Minimise the impact and improve your productivity with these tips. By Priya Prakasan
Our workplaces are crawling with distractions and it’s become increasing difficult to navigate these obstacles and concentrate. Even the smallest distractions can outsize impact on output. All those lost minutes will add up to lost hours and the quality and quantity of your work gets affected. Try these tips to improve your concentration and productivity.
1. Get to the root of your distraction
If distractions are getting the better of you, take time to do some introspection. Look a little closer to find out your triggers; what pushes you to behave this way. Make a mental note of the kind of uncomfortable emotions, situations or activities that prompt you to get derailed from the task at hand. What made you scroll through your Twitter feed instead of finishing the employee evaluation report? Ask yourself what prompted that sense of unease that you were trying to get away from. Contemplate the underlying emotion/ frustration/anxiety so that you can deal with it rather than trying to escape it through a distraction.
2. Create rituals to facilitate better focus
Quite a few professionals have work-based rituals that help them switch into work mode. For example, musicians tune up and play a few scales, or basketball players bounce the ball a certain number of times before starting a play. These are ritual practices that help them create better focus. So create your own ritual. Something you can do at the beginning of the day, a task, or a project that will send a signal to your brain that it’s time to start working. It could be something as simple as clearing up your desk. Whatever the ritual you choose, do it consistently so that you train your brain to make the connection and focus on command.
3. Make time for breaks
You might think this is counterproductive, but we’re here to tell you it is not. Work pressure can put you at serious risk of a burnout. All that workload and stress makes you think that you can’t afford to make time for a break. This is the worst thing you can do. Taking short, frequent breaks during the workday will result in reduced physical and emotional exhaustion, which leads to better performance. Well-timed breaks can leave you more focused and re-energised. Allow yourself a small amount of time every day to step away from your desk, take a stroll, talk to a colleague or do something that relaxes you.
4. Learn to say ‘No’ to yourself and others
Leaders often feel pressure to on more and more of the workload, assist colleagues, and take on assignments others can do just as well. Most of this stems from a reluctance to say ‘no’ and play the put upon hero. Yes, helping a colleague is good, but it also means you’re distracting yourself from getting your own work done. So steer clear of doing more than your fair share of work and delegate wherever possible to ensure you stay focused on your goals.
5. Try scheduling a power hour
This is especially great for when you have a looming deadline or a task that just isn’t getting done. A power hour is nothing but focusing on the task(s) at hand for 60 minutes straight, without any distractions or excuses whatsoever. Refrain from using the phone, social media, taking breaks, or interacting with colleagues. You just have to knuckle down and do whatever is needed. This technique is a great way to beat procrastination and accomplish more in a short time frame. You’ll discover that you got a lot more done in this one hour than if you would have otherwise over three hours. Schedule a power hour every day and you will be amazed to see how drastically it affects your productivity.