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Don’t Let Social Media Control Your Body and Mind. It’s Killing Your Productivity.

Don’t Let Social Media Control Your Body and Mind. It’s Killing Your Productivity.

Nowadays, social media comes in a package with the internet connection. Whether you want it or not, everyone and everything is on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest and many other similar sites. To feel part of your extended group of friends and to be able to tap into the life of the community, one needs to be a well-versed social media user.

We Scroll Endlessly – Social Media Has Stolen Our Time

Populated by cat videos, opinionated rants and unrequested and extremely detailed life stories, social media is by design a distraction. As such, it can be deeply damaging for your productivity – be it in school, at work or even within the family.

Reading, watching, liking, commenting and endlessly scrolling through entire albums of pictures takes valuable time out of your day. Minutes turn into hours and the same hours pass well into the night, taking out of your much-needed rest period. Moreover, as surfing social media causes you to take on an unusually heavy emotional burden, it also exhausts you psychologically. Soon enough your overall productivity level will plummet and your sense of accomplishment will be lost.

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Declutter Your Social Media Life to Enjoy Newfound Calm and Energy

The negative effects of social media are particularly obvious when you finally manage to break away from its grip[1] . An immediate improvement in the relationships with those around you will follow, not to mention a newfound calm and energy. You will discover that the day is longer that you used to know and that the outside world can be an even better source of fun and inspiration than your screen.

Giving up entirely on the benefits of the internet may be too extreme and even damaging to an individual at this point. Total separation and a reclusion into solitude is definitely not the answer. Balance can therefore be achieved once you have managed to successfully declutter your social media life by following a few steps.

Do These to Start Decluttering.

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Music Makes You Forget the Social Media

As a rule, it is advisable to stay clear of social media platforms during your work schedule. Instead, tuning into a playlist made especially for enhancing productivity can render higher levels of concentration and calm. There are several high quality online music platforms[2] that cater to that exact need, improving work environments all over the world.

Free Your Mind by Unfollowing the Irrelevant Content

Even during your free time, the need to declutter your social media life remains just as important. One of the first things to do is to familiarize yourself with the “unfollow” button. Go through the Friends and the Liked lists, unfollowing sources of content that are no longer relevant to you. If you can identify the cat video or motivational poster people, all the better. Your mental space is far too important to be occupied with irrelevant things.

Unfollowing may seem harsh to do to some people that are essentially well-intended, but the reality is that your own state of mind must come first. Ignorance of other people’s problems, life events, favorite movies or dinner plates might come as an actual bliss.

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Categorize to Organize

Even social media platforms themselves have realized the need to better organize the aforementioned lists and many others. As such, they have developed or allowed apps and plugins that can help you put your social media account in order.[3]

Twitter and Facebook, for example, allow the option of creating lists of people according to the type of relationship. Coworkers, close friends, family or acquaintances are thus separated on the scale of visibility, saving you the hassle of individually unfollowing every person. You should also leave or change the settings for any group that is no longer relevant to you. These can quickly overtake your newsfeed and keep you from seeing anything else. Even you download at playstore you get some instructions about the apps.[4]

You Manipulate Your Phone, Not the Other Way Round

Smartphones have made possible internet access without interruption. As a result, every minute that has to be spent waiting consists of scrolling through the same feeds. Turning off your phone notifications can be a great help in controlling yourself when it comes to mobile access to social media. It is also important to compare website builders[5] in order to make the right choice. The philosophy behind this is that you alone should dictate when to go online, not an automated alert.

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The same smartphones have been the cause of the flooding of social media with pictures. A good way to handle this is to organize your own photos[6] into albums as soon as you upload them. This way, you will never lose track of your memories.

Prohibit Useless Content From Filling Your Head by Revoking and Unsubscribing

Thankfully, social media-based games are not as popular as they used to be, sparing a multitude of people from rolling their eyes upon receiving a request from one. Revoking permissions for the apps and games you no longer use gets rid of a lot of useless content that fills your feed. Unsubscribing from newsletters and their endless promotional mails and offers can also further declutter your online life.

The reality is that we cannot fully separate real from online life anymore. In the modern world, they have become one, fused together through links that are at the core of who we are, who we know, what we like and what we do. Navigating a new environment can prove to be nerve-wrecking and exhausting for most of us. However, if organized and utilized with care, social media can be what it was always meant to be – something that brings people together.

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Saminu Abass

Content Writer and Blogger

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Last Updated on January 6, 2021

14 Ideas on How to Measure Productivity to Make Progress

14 Ideas on How to Measure Productivity to Make Progress

Everyone has heard the term productivity, and people talk about it in terms of how high it is and how to improve it. But fewer know how to measure productivity, or even what exactly we are talking about when using the term “productivity.”

