What advice would you give someone who is easily distracted at work? Asking for a friend.
Whether it’s your chatty cube-mate, smells coming from the nearby office kitchen or your own addiction to Instagram and Twitter, making it through the work day without being sidetracked is tough.
Luckily, my tasks today include scouring the net and compiling these five helpful work hacks to keep you focused on succeeding at work. Here are some tips to keep you moving forward:
- Stand up. You’ve heard it before: sit 20, stand 8, walk 2 (minutes). Studies show that standing can lead to up to 10 percent more productivity, and it’s good for your health. So get a standing desk, send your files to the printer down the hall (and don’t send an intern to fetch them for you), and throw in some stretches for good measure. You’ll feel better all day long.
- Leave your phone out of sight. Facebook alerts, breaking news pop-ups, and push alerts from apps, social media and games are the ultimate distraction. Set your phone aside and set goals for yourself before your next check-in, or take a look on the hour and then set it aside again.
- Don’t waste time in meetings. The average employee spends 31 hours (that’s a quarter of your office hours!) in 62 meetings per month – and half of those are considered wasted time. Ouch. Make your meetings more effective by setting clear expectations for what will be discussed and who is responsible for reporting or leading the conversation. And make sure that meeting is worth having in the first place – would a team email update or a simple conversation in the hallway have fulfilled the same purpose?
- End Friday by prepping for Monday. Use the last minutes of the week to clear your desk and set your agenda for the next week. You’ll be able to hit the ground running and downgrade your chance of having an Office Space-famed case of the Mondays. Pro tip: Sunday night is the new Monday morning. Take a few minutes Sunday evening to log in and clear out the junk in your email. You’ll start the week with an achievable to-do list and an uncluttered inbox.
- Check off the quick tasks. If a task takes two minutes or less, you should make it a priority to get it off your list. Set a goal to achieve five quick tasks in at a designated point during the day, say, right before you go to lunch. You’ll enjoy the quick sense of achievement and these little distractions will disappear from your to-do list in no time.
What are your work hacks to keeping on track? Share your hints and tips with Market Share readers in the comments.
Kathryn Hamilton, CAE, is Vice President for Marketing and Communications at NAIOP Corporate.