Avoid these productivity traps at work

Avoid these productivity traps at work

Written by Editorial

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April 17, 2023

Departmental mentality, too many meetings or distracting colleagues - what's preventing you from being productive? This article looks at nine aspects that can affect productivity in the digital workplace.

Multitasking: "Achieving more by doing less."

Multitasking is a common productivity killer. Although brain research shows that people aren't cut out for multitasking, many still try. To counteract this, teams should prioritize their tasks and focus on those that create the most value for customers. By focusing on fewer tasks, paradoxically, more can be accomplished.

Meaninglessness: "The value of a task must be transparent."

Lack of clarity about the benefits of a task can impair productivity. To counteract this, interrelationships and the importance of a task should be made transparent. Employees are more motivated when they know how their work contributes to the overall result.

Avoid these productivity traps at work

Open-plan office: "Create opportunities for retreat."

Open-plan offices can affect productivity due to noise and distractions. One way to get around this is to create retreats where employees can work undisturbed.

Micromanagement: "A barrier to team success."

Micromanagement can be demotivating and inhibit productivity. To avoid this, a work environment should emphasize collaboration and mutual trust.

Meetings: "Real flow, not just in marginal times."

Meetings can limit productivity, especially when they are synchronous. To enable better workflow, meetings should be used for decision-making, brainstorming, and interpersonal aspects, while digital platforms are used for asynchronous tasks such as status updates and discussions.

Avoid these productivity traps at work

Departmental thinking: "Productivity means movement."

Departmental thinking can limit collaboration and thus productivity. To overcome this, employees should try to develop an understanding of the challenges faced by other departments and encourage cross-departmental thinking.

Phone calls: "Unannounced calls as a disruptive factor."

Unannounced phone calls can disrupt concentration and affect productivity. To avoid this, phone calls should be scheduled with appointments and spontaneous calls should be avoided.

Social Alerts: "Shutdown as a Solution."

Notifications, primarily from social media platforms, can disrupt productivity. One way to counteract this is to separate personal and work smartphones and mute notifications on the work device.

Avoid these productivity traps at work

Constant interruptions: "Maintain concentration and focus."

Constant interruptions are another big productivity killer. If you're constantly interrupted while doing a task, you can't get into a productive work flow. That's why it's important to create an environment where you can focus on your tasks and work as undisturbed as possible. This can mean, for example, temporarily withdrawing to a separate room or scheduling fixed times for undisturbed work. Sometimes it also helps to limit communication via e-mail or messenger to certain times in order to maintain one's own focus. Clear agreements with colleagues and superiors can minimize such interruptions so that you can work more productively.

Perfectionism: "Finding the balance between quality and efficiency."

Perfectionism can also limit productivity if you spend too much time on details that have little impact in the big picture. It's important to find the balance between quality and efficiency and accept that you can't always do everything perfectly. It is often better to complete a task quickly and then revise it if necessary, rather than spending forever tweaking details. To find this balance, it can be helpful to set realistic goals and timelines and to seek regular feedback from colleagues or supervisors.

Lack of prioritization: "Get important tasks done first."

Another productivity killer is the lack of prioritization of tasks. If you don't clearly define which tasks are particularly important and which can be put on hold, it's easy to lose track and possibly work on unimportant things while urgent tasks get left behind. To avoid this, it is advisable to keep a to-do list and sort the tasks according to their importance and urgency. This way, you can ensure that you focus on the crucial tasks first and don't get lost in the flood of less important things.


The working world in general brings both benefits and challenges. To be productive and satisfied in the modern working world, some basic strategies and principles should be followed. Creating a suitable working environment, maintaining a fixed routine and cultivating social interaction are crucial factors to be successful in today's working world.

Furthermore, self-management and the ability to work in a concentrated and focused manner play a central role. By consciously dealing with distractions and breaks and prioritizing tasks, employees can increase their efficiency and maintain their quality of work. Taking into account personal needs such as sufficient sleep, nutrition and exercise also makes a significant contribution to performance and satisfaction.

Finally, it is important to always be aware of one's progress and to set goals in order to maintain motivation and commitment. The combination of all these aspects enables employees to make the most of the benefits of the modern world of work while maintaining a balanced life between work and leisure.

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