The modern way of work and life sometimes appears to be a double-edged sword. As technology makes us more things, it seems to us more that our obligations are just piling up. In such a situation, it is very easy to lose focus and productivity.
Being productive does not mean working 24 hours a day, seven days a week, but the time you spend at work to spend focused on what you are working with a minimum of distractions. Well, for becoming productive, you should change not only your behavior but also the way of thinking.
How, then, with the constant ringing of telephones, mobile phone, Skype, chat, e-mails and other “technological tools” to stay focused on the job and increase productivity? You may find some of these tips helpful.
Take a break and stand up from the desk
Do not spend all day at the desk. Get up and walk around every hour. Pour a glass of water or coffee, stretch your legs, make a circle the building. More short breaks throughout the day will allow you to be more focused and improve your concentration.
The result will be better at the end rather than if you took a long break the middle of the working day. If you find it difficult to stop work and to get up from the desk; try the ‘Pomodoro technique’ which is based on 25 minutes of intense work and concentration and 5 minutes of rest.
People who use it claim that it is the simplest way to perform the most difficult tasks.
Further Reading: 5 Signs You’re Just Not Meant For A 9 To 5 Desk Job
Find your rhythm
Although you probably learned that it is best first to perform the most difficult tasks, for some people is easier if they first catch to grips with the simplest tasks. This is how they ‘heat up’ and prepare for what will take away most of their time and energy.
However, there is an 80/20 rule. It says that 80 percent of what we attach importance lies in the fact of 20 percent of the activity. This means that we should focus on the execution of 20 percent of the most important tasks to, at the end of the day feel productive and satisfied.
Further Reading: 10 Signs Your Boss Is Exploiting You
It does not matter if you use a plain piece of paper, block, planner or some of the applications on your smartphone or computer, as soon as you make a list of your commitments, and makes it easier to determine the time that you need to fill them. At the same time, you will know precisely what you did and what still waits for you.
The organization will also help you identify tasks that are urgent, and which are important to do. Being organized is especially important if you work in a team in which individual members can do their job until you are finished with yours.
Further Reading: 5 Uncommon Ways To Make Yourself Work When You Don’t Want To
Take care of yourself
Great (and often unrealistic) expectations and constant overcrowding of jobs, increase the level of stress. And while some people in these situations work great, others simply ‘loss.’ Chronic stress, which happens when you are constantly under pressure, will adversely affect not only your productivity but also your health.
To avoid this, find something that will relax you and help you to deal with stress. It can be exercise, meditation, socializing with people you love, reading a book or anything else that fills you on a personal level. You should also add enough sleep and a healthy diet to help your body to deal with stress.
Further Reading: How to Take Care of Yourself
Remove anything that hinders you
Regardless of whether it is social networks, email or mobile phone, if you need to focus on a task, it would be best to remove all interferences.
Turn down the cell phone and put it in a bag or with a screen on the desk. Turn off your email program or, at least, mute notifications of newly-arrived mail.
If you are not sure whether you will be able to withstand without going to social networks or surfing the Internet, install applications that can help you.
A Firefox extension called “Freedom” block connecting to the Internet during certain hours. If you wish to have access to the Internet, but not the specific pages try LeechBlock, an application that allows you to block access to specific pages for a predetermined time.
Also, if you are uncomfortable with office noise, do not hesitate to close the office door (if you have them), and put your headphones to reduce background noise and is easier to focus on the tasks ahead.