Laws of idleness
2.55pm is the least productive time of the day and Friday is the least productive day of the week. And if we’re looking at the year overall, you shouldn’t expect work from anyone when the World Cup, Olympics, March Madness or Christmas shopping are in full swing.
If you manage a team, it can be frustrating to watch these productivity slumps drag on. So, what can you do to turn it around?
Fight fire with fire
Just because studies show we hit universal brick walls in our work week doesn’t mean we have to accept it. It’s time to take a stand with a little strategy to defy the study.
Arielly Assertion. In behavioural scientist Dan Arielly’s ‘Ask me anything,’ he notes the first two hours of the day are the most productive. Take advantage of those hours to do your hardest work so it’s done when the productivity slumps hit.
Parkinson’s Law. ‘The time allowed for work is the time work will take.’ Don’t schedule two hours when one will do. Tasks stretch to fill the time you give them.
Pomodoro Principle. The Pomodoro technique involves bursts of work with scheduled breaks. Skipping breaks invites a slump as you get gradually more disheartened. Encourage your team to step away for scheduled times whether it’s Pomodoro or otherwise.
Slump Statutes. Encourage personal strategies on your team like going for a walk or taking a coffee break to get through the slumps.
The point is: slumps happen and the only way you’re going to get the team back on track after a slump is to identify downtimes and find your strategy to get back up to peak speed. What will stop the slow times from spreading to your team’s productivity slumps?
(Hat tip to Morguefile for the photo)