Whether you’re struggling with a slow workday or you work in an office that’s filled with rich conversation, there are many distractions that keep you from staying on task. Especially if you are anything like us and your focus wanes without your daily dose(s) of coffee!
Nevertheless, there are many ways to keep your focus at work! These simple changes to your routine can help you not only use your time more efficiently but also have a more productive day.
Start early. It can be very tempting to be sluggish in the mornings. Maybe you are waiting for your coffee to brew or maybe you want to chat and ease into the day. While nothing is wrong with those approaches, you aren’t putting your most energetic foot first. Open your computer, pull up everything you need to work on and then go do more enjoyable things. This way when you return with coffee in hand, your work awaits you with open arms.
Do hard work first. This is probably one of the toughest things to make yourself do but it works. Do work that requires more brainpower at the beginning of the day. Whether its creative work, analytical work or just work that is tedious and draining by the end of the day, when you get it done early you won’t find yourself slouching over your computer monitor spinning your metaphorical wheels.
Schedule the day before. Know exactly what you are doing tomorrow. If you are using a notebook of some kind, make a list of everything you need to get done tomorrow; in addition to some things that maybe didn’t get done today. This way, when the next morning inevitably comes, you are armed with exactly what you need to be prepared and productive.
Use your time deliberately. Whether you use a physical agenda or a Google calendar, blocking off time is a great way to schedule your work so you don’t over commit and feel swamped when 5PM rolls around. Hour or calendar blocking simply refers to having a set amount of time per task. For example, knowing that from 9-11M you are working on a content calendar, and from 11-12:30PM you need to edit a blog, and 12:30-1:30PM you are having lunch with coworkers, and so on is a very strategic way of using your time efficiently. Here’s a blog about the benefits of calendar blocking.
Ask for help. If you notice your attention is waning or you are stuck on a particular idea that is slowing down your whole day, open it up to the room. Have a mini-brainstorming session with your coworkers to get your creative wheels turning again so you feel less like you are staring at a blank screen and more like you are staring at a screen with purpose.
Take breaks. Yes, your schedule is important and yes your job must get done, but you shouldn’t be drilling yourself into the ground to do it. Take a breather even if it is just to walk around the office or go next door to get a coffee. Sometimes all it takes is a change your scenery to re-energize.
Now go forth and work efficiently! Friday is just around the corner.