Most of the distractions a professional need to battle are related to technology. It’s not surprising though, because working now translates to facing the computer and using different tools and programs to execute plans, to create different outputs, and to communicate as well. It’s tough to have self-control when all you have to do is to make a few clicks of the mouse to divert your attention from work to other more trivial things. However, it is highly possible, through these tips:
• Create blocks of time for tasks, and even for breaks. Instead of taking frequent small breaks that prevents you from building momentum, why not compartmentalize your tasks and your breaks? For instance, in the morning, check your email and reply to important messages for an hour. After that, commit to checking it again in the afternoon, and only for thirty minutes. If you need to create a report, do so for an hour again, and then take a 15-minute break in which you are free to do anything – Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, coffee, a nap, you name it. This will help you gain the necessary focus that every task requires.
• Monitor the way you spend your time. You know yourself better than anybody, especially when it comes to work habits. Evaluate the way you work and remove those that do not contribute to your productivity. You may be surprised at how much time you waste just because you surf the Web every fifteen minutes or so.
• Let other people know that you are busy. If you are online on Yahoo Messenger or in whatever instant messaging platform you use in the office, change your status to Busy. Your workmates will get the signal and won’t bug you for anything. If you really want to block off distractions, change your status to invisible or go totally offline.
You may be thinking of how impossible it is to resist the urge to go on Facebook or check your mobile phone for any text message. But think of your time at work as only for work, and that you need to finish all your tasks so that you would not have to take home any work that you weren’t able to finish in the office. Here are some tools that can help you become a more productive version of yourself:
• RingCentral voicemail. If you really need to focus on something, have all your calls sent to voicemail, and return calls at a more available time. VoIP provider RingCentral lets you have more control over your calls so you can maintain a focused workflow without missing any important business call.
• LeechBlock. This is a tool that blocks websites based on your preferences. You may have a blacklist of websites that you need to stay away from so that you can work better, or a more hardcore white list of websites that you will allow yourself to access for a time. You may specify times of the day and days of the week when sites will be blocked.
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