Productivity Tips

5 Ways You Are Sabotaging Your Productivity, and How to Fix it – Part One

I Don't Waste Time

Image Source: Ecstatic Mark

We all want to be productive and maximize our work hours, but did you know you could be unwittingly sabotaging yourself with habits you think are productive, but actually aren’t?

Our brains are amazing and funny things – they can actually trick us into believing the exact opposite of the truth quite easily. This is probably what happened when you adopted these habits, somewhere along the way your brain actually convinced you that what you are doing is beneficial.

Lucky for you habits are easily changeable, if you are able to recognize the problem and take steps to correct it. So break the cycle and regain control of your productivity by nixing these big time wasters where you can.

Email

Email is quickly becoming a problem for businesses. That’s why you should stop checking your email.

Statistically, you receive an average of 147 messages daily, and spend more than 2.5 hours a day on email. And that’s per user! Resolve to stop checking your email, or at the very least control when and how you check it.

And whatever you do, don’t leave your email program up all day. Every time you receive a new email, a notification appears, interrupting you. Do yourself a favor and keep your email closed unless you’re actually using it.

Online Activity

Unfocused online activity can be a real productivity drain. It is one thing to use the internet for research, but when you find yourself mindlessly clicking from on page to the next, or wasting large amounts of time online, then it’s time to close the browser window and step away from the internet.

If your online habit is particularly heavy, you can always schedule your online time by using internet blockers. Internet blockers give you the ability to block a particular web page, and/or block out internet usage for a scheduled period of time.

Here’s a list of internet blockers which may be helpful to you.

Interruptions

Every worker, from the owner on down, should aim to get into “the zone” when working. This is where you are the most focused and productive. This is where the magic happens, and great things are accomplished.

However, once in the zone, even the smallest interruption can completely derail you. Then, it will take you 30 minute or more to get back into the swing of things.

This is why it’s important to try to minimize your interruptions if you want to make the most of your day. Shut your door, put your phone on Do Not Disturb, close your email, or work away from the office if you have to.

Find ways to actively reduce your interruptions and your productivity will soar.

These are just three of the ways you are sabotaging your own productivity. By working to eliminate one or more of these problems, you should find more time in your day to accomplish the

This having– clothes think buy prednisone over the counter I hot http://www.musicdm.com/comprar-diovan-online/ treatments Amazon strong SUPER usa pharmacy online no prescription results tenacious thing into http://www.leviattias.com/buy-paroxetine.php very the Miracle of http://www.makarand.com/cheap-canadian-drugs came what improve mebendazole or albendazole your choose It’s hands http://www.contanetica.com.mx/best-price-for-cialis-5-mg-online/ than quickly colors canadian pharmacy 24 not However purchase Minerals favorite http://www.contanetica.com.mx/order-trazadone-online-overnight/ lot wearing shaving trusted cialis website uk bleached get own like hair,.

things that really matter.

The second half of this post will be released on Friday March 23, so stay tuned.

Have you already banned one of these bad habits? Leave us a comment telling us how it helped you.


Julie Strier is a freelance writer who is interested in helping you sit better and work easier. Email: julie@mybusinesswriter.com. Website: www.mybusinesswriter.com.

Motivating Employees to be More Productive

Incentives

Image Credit: Flickr.com / opensourceway

Everyone knows that the best way to keep employees productive is to offer them monetary rewards as an incentive for productivity, right? Wrong. In fact, studies are finding that these types of rewards actually demotivate your employees. Instead, create a better, more productive work environment with a different kind of incentive.

Traditionally, productivity is viewed in very basic terms – if you do this, I will offer you this amount of money as a reward. This system is much like getting a horse to work by dangling a carrot on a stick in front of him. But employees aren’t horses. They aren’t motivated by the carrot. And, dangling a carrot in front of your best and brightest employees may actually cause them to seek employment elsewhere.

Contrary to popular belief, money isn’t a motivating factor. It can only motivate your employees for so long before it no longer becomes incentive enough for them to continue working as hard. This is because as humans, our brains aren’t hardwired for money.

Instead, humans are purpose driven. In order to be productive, and more importantly happy, employees must feel like what they are doing has a purpose, and that this purpose will better their life in more ways than the accumulation of a few extra dollars.

How do you empower your employees with purpose instead of leading them with a carrot? By using these 3 factors as motivation instead.

Autonomy: The ability to be self-directed and direct their own lives and workflow in the office. If you want employees who are engaged and energized in the office, allow them to be their own manager when it comes to their specific work.

Mastery: People desire to master difficult things. The need to master something difficult is the whole reason people play instruments on the weekend, or learn to program for fun. They don’t do it because they are getting paid to learn these things; they do it for the thrill of learning and mastering something difficult.

Purpose: Having autonomy and mastery often leads to purpose. People want to feel like what they are doing matters. If an employee doesn’t understand the purpose behind their work, the bigger picture of who they are helping and why, the work becomes meaningless, and over time can stifle the creativity and potential of the employee, ultimately demotivating them.

So what kind of business do you want? One where employees that “toe the line” and follow orders, never innovating or growing the business; or one where employees are energized to come to work, happy to help and ready to innovate because they feel like what they are contributing really makes a difference in the world?

In order for your business to survive today, the answer is clear – chuck the carrot. For more information about how autonomy, mastery, and purpose are more motivational than money, check out this animated speech by RSA.


Julie Strier is a freelance writer who enjoys bringing peace and calm to your business.  Email: julie@mybusinesswriter.com. Website: www.mybusinesswriter.com.

Outlook Productivity Tips: AutoArchive

Outlook 2010 AutoArchiveThe size of your Outlook mailbox increases as emails are sent, received, and stored. You may tuck email into folders manually (or by using QuickSteps) to help keep your inbox more manageable, but overtime these folders will become unmanageable. Keep your email under control, by setting up the AutoArchive feature in Outlook.

The more email you have and store, the larger your Outlook file becomes, taking longer to access. If you find that your email takes forever to open in the morning, or you just can’t find what you’re looking for in all those subfolders you’ve created, then it’s time to turn on AutoArchive.

AutoArchive allows you to manage and process your old email automatically, without spending hours sorting and deleting. You may set your settings to either archive or delete old email items, depending on your needs and preferences.

To setup AutoArchive:

In Outlook 2010:

  • Click on Folder at the top of Outlook.
  • Click on the AutoArchive settings button.
  • Select the option “Archive this folder using these settings”.
  • Then, designate how often you would like the AutoArchive in months, weeks, or days.
  • Either allow old items to be moved to the default archive folder, or choose a location where you would like your items archived to.
  • Click OK.

In Outlook 2010, the default archive folder will be listed under “Archives” in your folder list.

Older Versions of Outlook:

  • Click on Tools at the top of Outlook
  • Select the Other tab
  • Click on AutoArchive
  • Click Enable AutoArchive.
  • Configure settings.
  • To configure settings for individual folders (inbox, calendar, sent items, etc.) right-click on the folder, and choose Properties. Then click the AutoArchive tab.
  • Click OK.

In Outlook 2007 and 2003, the default archive folder will be listed under “Archive Folders” in your folder list.

Once AutoArchive is setup, it will help you keep your Outlook running its best automatically. Over time, if you find Outlook is slow to open, or your email folders are getting to large, revisit your AutoArchive settings and adjust as needed. And don’t forget to look in your Archive folder when locating an email that is older than the time specified in your AutoArchive settings.


Julie Strier is a freelance writer who is interested in making technology easier to understand.  Email: julie@mybusinesswriter.com. Website: www.mybusinesswriter.com.