Everybody is busy at work. Yet I wonder how much of our busy work is spent doing important things, such as projects? Or, are we busy doing lots of “stuff”?
A great number of the people I train and coach each week tell me that they stressed, simply due to their incessant workload. You think if they were to break down their tasks and look at what they’re doing every day at work, they’d discover a lot of their time is spent chasing the tail rather than achieving important outcomes.
Fortunately, there are right things you can do to improve your concentration and focus at work. And the good news is it doesn’t matter whether you are a marketing manager, customer service representative, financial controller, human resource coordinator, or CEO. You can get a high quality of work done every day, simply by improving the way you concentrate and focus on your work.
Here are five things you can do to improve your concentration and focus:
1. Set clear goals at the start of the day.
I’m a big believer in to-do lists. At the start of the day, write down those two or three major activities that you need to either complete or make a significant dent in. When you write things down, you won’t forget these important tasks. Plus, you set your intentions right at the very beginning of the day.
2. Be intentional
Look at your calendar and find a block of time for you to work on your one or two projects or major activities. Better still, block that time off in the morning so other people can’t steal it away from you. Then, when the alarm from a calendar indicates that it’s time for that task, you can go ahead and prepare yourself for that project time.
3. Remove Distractions
I’d recommend if you want to have a high level of concentration and focus, to see if you can work away from your desk for that scheduled hour. Is there a meeting room you can book? What about a boardroom or a quiet area?
Also, shut down Microsoft Outlook and put your phone into flight mode. Seriously, email and the telephone are two of the biggest distractions in your job. If you want to make a significant dent in your work, close these down for one hour a day. Trust me, your organisation won’t fall apart in our you don’t have Outlook open!
4. Be consistent
Don’t you set up an hour a day once? Try and do this at least three times a week. Build some consistency in your working routines if you really want to make a difference in your work output.
5. Set a time limit
One of the secrets to getting things done is to set a limit on how long you will take to do things. Depending on your role, you might be able to find to one-hour blocks the day, or, if you’re in a support role, maybe you can only block off 30 minutes a day.
Set this appointment time in your calendar, and treat the time you’ve blocked off as “an appointment with yourself”.