Throughout the course of your workday, you probably encounter dozens of distractions that threaten to derail your personal effectiveness — personal phone calls, coffee breaks, Facebook updates and conversations with co-workers about last night’s episode of “The Voice,” to name a few. It’s beneficial to take small breaks during the day to renew your energy and focus for your work, but how do you avoid getting completely sidetracked?
Use these simple steps to make the best use of your time at work and finish the day knowing you accomplished everything you could.
3 Ways to Protect Productivity at Work
1. Close non-essential browser windows.
Most people are guilty of indulging in a little Internet browsing that isn’t strictly work-related. Whether you spend your time checking your fantasy baseball scores, sending emails to friends or searching for recipes for your dinner party this weekend, it’s important to keep your web surfing under control for the sake of your personal effectiveness. Pay attention to what percentage of your day you spend on websites that aren’t relevant to your job and how this activity is affecting your productivity at work. Instead of keeping these tabs open in your web browser all day and refreshing them constantly, keep them closed except for one or two designated breaks during the day.
2. Learn how to end a conversation politely.
Sometimes a chatty colleague, client or visitor wants to talk for more time than you can spare. If you let your desire to be polite outweigh your need to get your work done, your personal effectiveness can suffer. Learn to set time limits in advance (“I’m sorry, I’ve only got two minutes to talk right now”) and wrap up a long-winded conversation firmly but politely (“I appreciate the phone call, but I have to run to a meeting”). Check out more tips on this topic on the QuickBase blog.
3. Make time for uninterrupted work.
Some tasks require your undivided attention and can’t be completed when your focus is competing with outside distractions. Set aside time where you can work quietly and independently, whether that is closing your office door for an hour or setting your work calls to go to voicemail for a set period of time.
How do you protect your productivity at work? Share your tips in the comments.