Are you having trouble staying focused at work? Desperately need to boost your productivity?
Don’t worry, you’re not the only one who feels this way.
Currently, the majority of employees are struggling with a burnout in some form or another.
While many of us have recently had the opportunity to work from home or remotely, there are still a plethora of well-documented distractions to fight with.
Listen up: it’s natural to lose track of time. Constant interruptions, on the other hand, are stressful and deplete your productivity.
Contrary to common opinion, focusing more on work does not imply relying on odd “life hacks.”
If you’re having trouble staying focused at work, start by developing a system for completing tasks and communicating with your co-workers in a distraction-free manner. This tutorial will walk you through the steps necessary to make it happen.
1. Keep a record of your to-do list and deadlines (and encourage your team to do the same)
You might be astonished at how much more you can do simply by keeping to a routine. This is particularly true if you don’t consider yourself a “calendar person.”
If you approach your workweek as a free-for-all, you’ll find yourself working nonstop. Setting deadlines and milestones, on the other hand, provides you with a big-picture view of what you need to do and how to better spend your time.
You should examine the value of sharing a public calendar with the rest of your team in addition to a personalised traditional to-do list. Employee schedules will be coordinated and in harmony as a result of this.
Project management solutions (such as RisePath PlanCentral!) and kanban boards come in handy in this situation. Users have a bird’s eye view of who’s working on what, as well as a calendar and a place to track the progress of any given project.
This establishes a much-needed sense of accountability and transparency in order to complete projects on schedule. When you know that your team is counting on you to get something done, you’re far more inclined to concentrate (and vice-versa).
At the very least, such boards can enable distant workers who don’t meet each other face to face to develop a sense of teamwork.
2. Determine the importance and urgency of your job.
What should you be working on right now?
You should be able to answer this question without having to think too hard.
However, let’s face it: you’re probably juggling a lot of activities on a daily basis. Prioritizing your duties is essential for preserving your concentration and reigning in the chaos while you’re going from email to email and project to project.
It’s an activity in and of itself to figure out what your high-priority tasks are. An Eisenhower matrix is a simple framework for determining what can wait and what must be completed immediately.
The idea is simple: prioritise your chores depending on their significance and urgency. In this situation, “importance” refers to a task’s business significance, whereas “urgency” refers to its timeliness.
Is a task, for example, going to result in direct revenue (gained or lost)? Is a task interfering with other people’s plans? There’s a clear distinction between scheduling time to prepare a company-wide presentation and, say, selecting workplace snacks.
You’re not going to get out the old Eisenhower matrix every time you look at your calendar. Prioritization practice over time, on the other hand, can make it a lot easier to manage your schedule and recognise critical and urgent chores at a glance. As a result, you’ll be able to determine which jobs require quick attention.
Project management solutions like RisePath PlanCentral, which build on our previous point, can help you organise and prioritise your to-do list by giving priority tags to any activity.
3. Cut out pointless meetings and set ground rules for team check-ins.
There are no surprises here. It’s preferable to have as few interruptions as possible.
While (some) meetings are unavoidable, they are a well-known source of distraction for employees. Here’s something to think about: more than half of employees admit to being distracted during virtual meetings.
What exactly are they up to? They aren’t paying attention to whoever is speaking, to be sure.
This emphasises the significance of holding fewer meetings if at all possible, as well as making sure that the ones you do have are brief and entertaining. To retain everyone’s attention, try 15-minute check-ins, stand-ups, and break-outs instead of the 2-hour marathon.
Long meetings and interruptions can be avoided with the use of tools like workplace chat. Team chat technologies allow teammates to check in and ask questions in real-time without having to interrupt their work. This strikes a good mix between open, timely communication and getting things done.
The trick is to avoid allowing your team discussion to become a distraction in and of itself. It’s critical to establish expectations so that your co-workers don’t become overwhelmed with notifications or communications.
4. Combine as many of your office programmes as you can.
Again, removing distractions is a big part of staying focused on work at home.
Although obvious offenders such as social media are evident, bear in mind that programmes designed to keep you on target can occasionally have the opposite impact.
What do you mean by that?
Consider that the average employee has at least eight apps open at any given time. The more you switch between tools, the more likely you are to lose focus.
Consider how quickly a single email may snowball into a dozen or a single Google search into eight open tabs. When you get side-tracked during a task, it takes an average of more than 20 minutes to get back on track.
It’s a plus if you can combine your work tools in any way. That involves creating a workday “control centre” where you can keep all of your important messages and notifications in one spot.
5. Avoid scope creep by focusing on tasks that you’re genuinely competent at.
Employees who conduct work that promotes their skills are more focused and engaged.
This may appear to be a no-brainer.
This, however, emphasises the need of documenting your workload and ensuring that the appropriate activities are assigned to the appropriate personnel. Teams must make a conscious effort to ensure that no one is overburdened with work on any one project.
Transparent schedules and consistent communication can aid in this area. It’s easier to distribute responsibilities, ask for help, and provide feedback when you’re open to communicating and collaborating. Workers should feel free to pass information back and forth in order to help each other focus on their strengths.
6. Break down your duties into batches to increase your productivity and focus.
The average worker only gets two to three “productive” working hours each day, according to statistics. Those productive hours should be spent on the previously mentioned must-do, high-priority items.
As a result, you must be careful how you plan your calendar to avoid having your brain burned by monotonous work. Many workers, for example, will save non-time-sensitive follow-ups and responses for the end of the day.
It’s mostly because they need little work. On the other hand, finishing a piece of content or planning a campaign may need a few hours of undivided attention.
It’s entirely up to you how you organise your time and tasks. Perhaps you do the majority of your major tasks before lunch. Maybe you’ll get a second wind in the afternoon.
You probably have a solid sense of when you’re most productive in either case. To take advantage of that window of opportunity, you must arrange your calendar and determine how long it generally takes you to do both large and minor activities.
You may double-check that you’re spending the right amount of time on your work with the help of time tracking software.
This can be eye-opening in terms of determining where your valuable hours are actually going and whether or not your schedule makes sense. At the very least, you’ll be able to track your workday for accountability purposes and determine when it’s time to take a break and refocus.
Do you have a strategy for staying focused at work?
There’s a lot that may distract you these days, from doom-scrolling to coping with difficult projects. We completely understand.
Establishing a reasonable timetable is the first step in delving into your entire task management. You can empower yourself and others to get things done while also fostering a more open corporate culture by streamlining communication with your team.
It’s crucial to implement these strategies and tools, such as RisePath PlanCentral, in order to create a more collaborative workplace.