It happens, even to the best of us.
Do you often feel like you don’t have enough time or unable to use your time wisely enough to get tasks out of the way?
Do you compare your productivity to your colleagues and wonder how they can complete the same amount of work on time while you’re still braving through yours?
Frequent distractions are annoying and they can affect your mood swings. This is because the distractions cause a delay in your productivity, which prevents you from meeting deadlines and increases your stress levels at work. Though there’s no surefire way to eliminate distractions completely, below are five ways you can regain your focus at work and have an uninterrupted workflow:
Control Your Breaks
This includes activities like checking your phone, replying to low-prioritised emails, chatting with your colleagues, and browsing through Google and social media. Put your phone away so you don’t have the urge to keep checking it and try to set a specific schedule to check and reply work emails, or mark them according to the urgency so that you can focus on what really matters. Excuse yourself from talking to your colleagues for too long; keep the socialising part of work for lunch breaks or before and after office hours. Don’t get lost in the endless opening tabs on your browser, make sure they are only work-related topics and keep social media for your rest time. Don’t even get started on smoking or vaping breaks. It’s a bad habit you’re supposed to break in the first place. Furthermore, doing so may affect your professionalism negatively when you misuse your flexibility to take frequent inessential breaks.
Follow the 50/10 Rule
One of the easiest ways to get things done is to break down your working time. Use up one hour skillfully. Throughout the day, set aside 50 minutes to establish full concentration and complete all of the pending tasks. The remaining 10 minutes can be used to rest your mind and shift your focus to something ‘lighter’ like browsing through daily news or grabbing a cuppa coffee. Do this habitually to notice a vast difference in productivity.
Wear Your Headphones
If noise that’s not initiated by you or dead silence irks you, put on your jam and wear those headphones! Personally, it works for me. This is because I feel like I am in my zone and in control of my time. Invest in a pair of noise-cancelling headphones so you’ll be able to divert your attention strictly to your working screen whilst hearing your favourite tunes. A good tip is to also not to pick songs that are too ‘loud’ or ‘heavy’ though. This is so that your mind doesn’t wander off too far when you’re feeling the music and lyrics! In fact, background noise has been proven to be a wonderful productivity booster and even creativity to some people. Head to Coffitivity to experience it yourself!
Include Off-Hours to Get a Head Start
If you are one of those who is unfortunate to sit near a loud colleague who isn’t considerate when he or she talks or feel like you easily get distracted when your work buddies are around, give yourself a good head start. It can be coming in early in the day or choose certain days in the week to stay back after hours to complete your tasks.
Follow Your To-Do List
A to-do list is created for a reason and you need to follow it. Segregate your tasks and put them into categories to ease your working process. You can label them as Urgent, Work In Progress and Follow-Ups. Your main priority is to work on the Urgent folder daily and progressively complete the Work In Progress folder whilst keeping tabs of the Follow-Ups to keep your workflow updates. It’s common to feel overwhelmed and you would want to do everything all at once or drop everything and get stressed, but this can be avoided if you organise your workload properly.
In conclusion, distractions are inevitable and it’s your responsibility to figure out the best ways to manage your productivity. Learn to say no to unimportant things that may get in your personal work, especially if it doesn’t benefit you professionally. Work on mentally focusing your brain to give in your all during working hours so you don’t have to deal with work complications, stress, or disappointments at work.
How do you manage and eliminate distractions at work? Share with us in the comment box below!