It’s easy to lack motivation at work when there’s social media updates you would rather be reading instead of tackling the mountain on paperwork on your desk, or making plans for the weekend instead of prepping for the big presentation you have to give at the Regus business centre later in the week. In this article we look at seven ways you can combat those distractions and keep on track:
Your Chair and Table Combo
If you find working physically strenuous (sore neck, back and shoulders) even when seated at your desk, you’re probably loosing time being distracted with the discomfort. This can easily be solved by investing in the right chair and desk combination. Your chair should be comfortable to sit on and have great back support and your desk well-structure.
There’s nothing more distracting than your desk being unorganised. Use your drawers to store any objects, stationary or paperwork you are not using, have an area for food and drink and an area in arms reach for your bag, purse and other personal items so you don’t need to get up to fetch anything.
Combat your Computer
If you sit in front of a computer all day it’s easy to be distracted by the likes of social media. When working on something, use your computer on full screen if you can. This will mask all of the icons on your desktop and make you less likely to check out what everyone else is doing on Facebook. Same goes if you’re using the web, don’t open anymore screen tabs than you need to.
Mute your Notifications
Apps are very handy – when you need them. The rest of the time the ongoing notifications about what you are missing out on or who you could be talking to can be far from helpful. Turn off all the notifications on your phone and put it on silent if you can. If not, give the distracting apps a silent ringtone when it’s time to put your head down and do some work.
Not all distractions come from technology. Working in an office means you will be dealing with colleagues that want to have a not-so-quick chat to catch up, ask you questions, and come to you with other distracting issues that could potentially wait an hour or two. To drown out the chatterboxes invest in a good pair of earphones, they tend to give people the impression that you are busy and don’t want to be disturbed. If that doesn’t help, you might need to be more direct and tell them politely that you can’t talk right now.
Make a To-Do List
Writing down all of the tasks you need to conquer during your day will help you keep on track. Put your list on your desk where you can easily glance at it and tick off tasks that you have completed. Try to stick to a paper list as having one on your mobile phone or tablet will tempt you to open Facebook or respond to SMS messages that can wait until later.
Track how you Spend your Time
By using a time management program or an Excel spreadsheet, log details of how you are spending your time throughout the day. In order for this to work you will need to be honest, meaning if you’re watching videos of cute puppies for an hour you need to say so. When you look back on how you have used your time at the end of the week, you can see where you have lost time, what is distracting you and then you can work towards ways of utilising your time better.