When you’re working in a busy environment, it’s important to keep your focus and concentrate on the task – or tasks – at hand. That means coming up with strategies for keeping long-term projects on track, as well as finding ways to deal with the everyday distractions that are part of office life. Here are some simple techniques to help you work more effectively.
Manage your time realistically
When you’re taking on a task, remember to schedule time for interruptions and setbacks. This will help you set more realistic – and thus more achievable – goals and you’ll acquire a reputation as someone who gets things done on time. This is actually a much more efficient use of your time than constantly juggling multiple tasks to try and hit unrealistic deadlines.
Leave a tidy desk at the end of the day
You think more clearly if your desk isn’t cluttered with piles of unfinished admin. Try and set aside 20 minutes at the end of each day to tidy your desk and deal with any outstanding paperwork. If you don’t, you’ll find that, over time, those individual bits of work that you’ll ‘do tomorrow’ can quickly pile up. This also applies to your study space too.
Remove online distractions
Unless they’re part of your job, don’t open Facebook, Twitter or any other social media channel until you’ve finished work. A few seconds spent scouring social media can turn into minutes and then hours before you know it. That’s a lot of wasted time (if you suffer from lack of willpower, try investigating one of the many programs that block social media access, for example Freedom).
Before you go to a meeting, visit a client or start an e-mail chain with colleagues, think about what you’re trying to achieve, the arguments you want to put forward, any likely objections and how to counter them. Write them down on a piece of paper and take them with you to the meeting. You can usually spot the people who plan ahead because they’re able to get straight to the point.
Work out what’s important
Keep a calendar and prioritise your work so you don’t waste time and energy on tasks that can be pushed back. Try and give each task a time limit so that they don’t run over into other parts of your schedule. Online programmes, such as Google Sheets, are shareable with anyone with a Gmail account and can be edited from anywhere.
Love what you do
If you find that you’re constantly distracted at work and find it hard to concentrate, it may be time for a change of career. Studies suggest that people who love their jobs are happier and perform better. They also find it much easier to stay focused because they really enjoy what they’re doing.
Here at Enterprise, we love what we do and work with people who feel the same way. If you think that sounds like you, why not check out the graduate opportunities, internships and jobs we currently have on offer?