Distractions are everywhere these days. Your phone rings in a notification. Your co-worker wants to talk about your favorite TV show. The inbox says you’ve got 18 messages to read this morning. How can you stay productive through all of this? Here are some strategies to consider.
1) Remove the Clutter.
Get rid of stuff that you don’t need at your desk. Then design your working area to let you find your essential tools without searching for them. Everything on your desk should have a home where they can be easily found.
2) Make it Fresh.
Create zones of space where you only complete specific tasks. Change your filing system to make it easier to find various documents in just a couple of clicks. Then keep your inbox organized by prioritizing incoming messages, so you can focus on anything non-urgent when you have time.
3) Be Direct.
There is a time and place for small talk. Work is not always that place. Use direct communication skills to discuss a project. Get out from behind your computer to speak with someone.
4) Offer Expiration Dates.
Your working space will eventually develop some clutter over time. It happens. When you see your files or documents beginning to pile up, then give each one an expiration date. If you don’t need the file any more, then get rid of it.
5) Manage Responses.
Put any items that require a follow-up into a specific folder to prevent forgetting them. These can be for your customers or your co-workers. Then make sure to visit this folder frequently to ensure everything gets done during the day.
6) Reach It.
Everything on your desk should be within your reach. Keep your frequently used items closest to you. This will prevent time-wasting opportunities as you look for things, making it easier to stay productive. Limiting how much you need to stretch and reach around your working area can also prevent some injuries.
7) Let Your System Flow.
Create a work organization system which allows you to track your progress throughout the day. Having new items, in-progress items, and a finished folder is a common setup. Choose one that works for you.
Being productive is a choice. Eliminate the ways you may be procrastinating, and you’ll find yourself being more productive.