Block Up the Biggest Drain on Your Personal Productivity

This is probably the hardest challenge that you have to deal with to guarantee your productive time. The reason why it is so difficult is because it involves a variety of different causes.

The workplace is a primary environment for social contact and it is one of the most satisfying aspects of work. Effective teamwork requires good personal relationships and the ability to get on with other people is often the primary requisite for a job. Some jobs ask for a friendly, outgoing personality. All this is fine except that it is very easy to overdo the social side of work to the detriment of your productivity. Just keep time log for a couple of days and note the amount of time you spend socializing. You may be very surprised when you find out the total time and no doubt, you will want to make some changes.

Here are a few hints that you can use to improve your personal productivity by cutting down your social time to a reasonable amount. One of the difficult things to control are the people who visit you in your workplace. If you have a door, try closing it. If you don’t have a door, position your desk so it is facing away from the traffic flow. Train yourself not to make eye contact whilst you are working.

These next three suggestions may seem a little extreme but your personal productivity is extremely valuable to you and unwittingly you may have been attracting people in such a way that they interrupt you.

  • Don’t keep extra chairs in your office.
  • Hide your personal coffeemaker with the extra cups.
  • Make sure that you don’t have a candy jar.
  • Ensure there is nowhere to sit except your chair by piling books on flat surfaces.

One of the best remedies for extinguishing socializing is to try this. Keep a folder marked “Visitors.” In the folder keep some papers with really boring jobs on them. For example, “I’ve got a couple of minutes work to do first before we can talk, so whilst you’re sitting there would you mind totaling this column of figures for me?” You will find that people will stop coming round to interrupt you and waste your time. The sorts of boring stuff that you can put in the folder could include proofreading, the comparison of two documents or anything that requires concentration and is not creative.

If your boss drops by and wants to socialize, your strategy is to show that by limiting your socializing your boss will benefit. You can do this by emphasizing the task that he or she wants you to do for them is on your desk at the moment and you are working on it.