In its simplest form, the productivity formula looks like this: Output ÷ Input = Productivity.

For example, you have two salespeople each making 10 calls to customers per week. The first one averages 2 sales per week and the second one averages 3 sales per week. By plugging in the numbers we get the following productivity levels for each sales person.

For salesperson one, the output is 2 sales and the input is 10 sales: 2 ÷ 10 = .2 or 20% productivity. For salesperson two, the output is 3 sales and the input is 10 sales: 3 ÷ 10 = .3 or 30% productivity.

Knowing how to measure and interpret productivity is an invaluable asset for any manager or business owner in today’s world. As an example, in the above scenario, salesperson #1 is clearly not doing as well as salesperson #2.

Knowing this information we can now better determine what course of action to take with salesperson #1.

Some possible outcomes might be to require more in-house training for that salesperson, or to have them accompany the more productive salesperson to learn a better technique. It might be that salesperson #1 just isn’t suited for sales and would do a better job in a different position.

How to Measure Productivity With Management Techniques

Knowing how to measure productivity allows you to fine tune your business by minimizing costs and maximizing profits:

1. Identify Long and Short-Term Goals

Having a good understanding of what you (or your company’s) goals are is key to measuring productivity.

For example, if your company’s goal is to maximize market share, you’ll want to measure your team’s productivity by their ability to acquire new customers, not necessarily on actual sales made.

2. Break Down Goals Into Smaller Weekly Objectives

Your long-term goal might be to get 1,000 new customers in a year. That’s going to be 20 new customers per week. If you have 5 people on your team, then each one needs to bring in 4 new customers per week.

Now that you’ve broken it down, you can track each person’s productivity week-by-week just by plugging in the numbers:

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Productivity = number of new customers ÷ number of sales calls made

3. Create a System

Have you ever noticed that whenever you walk into a McDonald’s, the French fry machine is always to your left? 

This is because McDonald’s created a system. They have determined that the most efficient way to set up a kitchen is to always have the French fry machine on the left when you walk in.

You can do the same thing and just adapt it to your business.

Let’s say that you know that your most productive salespeople are making the most sales between the hours of 3 and 7 pm. If the other salespeople are working from 9 am to 4 pm, you can potentially increase productivity through something as simple as adjusting the workday.

Knowing how to measure productivity allows you to set up, monitor, and fine tune systems to maximize output.

4. Evaluate, Evaluate, Evaluate!

We’ve already touched on using these productivity numbers to evaluate and monitor your employees, but don’t forget to evaluate yourself using these same measurements.

If you have set up a system to track and measure employees’ performance, but you’re still not meeting goals, it may be time to look at your management style. After all, your management is a big part of the input side of our equation.

Are you more of a carrot or a stick type of manager? Maybe you can try being more of the opposite type to see if that changes productivity. Are you managing your employees as a group? Perhaps taking a more one-on-one approach would be a better way to utilize each individual’s strengths and weaknesses.

Just remember that you and your management style contribute directly to your employees’ productivity.

5. Use a Ratings Scale

Having clear and concise objectives for individual employees is a crucial part of any attempt to increase workplace productivity. Once you have set the goals or objectives, it’s important that your employees are given regular feedback regarding their progress.

Using a ratings scale is a good way to provide a standardized visual representation of progress. Using a scale of 1-5 or 1-10 is a good way to give clear and concise feedback on an individual basis.

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It’s also a good way to track long-term progress and growth in areas that need improvement.

6. Hire “Mystery Shoppers”

This is especially helpful in retail operations where customer service is critical. A mystery shopper can give feedback based on what a typical customer is likely to experience.

You can hire your own shopper, or there are firms that will provide them for you. No matter which route you choose, it’s important that the mystery shoppers have a standardized checklist for their evaluation.

You can request evaluations for your employees friendliness, how long it took to greet the shopper, employees’ knowledge of the products or services, and just about anything else that’s important to a retail operation.

7. Offer Feedback Forms

Using a feedback form is a great way to get direct input from existing customers. There are just a couple of things to keep in mind when using feedback forms.

First, keep the form short, 2-3 questions max with a space for any additional comments. Asking people to fill out a long form with lots of questions will significantly reduce the amount of information you receive.

Secondly, be aware that customers are much more likely to submit feedback forms when they are unhappy or have a complaint than when they are satisfied.

You can offset this tendency by asking everyone to take the survey at the end of their interaction. This will increase compliance and give you a broader range of customer experiences, which will help as you’re learning how to measure productivity.

