Productivity Arata! You know those people who stop whatever they are doing every ten minutes for a “quick check” of the mobile phone, Whatsapp, Facebook, or email? Imagine that they do that only during the eight hours of the working day, Monday through Friday. This means that they are “checking something quickly” 960 times per month, or 11,520 times in a year! And we’re just talking about business hours. We know it’s more than that, because they also tend to check something quickly at night and on weekends.
Imagine that every time they check something it takes twenty seconds, just to take a quick look and see if something new has arrived. In fact this quick check takes more than that, because when we return to our previous activity, we have to remember where we were and what we were doing. But being conservative, using twenty seconds every quick look and multiplying by it 11,520 times, that means losing 64 hours within the one year period—just “checking something quickly”!
Now think: what you could do with 64 more hours per year, especially if you focused during that time?
We have to be careful with this tendency to check something quickly, whatever it may be.
This behaviour suggests that there may be something a little more interesting or little more important than what we are doing at present. This practice of checking something quickly is creating the habit of not focusing on anything.
And now we have a message for those of you who own a company or manage staff: a recent study in England found that the constant stress and lack of physical activity are causing companies to lose up to 27 working days per employee.
27 days of lost work is the worst situation of all, in the most stressful and hostile environment. Now, the shocking news is that even in sectors that are considered less aggressive, such as the technology industry, each employee loses 18 days of work per year because of inadequate exercise and high stress.
Even if investing in wellness programs seems expensive, the cost of maintaining a stressful work environment will be higher. Employees will more often miss work or work at a reduced capacity.
At the end of the day, it is all about the bottom line: a company that invests in wellness initiatives will improve the working environment and raise the quality of life for its employees, and the result? Higher productivity. This company’s bottom line is likely to outshine that of the firm with constantly stressed staff. Maybe it’s a good idea to share this video with your boss?
This was the episode 15 of the series Productivity Arata! We have seen how you may be wasting at least 64 hours of your year just “checking something quickly”. And on the other hand, companies with stressful work environments are being irrational: investing more in the quality of life of their employees could boost profits in the end, because the employees would be more productive.
Remember that high quality work needs involvement, immersion, focus. The problem is that we are living increasingly in a state of partial attention. We are always here and at the same time also elsewhere. This divided focus prevents us from devoting all our mental capacity and full ability to the work we are doing. We get stuck in mediocrity.
That is why it’s important to define the priorities for specific blocks of time. Try to identify when and where you tend to check something quickly. Do you find it difficult to find focus because you are always thinking of other things you want to do? What causes you to lose your focus? Is it Whatsapp? Facebook? Twitter? Email? Call or SMS?
If you are a manager and would like to buy a package of courses for your employees, please contact us using this link. If you have a large group of employees who are interested in doing a course with us, such as the introductory course FOCUS or the advanced Productivity Ninja course, we can offer a discount. This investment will bring great return for your company and satisfaction for your employees, who will find more efficient ways of working and can thus have better quality of life. Visit our official contact form, so that our staff can answer. Please do not leave questions and requests for support in the YouTube comments or on social media—to get a response from us, just use the official channel.