6 Productivity killers & how to beat them

Procrastination is the thief of time. I once used to be magpie-like, easily distracted and a wild procrastinator – until I decided to study for a law degree while working full time. it took a few years to realise why I was barely hitting deadlines until I identified what my issue was; I was victim to these productivity killers….

Social Media/Internet browsing

This is one is going right at the top and is the ultimate cardinal sin in staying productive.  Notifications, personal emails, posts about your best mates baby….. 64% of students polled by Stop Procrastinating (an app that disconnects users from the internet) cited that social media notifications were the main cause of their distractions while studying.

Solution: Sounds basic –  but don’t log on and switch those notifications off.


That email notification that pops up in the bottom right-hand corner….switch it off. HUGE distraction, and it’s probably nothing that needs responding to right now…Approx 97% of the emails that I receive, do not require immediate attention.

Solution: Schedule certain points of the day to check and respond to emails. I usually schedule the first hour of the morning, the first hour after my lunch break and the last half hour of the day to read and respond.

Agenda-less meetings

Meetings with no agenda…hmm, aimless ramblings that move off course are the ultimate time stealers….and don’t necessarily answer the question or solve the problems you met to solve.

Solution – (obvs) Set an agenda, and write a list of next actions as you go along. The old ways are the best sometimes.

Chit chat and gossip

I love a good chit chat as much as the next person. But if you wanna be a badass in the office this will serve you no good. It is, however, vital to be nice and get to know your colleagues……..From a different perspective, you also do not want to be “that person” who is constantly chiming in with irrelevant nonsense – disturbing everyone else who are actually being productive.

Solution – Encourage a lunch time reccy for yourself and your colleagues once a week to catch up, purge it out of your systems over a Pret A Manger….

Your phone

It’s a leprechaun like device, constantly calling out for attention – sitting right there on your desk. If it’s not ringing, it’s beeping, if it’s not beeping, it’s twinkling…anything to get your attention from your vital income producing activity.

Solution – You may want to be reached in an emergency by loved ones so you don’t want to silence it all together – but do assign ringtones to your nearest and dearest so you know if it’s potentially an emergency. Everyone else can leave a message.

Open plan offices

This is a tough one to get around. The majority of office space is open plan. The constant noise and ringing of phones and that micromanaging boss is not good for productivity.

Solution – Aside from being a work gangster and getting your own office one day, you could also suggest a “thinking day”. I used to take one of these once a week if I really needed focus on a task. Alternatively, if you are office bound tell those working close to you that you are getting “in the zone”, get your headphones on and listen to the focus playlist on Spotify.

I hope this post will help you identify your productivity killers – knowing them is half way to solving them after all. 🙂