As a nation, we are obsessed with productivity — particularly in the workplace. We set departmentwide metrics that measure things like percentage to goal, and we schedule monthly check-ins with managers to assess our performance over time.
And when our productivity falters, we turn to the internet, falling on articles like “Practicing Mindfulness for Productivity” in the hopes of learning some new trick that will put time back in our busy day.
But perhaps we’re ignoring the real problem here. Instead of focusing on the solution, we need to better understand the cause. So in the spirit of understanding what makes people unproductive, QuickBooks Time sought the answers to these questions: What are the triggers of unproductive behavior at work, and whose job is it to reverse unproductivity?
We surveyed 500 employees from around the U.S., asking how factors like sleep, work environment, and more might affect their ability to get the job done.* Realizing we weren’t looking for productivity — rather, the inverse — we knew we needed a word to describe our endeavor. Thus, unproductivity. (Whether or not it’s really a word is beside the point, and googling the answer isn’t really a productive use of your time, now, is it?)
And if you’re still looking for a helpful top-10 article with tips for achieving the ultimate productive day, we have good news: In exploring the disease, we’ve unlocked at least a few possible cures. If you’re looking for the antidote to unproductivity, you’ve come to the right place.