How to Stay Focused and Get to Work Faster
Have you ever found yourself in the situation when you’re about to set to work, but don’t know where to start? Perhaps it was a hugely challenging task or a trivial everyday task? This feeling originates from within our minds and rarely depends upon extrinsic things. This means that you CAN deal with this “working block” and get things done faster and more efficiently.
The Collabio Spaces team will tell you how to be more productive at work! ;)
Clear Your Mind
Sure, you won’t be able to focus on work if your head is full of thoughts: memories of forgetting to turn something off at home or ideas of what you want to tell your partner after an argument.
The best way to clear your thoughts and free up room for new ideas is to solve the issues that don’t let you go. If you can’t solve them right now, outline a plan of what you’ll do about it in the evening or on the weekend. This will let your brain know that you’ve already done what you can, and scheduled it into the to-do list. Now, you can get to work!
Organise Your Workspace
Order in your head is strongly affected by order on the desktop (be it physical or digital).
Start with your table and drawers. Make sure that the table is clean and home to the things you use every day — for example, a pen, a pencil, a notebook, and a humidifier. If there is a pile of papers, regarding something you even can’t remember; explore what are they about, throw away what you don’t need and store the rest in a drawer.
Here are more tips on organising the workspace and making it conducive to effective work!
As for digital documents, you won’t be happy to see a mess of shortcuts on your laptop’s screen. We’ve prepared 8 useful recommendations for those who want their digital offices to shine.
Have a Pre-Work Ritual
Setting a habit can take more than a month, but in the long run, your automated actions will save plenty of time. If you do something before getting to work every day, your brain will consider it a trigger for the tasks of the day.
For most office people, such pre-work rituals are having a morning cup of coffee in the office kitchen or chatting with colleagues for several minutes. Also, it may be something connected to your work, for example, checking emails.
We don’t mean something like “tomorrow” or “by the end of this week” — better to more be specific and define a certain date. If you know that a task should be done by May 15th, there won’t be any interest to postpone it. You can even specify the exact time.
An hourly plan puts forth a real and achievable amount of work, with completion likely. With a sense of accomplishment, you retain motivation for the tasks ahead.
Don’t be afraid of deadlines, as they are only estimations of when you will achieve your current goal. They help you to prioritise.
Turn On the Music
As we noted earlier, music helps us focus and get into the flow, about which we’ll tell you later. If the music itself distracts you, try listening to the sounds of nature.
Anyway, having something calm and pleasant in the background won’t harm. Your mood will definitely brighten!
Deal with Only One Thing at a Time
How to be more productive at work if you have tons of tasks? Schedule your day so that you don’t have to switch between tasks too often. Set priorities for everything you need to do and follow this list. Cope with high-priority issues first, when you’re full of energy, and proceed to simpler ones afterwards. This way you utilise your energy resource wisely and won’t wind up feeling exhausted.
When you start multitasking, you lose focus and are likely to abandon tasks part way through. It can be a struggle to return to focus.
Get into the Flow
The flow is the state of hyperfocus. You don’t notice what happens around you, as you are completely absorbed by current activity — coding, designing, writing, whatever. In most cases, people get into the flow naturally, without any intent. However, you can control that!
Know the four stages of the flow and notice when each of them starts/ends:
- Struggle. This stage may be stressful, but necessary. You may feel frustration as you begin to collect information about your task. This often comes from a sense of feeling unsure about how you approach the work. This is a normal part of the process and is an indication of your commitment. Do your research, find similar cases and ask for tips from those who are experienced.
- Release. After you have gathered the necessary data about the task, have a break and just relax a bit. Allow your brain to relieve stress and process the information in the subconscious.
- Flow. At a certain point, you will realise that you have everything you need, for successful task completion. Before you know it, you are fascinated and inspired and completely engrossed in your work. You might even feel like you can’t stop! This is the flow!
- Recovery. After productive work, it’s time to have a longer rest and recharge your energy. We all wish we could be highly productive all of the time, but such constant activity can lead to burnout.
We’ll soon tell you more about the flow and how to be more productive at work and use it to your benefit, as well as share a template for tracking success. Stay tuned!
Put Your Phone Away
And to make sure that no one distracts you when you’re in the flow, put your phone in a drawer and exit all social media tabs on your laptop.
If you can’t leave your phone unattended keep it nearby but turn off the Wi-Fi and work calmly without notifications from Twitter and Facebook.