Posted on March 9, 2018 at 10:24 am.
Step inside any marketing department, in any business, and nine times out of ten the atmosphere is buzzing with excitement and creativity.
Whilst most of you, as marketers, probably love this about your job it’s no surprise that you could easily waste precious time on distractions that are actually hurting creativity.
In a 2016 survey conducted by Career Builder the results showed that there were nine main distraction culprits that affected an employee’s productivity. In the survey over 2,000 hiring and HR managers were interviewed, and, whilst there were some weird and wonderful reasons, below are the nine most common productivity killers:
These distractions accumulate to employees wasting on average 759 hours each year. That’s a lot of hours if you ask us! Just think, what could have been achieved in those wasted hours?
The weird and the wonderful
We bet you want to know what the weird and wonderful reasons were for employees not being productive? Okay, here you go:
The list goes on and on. Heck, we could just dedicate a whole blog to the most outrageous behaviours in the workplace… however, we have more to cover on this subject in this blog.
Joking aside, even though distractions only seem to last a few seconds, losing focus is a contributing factor to substantial decreases in productivity that can end up costing a company thousands of pounds.
Let’s look at the facts:
Scary stats hey?
How to combat the distractions
Now we know what the main culprits are for killed productivity let’s look into each one separately and see how they can be combated.
Culprit #1 – Mobile Phones
It’s no surprise that mobile phones are at the top of the list. Did you know that on average we touch our phones around 2,617 times every day? That’s a lot of times. You may think that each time you pick up your phone it’s only for a couple of minutes, but these minutes soon add up. To also throw into the mix, how many times have you been on a roll with a task but then get distracted by a notification? Once you have dealt with that notification it can be hard to find that flow again.
Culprit #2 – Internet
As marketers it’s almost impossible to avoid the Internet, as, especially if we are in the digital field, we need the Internet to carry out most of our jobs. However, did you know that we waste around two hours a day browsing the Internet on sites that we are not meant to be on. Come on, that article about the top ten cutest dogs in the world won’t help you to complete that marketing report for your client. Nor will the latest sports news on the BBC. There are apps out there that can help limit how much time you spend on non-essential sites including:
Culprit(s) #3 – Gossip/co-workers dropping by/noisy co-workers
We have grouped these together as they are very similar to each other. If the above culprits are common in your workplace why not take yourself away from the situation? If you need to complete a task with no distractions book a meeting room and close the door. This way co-workers will not be able to distract you.
If meeting rooms are booked up for day why not see if you can work off-site, find a coffee shop somewhere, or work from home.
Failing that, why not take your headphones to work? Find music that’s not distracting, music with no lyrics is normally the best, and get yourself lost in the task at hand. If co-workers drop by they will see that you have headphones on and that you are in the zone, and so hopefully will not try and get your attention.
Culprit #4 – Social Media
Again, like the Internet, social media is almost impossible to avoid, especially if it’s part of your job. Saying this, how many times have you ended up browsing on your own account when you should have been spending the last thirty minutes engaging for your client? Or you were meant to reply to a message on your own profile, but then got side tracked looking at the Very British Problems Twitter account. It’s funny, but not going to help complete your task!
It’s all about being vigilant with yourself. Make sure you are doing the task that you are meant to be doing. Try using an app such as Toggl to time yourself on completing tasks as this should make you think twice about wasting time clients have paid for.
When you are not doing social media for clients sign out of accounts and close the page. Mute personal notifications to your phone. If you are worried about not replying to customer messages on social media set up instant replies. This way the customer knows they are being dealt with, but it won’t stop your productivity.
Culprit #5 – Emails
The average employee receives around one hundred and twenty one emails a day; you don’t want to know the percentage of these that are sales or spam as it would be too upsetting. The temptation to answer and deal with each and every email that comes in often gets the best of us. Especially as many of us keep our emails open during a working day.
Have a go at some of our suggestions, or let us know of anything that we have missed off the list.
If you found this blog interesting you may also find eleven essential time management tips for marketers useful. Check it out!