Productivity at work can be counterintuitive – some of the things that make you look productive might actually be slowing you down.
Working overtime is often seen as a sign of a valuable employee, but it is a meaningless statistic if it comes at the expense of quality work. After all, the number of hours that someone sits at their desk does not contribute to revenue or customer satisfaction, but rather their work does.
Likewise, when an employee spends the entire day hunched over their desk they may appear more focused or hardworking, but it’s possible that they would be better off taking some breaks and moving around. Natural light, fresh air, a walk or even a nap can stimulate creativity as well reducing tiredness, stress and sickness. In many cases, workers will find that they are sharper and more effective when they take several short breaks throughout the day.
A particularly difficult aspect of a productive routine is the need to recognise and communicate when you won’t be able to meet other people’s expectations. Employees usually get a lot of requests from their various colleagues and managers, and it takes skill to organise and prioritise them. Trying to finish numerous projects at once by multitasking is often counterproductive, as it can be distracting and needlessly stressful. The solution is to learn how to say no, or to at least to finish the most important projects first.