At one time or another, everyone in business has been frustrated with work not being completed on a timely basis.  Trust me…as a president of a B2B marketing agency for over 22 years, I’ve experienced these types of frustrations firsthand. Over time, I’ve concluded that the problems associated with not getting work done can be boiled down to 5 behavioral patterns.

  1. Lack of focus. We are only human, which means can often be distracted. Add in smartphones, texting, instant messaging, emails, fast internet browsers, etc., and it’s easy to understand how we so readily lose our focus.
  2. Poor communication among participants. Oftentimes, when more than one person is engaged in the execution of a project, performance can suffer and time wasted. In most cases, it’s because participants do not communicate effectively. When initiating a discussion, team members tend to “wait for a response” before acting, which ultimately bogs down the process. This is especially true when participants write emails and send texts, instead of using quick, simple, person-to-person discussions.
  3. No one is really in charge, so no one is accountable. Responsibility for projects is often not clearly communicated, which allows deadlines to slip and work to be left undone. Ensuring someone is responsible for specific tasks is important to prevent projects from slowing to a crawl.
  4. Lack of discipline. The fact is that people will naturally do what is fun or easy while avoiding tasks that are difficult or complicated. This behavioral pattern can have a very negative impact on getting important work done.
  5. No sense of urgency. When there’s no one really pushing for the completion of a task, processes tend to slow down or stall out altogether. A sense of urgency for getting things done is critical for ensuring that projects don’t get stuck in neutral.

Each of these 5 behaviors is the result of counterproductive habits, which were formed over time until they became part of our everyday work routines.  While altering one’s behavior can be difficult, you do have the power to change if you will become more aware of these habits.  Because by being aware of what you are doing wrong, you can make the necessary adjustments.  And clearly, even an incremental improvement in these behaviors can make a significant difference in your organization’s and your own personal productivity and efficiency.