Has Spring Fever hit you yet? Do you find yourself gazing out the window and losing focus at work? Is it harder to come back after your lunch break? I think we all can relate to that. So here are a few productivity tips that can help you focus on your work while you are there. And on the flip side, these tips may help you clear your mind when you’re not there!
As you drive to work, pick a focal point on your normal drive and don’t think about the office until you hit that point. It’s like a visual reminder that you are switching your brain on to work mode. Likewise, do the same on the ride home. Give yourself a few minutes to power down from your busy work day and then let your mind wander for the rest of the ride home and allow yourself to think about what’s happening there or what will happen once you walk through the door.
2. Start your day with a list of the 6 most important things you have to do. Prioritize them and schedule the hardest work when your mind is clear and engaged. Schedule easier items or low energy tasks for that part of the day when you feel sluggish.
3. Don’t answer emails first thing in the morning. Instead, triage them. Take a look, see if anything is urgent, delete what is unnecessary and if you must answer some, set a timer on your cell phone so you don’t get sucked in for longer than 15 minutes. Remember, answering other’s emails is taking care of their “To Do” list, not yours.
4. This goes against Feng Shui, but if you work in a cubicle, have your back to the opening. It keeps you from being distracted by passers by.
5. Set up your desk like an assembly line – left to right or right to left. Have your “To Do” pile on one side, an open work area in the middle and a “Going Out” pile on the other end. At the end of the day, move out what needs to be delivered, mailed, etc. and straighten your To Do pile with the most urgent item on top. Use this pile to create your list for the next day.
6. Obviously, things come up during the day that may distract you from your plan. So take a moment at lunch to reprioritize. You may also have to do this at 3 pm to determine what will get done today and what will have to move to another day of the week.
7. If you work in a high stress or fast paced environment, get up and walk outside during your breaks. This will clear your head and renew your energy to go on to the next thing.
What do you do to stay focused at work? I’d love to hear!