It takes real discipline to stay focus and remain productive in the office. I’m sure you will agree when I say there are just so many tempting distractions that are too difficult to resist. At times, it can be a struggle to keep up with the 8-hour solid work devotion.
The chatter over the new guy on the 20th floor; the murmur on who is next to be called into the CEO’s office; the drama of a resigning employee; the wandering thoughts on what to eat for lunch after the enticing aroma at the pantry; the endless Skype chat from a friend in New York. The incessant status updates on Facebook and Twitter. So much to do, so little time devoted to accomplish a chore.
And why at the end of the day, you wonder about loads of to-dos piling up on your list.
According to Gloria Mark, a leader in interruption science, the average knowledge workers switch tasks every three minutes, and, once distracted, workers take nearly a half-hour to resume the original task. (Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Distraction)
Just imagine how much time is wasted and how an easy assignment can lead to so many days (even weeks) to finish—not healthy to go on like this, really. It is equally unfair for you, as a professional, and for your employer to sustain such a mediocre-type of service. The fruitless practice has to end. But how?
Start with the real conviction to achieve an uninterrupted work schedule and consistently stick to it. What more, you can begin with simple steps to usher a change, such as:
- Be in control of your browser and close the websites not related to the research at hand. Even if this means goodbye to FB and Twitter for a few hours.
- Limit unnecessary conversations with office mates during the peak of your creativity. Perhaps wait until lunch break?
- Refuse personal, prolonged Instant Messenger chats. YM is a good avenue to keep up with friends but hey, not when you are preparing the documents for the client meeting!
- Assign specific time-window in taking private calls and sending SMS.
- Maximize your breaks and perform all the “me-time” on this given free slot.
- Organize your desk. A clean workspace freshens up the mind, helping you create quality output.
- List your attainable activities in the morning and make sure it is done within the day.
- Be on top of your schedules and do not be mesmerized by the enchanting tricks of doing other things than work. Remember, you have all your time later to browse the net, chat with friends, and do your own stuff.
- Learn to block office noise. If you are drafting a business proposal and the people on the next cubicle kept on chatting over something superficial (and you can’t help but eavesdrop), use an earphone and listen to soothing music OR go to an empty boardroom to finish your draft.
- Try not to delay the strong will to improve your manner at work.
At the end of each day, it is gratifying to go home knowing you did your best to accomplish your projects, and have allotted a fair amount of time to what is due while affirming that tomorrow is another productive day!