You might think productivity is about being constantly occupied with work. You might think productivity thrives on leaving no room for distraction. That is to say, if you’re able to stay busy without losing time on frivolous activities – then, congratulations, you’re productive. You’ve conquered all those so-called productivity killers. Or just productivity threats, because they’re weak – you won over them easy.
Or, did you?
People tend to confuse time-wasters with productivity killers, but the latter is far deeper than just things that make you lose track of time.
There are several definitions of ‘productivity’ – scientific, economic, work-related, and more. But they all focus on one thing – accomplishing a goal. Why? Because there is no use staying busy if it doesn’t lead to measurable progression.
5 Productivity Killers Attacking Your Work.
In reality, there are countless workplace productivity killers. Businesses and employees often push away addressing the issues, assuming there’s very little that can be done about them. But that’s not necessarily true. You can identify and combat the issue at your workplace or business. Here’s a list of five important efficiency killers to help you get started.
#1 – Mediocre business techniques.
Progress not made where it could happen – the most common of all productivity killers. You miss out on capturing new opportunities when the time is right. But a second-rate or an outdated business approach does not always have to be about technology. Sometimes it could be a marketing strategy.
For instance, marketers often do this: More demographic targeting and less behavioral/contextual targeting.
Many businesses lose out on sales when they don’t observe customer behavior enough. Don’t be surprised if you find older or newer generations expressing interest in your products as time progresses. No two customers are the same. And customer interests are constantly changing.
So, mistake #1 here is forgetting to observe customer preference trends about a wider audience. Stay inclusive of those interested in your products. Repeated targeting of a specific audience, based on your customer demographics data alone, can mislead you.
Also, many businesses rely only on primary market research to choose their target audience. They avoid seeking deeper insight into their audience fearing the high costs and time it may consume. In this case, businesses may face a research-reality gap. And in the meantime, they’d be losing opportunities for sales among an audience they couldn’t target.
#2 – Relying on assumptions.
Ben, our copywriter says, “You’re better walking with a map than running without one.” As businesspeople, we are forced to go by assumptions once in a while, because no one knows the future for certain. But never put all your faith into an assumption.
Draw out the necessary data to validate your assumption. Seek expert opinion whenever necessary. If you have your doubts about a change you want to make, or a client you have to deal with, talk. Ask questions. And then, act based on the solutions to establish the best path to achieve your expected goal.
Put simply – make a map. Because, if you place your first step forward in the wrong direction, your destination will change. Starting your journey without directions is a colossal productivity killer. But when you make a map, you verify and establish factors that contribute to your journey. You will have to ground your intuitions in reality. Your map will tell you what’s practical and what isn’t.
#3 – Forgetting to document processes.
Losing track of what you do, and how you do it, is a . Doing so helps identify what stopped you from achieving your target sooner. It helps you refine and standardize your processes.
Some business owners like to work spontaneously. For instance, they’d try out different strategies to reach out to multiple influencers, all at once. They’d interact with the influencers in ways unique to each influencer. But in the end, they would have lost track of several crucial pieces of information by failing to document them.
Some of the information could be:
– The mode of communication used,
– Documents presented,
– Managers they connected with, and
– Feedback received.
In an attempt to refresh their memories, they’d go scrambling back to emails, phone calls, and other sources to find out the exact process that worked out best (or worst) for them.
To avoid going back and forth on how every development or roadblock played out, keep track of the process. Documented processes also help newer employees save time and work effectively right from the get-go.
#4 – Workplace politics.
The most common cause of workplace politics is… gossip.
Gossip doesn’t always destroy a person straight-up. It damages team spirit gradually. One day it’s just one employee speaking about another in a bad way. But ignore it and soon several of their friends will be sharing the same opinion. Eventually, the toxic dynamics will start affecting work productivity.
Targeted individuals also face stress, and they may counter-gossip. Before you know it, the team is divided from within.
“Don’t pay attention to gossip at work. Ignore them. Haters will keep hating. But nothing will stop a winner.” Well, it sure is motivational to listen to the pep talk. It also makes sense – why waste time on petty issues when there are better things to do? But, there’s just one problem. Gossip doesn’t spread like fire that you can see; it spreads like an infection; invisible but highly contagious.
There’s no permanent solution to end gossip at work, but you can curb it. Be bold enough to introduce a “Strictly No Gossipping” rule at work. As ridiculous as it may sound to some workers, make it clear that it’s no joke.
Educate your employees on how you’re all one team. Discourage any assignment that can stir individuals up against each other. Rather, help them communicate and collaborate. Offer counselling at work. It’s often jealousy that sparks gossip. Conduct activities that encourage humility, tolerance and forgiveness as top-priority personal goals.
If gossip comes to you, stop the infection right there. Also, send reminders, once in a while, to keep the workplace healthy and safe for all.
#5 – Avoiding delegation of work.
There are two important consequences of not delegating work enough – you face burn out with too much to handle, and your employees burn out starving for the right opportunity. Eventually nothing productive happens.
Know when and how to delegate. At times, your inability to trust anyone else will lead you to accumulate tasks for yourself. Move your pieces carefully to help you trust the process more – and try to explain your processes. Don’t hesitate to spend time researching before you pick the right employees or team.
If you’d like to outsource your projects or a process, look into the companies’ reviews, visit their websites and document what they offer. Compare that with your expectations, and shortlist good fits. Get in touch with them and convey your priorities. Gather as much information to make an effective decision.
A team of professional lead qualifiers boosts productivity.
Phone is still the top tool for customer service and sales. 65% of people want to speak to a real person when they call a business line. That’s because phone calls are flexible and offer real-time help. And when a professional answers the call, they spend a dedicated amount of time with your customers.
Your customers appreciate interactions with a human touch.
With a 24/7 lead qualification service like HelloSells, benefits don’t stop here. You save time when your callers reach you as pre-qualified leads. All you need to do is nurture your good leads and convert them to sales. The service also doubles up as 24/7 live call support. You have the liberty to check in with agents any time and follow-up with your messages.
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