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Top 4 Time Wasters Hindering Your Productivity

Posted on June 08, 2016 by Phyllis Gillman

Phyllis' productivity tips

It's inevitable. You can’t be on top of your work 24/7.

As customer service representatives, we feed off of the energy of others and find true value in connecting with people. It’s an important part of our jobs, and frankly, it’s what makes us great at what we do.

But while connecting is imperative to our roles as CSR’s, there are some aspects of our jobs that may be preventing us from reaching our full productivity potential.

Check out the top time wasters my colleagues and I have uncovered. By understanding what activities have the potential to derail you, you can tackle those distractions head on and make the most of your day.

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1. Socializing (This Includes Social Media)

Did I lose you yet? I know, I know. Not many of us want to hear this one or face it. Social media can be a great way to connect and decompress. But it can also be a big time waster. Before you know it, you’ve lost your steam and 30 minutes of your day to chatting with friends or reading mindless articles.

The Solution:

Depending on your workplace rules, set breaks for socializing and social media use. Instead of multi-tasking and trying to juggle your work AND conversations, set aside time to really connect with the people you love and your colleagues. Just like your job, your friends, loved ones, and co-workers deserve your full attention.

2. Unnecessary Meetings

Getting on the same page as your co-workers, highlighting lessons learned, and sharing information is important to the success of your agency and your team of customer service representatives. Despite the value of meetings, they can also take time away from other activities and cause teammates to lose steam and struggle to get back on track.

The Solution:

When scheduling meetings, establish clear objectives and provide an agenda to attendees. When attending meetings, don’t be afraid to ask for an agenda and do your homework ahead of time (regarding the proposed agenda) so that you can ask thoughtful questions that add to the conversation and make full use of the meetings you’re involved in.

3. Over Multitasking

We’ve discussed the importance of multitasking in previous issues of Candid Customer Service, but while multitasking is often a matter of job survival, practicing smart methods is important to doing your job well and staying focused. When you’re constantly trying to pick up where you left off, you may waste precious minutes that add up by the end of the day.

The Solution:

Check your multitasking efforts. Are you switching between different tasks, multiple times a day with little or no results? If the answer is yes, take a couple days and practice focusing on specific, high value tasks and finishing them, before moving on to the next task.

Bonus: Here's an example of a time management log I've used in the past to check my productivity (you can click to expand the full sheet).

Phyllis' time management log

4. Not Taking Care of Yourself

Don't think your personal well being affects your productivity? Think again. This is a big one, folks. Are you taking care of yourself? Self-care is extremely important to ensuring that you’re able to function at 100% during even the most stressful days. By taking care of yourself during your off hours, you’ll be better prepared to tackle difficult situations with patience and a positive attitude. 

The Solution:

When you leave work, leave work at the office. Go home and decompress. Spend time taking care of your health and wellness as well as your loved ones. YOU are important!

Hope these tips help! Would love to hear some of your ways you boost your productivity in the comments below!

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As a 27-year customer service veteran in the insurance industry, Phyllis Gillman has spent more than her fair share of time helping clients and customers. In her long stint in the industry, she’s answered over 702,000 phone calls.


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