In our high-tech world, the quantity of our communication is greater than ever before, but the quality of our messages is being lost.
The huge distractions caused by technology in our lives can cause a strain on productivity in the workplace.
The most common distractions that people can encounter include:
- Social media: the temptation to socialise online distracts people up to several times a day.
- Emails on smartphones: emails for or about work can reach you any time, anywhere. For example, during dinner, on the weekends, and even during staff meetings.
Whatever your personal distractions may be, implementing a few steps to help you focus will help you increase your personal productivity.
Tackle Difficult Tasks Head On
Knock out the most important task of the day first, if that means getting to work before everyone else to minimise distractions, then do so. Early, before the phone starts ringing, can be the most productive part of the day. Completing the most difficult task will boost you for the rest of the day. For those who are not morning people, work out your most productive time to concentrate on your highest priority task.
Large projects can be very overwhelming and can overshadow daily tasks. Take the largest project and separate it into individual mini-projects, then allocate different times of the day to work on these tasks. Achieving small wins will help you keep motivated and on track.
Prioritise Important Emails
Responsiveness is critical for all professionals. However, do not let the influx of emails distract you from getting your work done. Designate communication-free times in which you dedicate 60 to 90 minutes to real work. If you are a manager, it is also helpful to set the tone at the top by not expecting others to be available 24/7.
Write Everything Down
Any time an idea pops into your head, immediately write it down. We often have so much on our plates and many back-to-back meetings that cause us to forget critical thoughts and ideas we have throughout the day.
Encourage staff to do the same thing, if tasks and focus points are written down for staff to refer to, less things will slip through the cracks.
Take A Break
Whether it be reading, taking an exercise class, or leaving a little early one day a week, take time off to refuel and recharge. The most important part of this process is finding a system that works for you and sticking to it. And always remember to fully engage in whatever you are doing, whether it be a project, a client meeting, or even a vacation.