Productivity Killers- Recognise and Abolish

Killers of productivity are often silent killers. So, how do you get them out of the way? First, identify, then eliminate!

A phoney amusement

Turn off notifications or your mobile internet. Keep your phone at a slight distance from you so that you have to make an effort to reach it. Of course, there are times when you need your phone to be easily accessible, but once you have completed the research and interviews, and you begin the writing process, you can safely eliminate this distraction for a while.

Prioritize to optimize

We can’t always take each task as it comes. If you do have more than one task at hand, prioritize. Work from the earliest deadline to the latest. If deadlines are similar, start with the story that requires most research and effort. Stories that are straightforward and have only one or two sources to cite, or those for which you have ready information that you just need to incorporate, all can be left for later.

Just task, don’t multitask

Multitasking is one of the most distracting endeavours out there. It often leads to subpar, scattered work, while convincing you that you have been very busy. While multitasking sometimes leads to larger quantities of work, it hugely compromises on quality. Instead, tackle each task individually, devoting all your focus to it, ensuring that it is top-notch, and then wholeheartedly move on to the next task.

Control freak? Delegate!

The “I’ll just do it” syndrome helps no one. Have faith in others and relinquish control of work that someone else could do just as well. This will leave you time and space to accomplish the task exclusive to you – achieving both tasks in tandem, with high quality to boot. This also ensures that others learn to take on these tasks, while you learn to work with a team and to trust different perspectives.

Lightning strikes, not inspiration

We all wait for inspiration to magically strike. But as they say – sometimes “later becomes never”. Don’t wait for inspiration or motivation to strike you. Just start the task – either through free-writing or creation of a mind map. Even ideation sessions with colleagues or extensive reading up on a topic can get the ball rolling.


Next time you have an exhausting day, ask yourself how productive you were. Once you answer this, you will know where you stand and can start eliminating productivity killers.