can improvise to stay on budget and meet deadlines. Productivity blockers may lead to dealing with an array of issues, but once identified, you can work towards fixing them to become a more productive team.

Project management is a hands-on field. Project managers and team members spend the bulk of their time jumping from task-to-task, meeting-to-meeting and making significant changes to beat the deadline. Managing a project is exhausting, with so much going on, it is almost impossible to avoid an energy burnout and get any substantial work done at the end of the day. 

There are three ways teams can achieve their set goals:

They can achieve their goals by moving faster, that’s productivity.

They can achieve their goals by improving the system and making it work for them, that’s efficiency.

Lastly, they can achieve their goals by eliminating productivity blockers on their path, and this aspect is what this article focuses on.

 Is productivity being a problem on your team? What if I told you that there are productivity hacks that ensure that you scale through the blockers and beat deadlines? Consider the many potential blockers and how you can hack into them to work for you. Here a 6 top productivity blockers and how to hack into them:

1. TIME MANAGEMENT: One of the most common blockers to productivity is time management. Missing out on time management is merely throwing productivity out of the windows. Scheduling meetings upon meetings and agenda items into your calendar choke things up so tightly that you have zero flexibility to around work. Sessions are all about talk, albeit these talks are progressive, but having endless meetings and leaving out time to implement them is counterproductive.

HACK: A vital hack to managing time is time blocking. Time blocking is a concept where you segment your day into specific chunks of time. It follows a similar path with micro productivity, except this one, focuses on time. For example, holding back-to-back meetings is out of place, meetings should be held 45-50 minutes, and your team should have a 10-15 minutes break to refresh and reflect on the previous session.

The key to time blocking is organizing the tasks that need to be finished and set aside a defined timeframe to focus only on those items. Doing this prevents interruptions from dictating your day, and crossing off tasks from your to-do-list in bits will result in productive output.

2. COMMUNICATION: Unproductive meetings and poor communication amongst team members are a ticking time bomb that rids productivity.  A team that cannot effectively communicate the decisions reached numerous meetings thwarts productivity. Effective communication alleviates your productivity struggles, allowing you to be a better team player.

HACK: Feedbacks are the solution for bridging communication gaps amongst teammates. Encouraging teams to give feedback at every stage of a project fosters productivity. Project management involves a lot of teamwork, and miscommunication can become overwhelming. By instilling feedback into the culture of your team, you can ensure that projects remain on track, and deadlines are met.

3. ENERGY BURNOUTS: Energy burnouts are natural when you are overworked. It is normal to feel burned out after working on a demanding project. Feeling continuous energy burnouts and continuing at work will lead to a negative productivity curve.

HACKS: Taking a break is an ultimate step is to relieving burnouts. Going back to work after taking a break spurs off your productivity. Another hack is saying no when you have too much on your plate.

4. LACK OF FOCUS: The brain is naturally wired to get distracted, and when we encounter things that are pleasing to us, our brain releases the “happy hormone” that shifts the focus off work.  This feels good hormone is the reason it is easy to get distracted.

HACK: It is possible to trick the brain into being productive, turning off notifications on social media sites while on a project will tailor your focus on work.

5. OVER-ENGINEERED SYSTEMS: Over-Engineered systems are advanced productivity blockers. In simple terms, it says that too much complexity in a system is a tool for disaster. If a policy is too complicated and your team members cannot understand it, then team productivity will be hampered.

HACK: The key hack to this blocker is keeping the system simple, with fewer pieces, and fewer transitions. The system must be the exact guidelines used in building internal operations at the organization.  If an organization’s order cannot be explained to teammates in about half an hour, then it is over-engineered.

6. ENVIRONMENTAL DISTRACTIONS: Distractions can come from activities going around you in the office. Buzzing phones, chit-chats, hustling, and walking around co-workers all the time is a productivity killer in the office environment. For remote workers, sounds from the television and family members have the same effect.

HACK: Slipping a pair of headphones will suffice in the home setting and having a closed-door policy so that co-workers don’t distract you in the office setting.

Finally, track your progress either every week or month to identify which hacks are working to spur your productivity.

Published by planless January 10, 2020