One quick glance around business offices these days and you might notice that the simple activity of focusing has become one of the most demanding actions to be undertaken while at work. Reducing it all to the most common denominator, we can see that nowadays, employees face an increasing daily bombardment of audio-visual distraction techniques.
Daniel Goleman, author & science journalist, has reported that the wide variety of gadgets, text messages, or e-mails can be certainly perceived as threats, who’s opinion is that focusing represents the most important key success factor in our professional lives.
Being productive is key to success, but it isn’t always easy. In fact, at times it can be extremely difficult to stay on task.
There are many distractions that can keep people from staying productive. It can also be difficult to stay focused on something that is uninteresting or tedious.
But why is productivity so important, and why are some people so much better at it than others?
If you’re struggling to stay on task, this article will help you identify common reasons why people get off track and provide four ways to improve your productivity.
Why is Productivity Important?
This may seem like an easy question to answer, but why are so many people concerned with being productive?
In simple terms, productivity is important because you can get more done. If you’re a productive person, you can do more with less time. That means you can take on harder, more important tasks. It also means that you have more time to do the things you enjoy like hobbies or spending time with friends.
Another benefit of productivity is the feeling of accomplishment. Taking something off your to-do list releases dopamine in your system, which is a natural mood enhancer. You get a boost in your mood every time you check something off.
People love the feeling of finishing something, especially when it is difficult or important to them. If you want to be more productive but you’re not sure where to begin, below we discuss four reasons why people struggle to be productive and four ways to improve it.
4 Reasons People Struggle to be Productive
Understanding why you’re having trouble staying productive is a good way to figure out a solution. Here are four common things that keep people from staying productive.
- Technology Distractions
Today’s modern societies are blessed and cursed with technology. We’re living in an age where technology can help build our dreams quicker and take them further than ever than before.
At the same time, people are easily distracted and consumed with things like social media, responding to texts, constant notification alerts and much more.
For many people, it’s very easy to pass the time scrolling through social media or checking messages. According to a 2018 Nielsen report, American adults spend on average 11 hours a day interacting with media. This includes listening to the radio, watching TV and spending time on a tablet, computer or smartphone.
Of that 11 hours a day, social media usage alone accounts for two hours and 16 minutes a day on average. With such easy access to digital technologies, it’s no wonder that people are easily distracted.
- Lack of Direction
For some people, productivity stalls because of a lack of direction. A person may know what their end goal is but they have no idea how to get there.
This often happens when you think a task is difficult or when you’ve never done it before. It can also happen when you’re overwhelmed with a lot of other activities. When your brain is full of too many other thoughts, it can be a struggle to focus on the task at hand and accomplish what you need to.
- Overly Difficult Work or Boredom with Tasks
Sometimes people struggle to stay productive simply because they’re bored with the work. They may find it uninteresting or tedious which makes it harder to finish.
The same thing can be true with work that is overly difficult or complicated. When a task seems too hard to finish, it is common for people to procrastinate. They tend to find excuses to not start it or to focus on smaller easier tasks instead. This leads to low productivity and a failure to accomplish work that actually needs to get done.
- Starting Too Late in the Day
Have you ever heard or said the expression ‘there just aren’t enough hours in a day’?
Sometimes this is true. There are times when your to-do list is far longer than one day can hold.
Another reason this happens is that people don’t start working on something until the day is almost over. This may be because they had other activities during the main portion of the day or because they didn’t start their day until late into the morning.
In the second part of this topic, we’ll be discussing four ways in which you can increase your productivity in a healthy and sustainable manner.