How to Avoid Shiny Objects (and Office Distractions)

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Distractions are everywhere in the office. Everything from a conversation by the coffee machine to Facebook can keep you from your number one priority of doing your job. How do you avoid all of the common pitfalls in the office? Here are a few ways to steer clear of major distractions and keep your performance on track.

  • Keep a calendar and to-do list. The first step to battling unproductive days in the office is to know what you need to accomplish and when you need to have it completed. Old school techniques like keeping a to-do list can be easily transported to the 21st century by using mobile technology to help keep track of your tasks and deadlines. You may want to use a calendar program or an app such as Evernote. Google also has some great tools for keeping your workday organized.
  • Know how to prioritize. It is a fallacy that humans have the ability to multi-task. Our brains simply don’t work in a way that can allow us to handle more than one task at a time. People who appear to excel at multi-tasking are actually skilled in the art of prioritizing. They know what tasks to handle first and how to successfully transition between projects when the need arises. Prioritizing takes some practice to keep you from feeling overly stressed so flex those brain muscles as often as possible.
  • Take social media breaks. While many companies have developed strict “No Social Media” policies it may not be the most effective way to keep employees from wasting time on internet sites. Instead, employees should take responsibility for their own productivity and self-manage their access to various sites. In order to not give into the temptation of checking Facebook continuously throughout the day allow several social media breaks. These are the only times you can check the site to keep yourself from falling into a black hole.
  • Know when to say no. Finally, one of the most common productivity killers is the inability to know when to refuse a request. There is a certain strategy to knowing when you should and shouldn’t say yes to a new project or a task or even just a conversation. You do not under any circumstance have to agree to everything put before you even if it comes from your boss. However, you need to be able to explain your reasons in a thoughtful way that allows the person making the request to know why it isn’t something you can accomplish for them.

Do you want more tips to keep yourself productive in the office? VincentBenjamin can help today!