Whether you work on the 45th floor of a busy high rise in the middle of downtown or from the quiet of your own home, whether you find yourself in a new city every week or have your favorite chair staked out at your local co-working hotspot, the bottom line is the same: You must complete the job at hand.
But we live in a world full of distractions and no matter where you work, getting the job done can be a challenge. Sometimes it’s our phones distracting us with text messages this and social media that.
Sometimes it’s a chatty co-worker or the click-bait world of the internet that sucks you in when all you wanted to do was check your business’s bank statement and thirty minutes later find yourself reading about your favorite movie star’s divorce. Whatever the reason, we understand that staying productive can be a challenge so we’ve put together a few tips to help you stay focused and on task.
Turn off notifications:
Now, we understand that many of us have our work directly linked to our phones and that turning them off completely isn’t an option. However, silencing the notifications to your personal Twitter, Facebook etc. accounts--the ones that have nothing to do with work, as well as turning off the text message notifications (when possible) can help limit the amount of time you find yourself distracted by personal things.
Declutter your workspace:
Keep your physical desk clutter free and your files well organized. The less time you spend searching through piles of paperwork the less time you have to be distracted by items that don’t pertain to what you’re trying to accomplish. The same goes for your virtual desk: declutter your email inbox, spend some time organizing your messages into categories and by priority.
Track and limit the time spent on tasks:
This can be as simple as creating self-imposed deadlines for yourself to get certain tasks completed. Or if there are tasks that you carry out on a day to day basis, track the time you spend doing them and then take a few minutes to decide if there is a more efficient way you can get the same results.
Eliminate potential distractions:
If your office has a door, close it. If you are working remotely from say, a coffee shop or one of our awesome spots at The Docking Station, find a quiet corner, plug in some headphones and listen to some calming music or your favorite podcast to minimize the desire to check out what’s going on around you. If you work from home, schedule time for work and stick to it. Tell yourself you must complete such and such a task before you can hit the refrigerator for that snack.
A few other tips are to make sure you eat well to keep your energy up. Allow yourself time to take breaks throughout the day. If you are able, go for a walk at lunch to boost your energy, get fresh air and a change of scenery.
If you can’t get outside, simply take a few minutes every couple of hours to get up, walk around, refill your water bottle, stretch your legs.
And most of all, manage your way of thinking. Try to avoid getting overwhelmed with thoughts of “I have so much to do that I don’t even know where to start” or “I’m so stressed and overwhelmed I can’t think straight”. Break it down into small bite sized pieces and instead think, “I have a lot to do; so, let’s think about the best way to tackle this.”
In our distraction filled world it’s sometimes amazing we get anything done. But by taking things one step at a time and focusing on the pieces it’s a lot easier to put that whole puzzle together in the end.