We all have interruptions and distractions in our day. You may have a co-worker calling for answers to a question. Your emails may be piling up by the minute. People are standing over you dropping items into your inbox. You may get pulled away from your desk while you are in the middle of completing an important task. These distractions and interruptions will not only allow you to lose focus but will decrease your productivity.
Here are 5 creative ways to stay focused and limit your distractions in the workplace:
Declutter and get organized. Visual clutter leads to mental clutter which will in turn cause you to lose focus and decrease your productivity.You should only have on top of your desk what you need on a daily basis. Remove the horizontal flat filing trays. They are a breeding ground for paper.
Have a system and a process for everything. Have a process to handle every piece of paper or information that arrives at your desk. Create working filing systems so that when you need to search for an item, you will be able to find it at a moment’s notice, with no time wasted. Remember, the simpler the system you create, the easier it will be to maintain.
Work on your time management skills. Organization and time management go hand in hand. You can’t work on your time management skills until you have decluttered and organized. Create blocks of time that you dedicate to projects you are working on. Prioritize your tasks. Take some time to think about how you are functioning in your day. What changes can you make to become more efficient and productive?
Create a working organized system for emails. Can you develop a system where you check emails only certain times of the day? The minute you pull yourself away from what you are doing to check an email, you’ll get distracted and lose focus on the task at hand. If you are working on an important project, stay away from the email for that time period.
Be mindful. Pay attention to when you start to get distracted. What is distracting you and how can you avoid that distraction from happening? Can you notify your co-workers to not disturb you during certain hours of the day? Concentrate on the task at hand and don’t allow yourself to get distracted and switch to a different project. If an idea pops into your head, write it down and then continue with the task at hand.
Take some time to think about how you are functioning on a daily basis. What are your biggest distractions? What causes you to easily lose focus? Once you can identify where your issues are, you’ll be functioning efficiently and productively and will be amazed at how much you can get done.
by Kristin MacRae
Organizing in RI