3 Major Productivity Killers And How To Beat Them

Sleeping on the job is a definite no-no, unless you’re a mattress tester. We name other things that make you less productive at work and help you find a way to overcome them.


Have you ever wondered why eight hours never seems to be enough time to accomplish all your tasks in a day? Maybe it’s because you keep on browsing and refreshing your newsfeed, for one.

But just this once, you’re excused from clicking on a random link on your feed and speed-reading, because this productivity killer of an article will teach you more about top productivity killers—and how to win against them. 

1. A noisy environment.

It’s not just you: A classic study by the British Journal of Psychology says professionals are highly distracted when they hear conversations around them. Similarly, a UK-based Sound Agency case study found that a sound-masking technology in an office increased workers’ ability to concentrate by 46 percent, and their short-term memory accuracy by 10 percent.

Now noise does not only entail construction and repair noises around your building, it can also include loud ringtones, keyboard typing, and music; and coworkers gossiping or fan-girling over Alden Richards.
The fix: Raise your concern with non-gossipy HR personnel. Or if you’re the non-confrontational type, just plug in your earphones and play nature sounds (a productivity booster according to the Acoustical Society of America) or songs you neither like nor dislike (A Fu Jen Catholic University study in Taiwan says you concentrate more when you hear songs you don’t really care about in the background).

See related topic: (8 Traits Of An Ideal Employee)

2. Your daily commute.

Long jeepney and shuttle service queues, heavy traffic jams, and the occasional brushing of your skin against sweaty commuters are guaranteed mood killers. Add to that long and agitating hours of travel and the time you spend “catching your breath” once you get to the office, and your productivity is automatically slashed by a margin every single day of your working life.

The fix: Catch shuttle rides that leave before 6 a.m. and use the travel time to get some added rest. If you’re on flexi time, adjust your working schedule to avoid the big crowds—by 11 a.m. (in) and 9 p.m. (out), cars and commuters in the business districts should have thinned.

See related topic: (INFOGRAPHIC: Good Boss Vs. Bad Boss)

3. Internet and social media.

As of 2014, there are about 861 million registered domains in the worldwide web—you can’t really browse all of them in your lifetime, can you? Though you can keep scrolling down your Facebook newsfeed all day and it will never stop loading. And YouTube videos—we spend an average of 40 minutes on them per session, according to studies. The danger with the internet is it can get too entertaining—and you only realize this when you have only about three minutes left to finish that report marked as “urgent.”

The fix: Have a social media “log out” schedule in a day, especially during important deadline days at work. Install a data usage reminder app on and set it to an impossibly low daily allowance, just to give yourself a nudge when you’re browsing longer than usual. If you still can’t help it, get a pre-smartphone “cellular phone” you can use on weekdays (a Nokia 3310 is highly recommended by experts). Just please keep that “I Love Your Smile” custom ringtone down low. –Diana Lyn Balbalosa