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How to Stay Focused at Work

April 13, 2015

We live in an age of divided attention. The constant ping of text messages, news alerts, emails, and voicemails can be a major distraction. It’s easy to get sucked into a black hole of unproductiveness, and before you know it, spend several minutes scrolling through your digital updates.

With the plethora of distractions around us, it’s not surprising people have a hard time staying focused at work. Yet, being more mindful of where your attention is spent throughout the day can help to reduce wasted time. If you’re wondering how to improve job performance, working on focus is a great strategy. Here are a few tips the Pacific Office Automation team uses stay focused at work:

1. Organize your workspace. A cluttered workspace can feel overwhelming. If you find yourself having to rummage around your desk looking for things, it’s easy to get sidetracked. One way of focusing your mind is to clear your desk of anything low priority, so you can concentrate on the task at hand.

2. Organize your computer desktop. Don’t get in the habit of saving incorrectly named files on your desktop. Create folders to keep pertinent files together for a task or project, so you don’t find yourself clicking through a mass of documents when you need something fast.

3. Come up with a to-do list and rank those tasks by importance. Prioritizing your hardest tasks to be completed early in the day while you still have the energy can prevent afternoon burnout. Save menial tasks like answering emails for later in the day when you hit a lull.

4. Set aside a time to answer emails. It’s best not to respond to e-mails in real time as it can steal attention from the task at hand and lead you to lose your train of thought. Setting side time ensures that everyone gets a thoughtful and thorough response.

5. Set up email filters. Make sorting through messages easier: unsubscribe from senders you no longer need or want to hear from and organize your emails by priority. You’ll be better able to tell who still needs a response.

6. Let people know when you do not want to be disturbed. Whether you go invisible on IM, put on your headphones on or close your door, it’s a good idea to politely signal to others that you are hunkering down to work. This is especially important if you work in an open office floorplan.

7. Set alarms to for high-priority tasks. For instance, if you have a meeting at 3 p.m., set an alarm for 2:45 p.m. to remind yourself to start preparing for the meeting.

For more than thirty years, Pacific Office Automation has helped hundreds of businesses streamline their workflow processes to maximize productivity in the workplace. Contact us today to find out how we can help your team get the most out of their workday.

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