8. Track Cost Effectiveness

This is a great metric to have, especially if your employees have some discretion over their budgets. You can track how much each person spends and how they spend it against their productivity.

Again, this one is easy to plug into the equation: Productivity = amount of money brought in ÷ amount of money spent.

Having this information is very useful in forecasting expenses and estimating budgets.

9. Use Self-Evaluations

Asking your staff to do self evaluations can be a win-win for everyone. Studies have shown that when employees feel that they are involved and their input is taken seriously, morale improves. And as we all know, high employee morale translates into higher productivity.

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Using self-evaluations is also a good way to make sure that the employees and employers goals are in alignment.

10. Monitor Time Management

This is the number one killer of productivity in the workplace. Time spent browsing the internet, playing games, checking email, and making personal calls all contribute to lower productivity[1].

Time Management Tips to Improve Productivity

    The trick is to limit these activities without becoming overbearing and affecting morale. Studies have shown that most people will adhere to rules that they feel are fair and applied to everyone equally.

    While ideally, we may think that none of these activities should be done on company time, employees will almost certainly have a different opinion. From a productivity standpoint, it is best to have policies and rules that are seen as fair to both sides as you’re learning how to measure productivity.

    11. Analyze New Customer Acquisition

    We’ve all heard the phrase that “It’s more expensive to get a new customer than it is to keep an existing one.” And while that is very true, in order for your business to keep growing, you will need to continually add new customers.

    Knowing how to measure productivity via new customer acquisition will make sure that your marketing dollars are being spent in the most efficient way possible. This is another metric that’s easy to plug into the formula: Productivity = number of new customers ÷ amount of money spent to acquire those customers.

    For example, if you run any kind of advertising campaign, you can compare results and base your future spending accordingly.

    Let’s say that your total advertising budget is $3,000. You put $2,000 into television ads, $700 into radio ads, and $300 into print ads. When you track the results, you find that your television ad produced 50 new customers, your radio ad produced 15 new customers, and your print ad produced 9 new customers.

    Let’s plug those numbers into our equation. Television produced 50 new customers at a cost of $2,000 (50 ÷ 2000 = .025, or a productivity rate of 2.5%). The radio ads produced 15 new customers and cost $700 (15 ÷ 700 = .022, or a 2.2% productivity rate). Print ads brought in 9 new customers and cost $300 (9 ÷ 300 = .03, or a 3% return on productivity).

    From this analysis, it is clear that you would be getting the biggest bang for your advertising dollar using print ads.

    12. Utilize Peer Feedback

    This is especially useful when people who work in teams or groups. While self-assessments can be very useful, the average person is notoriously bad at assessing their own abilities.

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    Just ask a room full of people how many consider themselves to be an above average driver and you’ll see 70% of the hands go up[2]! Now we clearly know that in reality about 25% of drivers are below average, 25% are above average, and 50% are average.

    Are all these people lying? No, they just don’t have an accurate assessment of their own abilities.

    It’s the same in the workplace. Using peer feedback will often provide a more accurate assessment of a person’s ability than a self-assessment would.

    13. Encourage Innovation and Don’t Penalize Failure

    When it comes to productivity, encouraging employee input and adopting their ideas can be a great way to boost productivity. Just make sure that any changes you adopt translate into higher productivity.

    Let’s say that someone comes to you requesting an entertainment budget so that they can take potential customers golfing or out to dinner. By utilizing simple productivity metrics, you can easily produce a cost benefit analysis and either expand the program to the rest of the sales team, or terminate it completely.

    Either way, you have gained valuable knowledge and boosted morale by including employees in the decision-making process.

    14. Use an External Evaluator

    Using an external evaluator is the pinnacle of objective evaluations. Firms that provide professional evaluations use highly trained personnel that even specialize in specific industries.

    They will design a complete analysis of your business’ productivity level. In their final report, they will offer suggestions and recommendations on how to improve productivity.

    While the benefits of a professional evaluation are many, their costs make them prohibitive for most businesses.

    Final Thoughts

    These are just a few of the things you can do when learning how to measure productivity. Some may work for your particular situation, and some may not.

    The most important thing to remember when deciding how to track productivity is to choose a method consistent with your goals. Once you’ve decided on that, it’s just a matter of continuously monitoring your progress, making minor adjustments, and analyzing the results of those adjustments.

    The business world is changing fast, and having the right tools to track and monitor your productivity can give you the edge over your competition.

    More Productivity Tips

    Featured photo credit: William Iven via unsplash.com

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