In my experience working with teams in various companies, I’ve noticed some common habits that hurt team productivity, even though people have good intentions. Here are three pitfalls and how to avoid them:
The Never-Ending Scavenger Hunt
Studies show employees spend nearly 30% of time searching for information needed to do their jobs. This happens when team members store info in whatever way is quickest for them individually – scattered across emails, DMs, docs. Soon no one can find what they need, creating an endless “scavenger hunt”.
The fix? Align on where specific info should live, then take the extra seconds to store it there consistently. This ensures everyone knows where to find what they need later. A huge time-saver long-term, even if slightly less efficient short-term.
On average, a third of employee time is spent on email, much of it unnecessary. But every email you send comes back to you in some form later. Limiting emails boosts team productivity.
- Only reply and CC people who truly need it
- Use Slack/Teams instead of email to communicate with colleagues
- Discuss topics in meetings rather than email back-and-forth
Failing to Document Processes
When you know a process well, documenting it seems like wasted time. But process docs improve consistency, enable improvement, and ensure work continuity if someone leaves.
Quick tip: Next time you complete a process, record your screen to capture steps. Even that basic video can help someone take over the process if needed. Tools like Process Street also streamline thorough documentation.
“Productivity is never an accident. It is always the result of a commitment to excellence, intelligent planning, and focused execution.”By Paul J. Meyer
Avoiding these common pitfalls prevents teams from inadvertently sabotaging their own productivity. Take the time to align on systems, limit excessive email, and document processes. Making these small shifts pays off in time savings and smoother operations long-term!