“Between 25-50% of people report feeling overwhelmed or burned out at work.”
Tony Schwartz, president and CEO of the Energy Project and author of Be Excellent at Anything, reveals in a 2012 Harvard Business Review article why multi-tasking kills productivity and ways to reduce work fatigue. Hint: Stop staring at your phone so much.
Here are 5 policies Schwartz suggest promoting in the office to fuel higher productivity:
1.Hold better meetings
Maintain meeting discipline by ensuring all meetings start and end at a precise time. Stay on tasks and keep a solid agenda with actionable next-steps. Schwartz recommend keeping meetings under one hour. Scheduling 45 minutes keep participants engaged and able tor reflect on what’s been discussed.
2.Stop expecting everything to be on-demand
Expecting instant responsiveness from employees forces your team into reactive mode, breaking their concentration and distracting them from finishing open tasks.
Take a walk, grab a nice latte from your local barista, or catch up on some leisurely readings. Intermittent breaks helps renew focus and reduce mental fatigue. Managers should consider organizing group workouts, mid-afternoon yoga classes, or creating a work-free zone where employees can relax or take a nap.
Keep morning meetings to a minimum and dedicate the first 90 minutes of your work day to catch up on important tasks, sans interruption. Take the first hour of your mornings to schedule routine times for open-ended thinking.
5.Use those vacations days
Breaking news: humans aren’t computers. Take time-off to completely disconnect from work, and encourage your team to do the same. Research shows regular vacations keep employees healthier and more productive.
Remember, multi-tasking is a modern efficiency myth. Your work depends on quality and execution, not on your ability to juggle many things at once. It is far more important to be engaged at work, maintain focus and manage your energy efficiently.