We all start off the work week endeavoring to be organized and efficient. Sometimes the very things that work to keep us together can also be a hindrance in maintaining focus during the course of the work day. Keeping track of emails, social media posts, phone calls and meetings can quickly turn you day and week into a roller coaster and a blur if you’re not careful. Let’s look at 5 ways to help us keep our attention on important projects without being distracted by every shiny bell and whistle.
Schedule Phone Calls – You absolutely need your phone to run your business but it can produce the most distractions while you’re working. Turn off the phone when you really need to dig in and get the bulk of you workload completed. Try adding a detailed voicemail message for your callers with a time you’ll be returning phone calls.
Log out of Your Social Media Profiles – Social media can be another huge distraction during the day. You could have hundreds or thousands of followers, friends and fans tugging at you all day. When it’s time to knuckle down logging out of all of your social media profiles will provide you with uninterrupted time to produce quality work. You can tweet about how focused you were when you’ve completed your workload. Tweet this
Temporarily disable pop-ups - I have pop-ups for everything from my email, to my calendars, instant messaging and so many other things, all designed to keep me on track and in the know. However every time a pop up dings I’m tempted to stop what I’m working on to check it because hey..it could be important. Right?! Probably, but most often it’s not really that important. Focus on those projects at hand and then set aside time in your schedule to respond to all of those dings that you would have been distracting you while working.
So how do I know when to stop working and move on to the next project if I’ve disabled everything? I’m glad you asked. Try setting an alarm on your cell phone so that you’ll be notified when to move on. The alarm will ring on most phones even if you have the phone on vibrate.
Check your emails at intervals and not every time one come in - Emails can be a constant distraction during the work day and when you’re super busy and working on numerous projects, trying to add more to your plate by responding to every email that comes in can be burdensome. Of course you want to be able to respond to emails that are related to projects you may be working on. Limit your responses to specific projects and prepare yourself during busy times to respond to your email 3 – 4 times a day to reduce interruptions.
Clear Your Desk. “A clear desk produces a clear mind.” That’s what professional organizer Janet M. Taylor says. Cleaning your desk after each project helps you easily move on to the next without stacking your files and document all over your desk and then trying to find them again later. Take 15 minutes to clear your desk off between projects and in the evening when you’ve concluded your work day.
Be sure to comment below and share some ways that you stay focused during the course of your day.