People believe that the office is the most productive place in terms of finishing an assigned task. But that’s not entirely true. Most of the time, your workplace has endless distractions, such as meetings and teammates. How often have you observed that whenever you try to focus on a task in hand, someone intervened for some query or casual conversation, and your flow fell apart?
However, you could address all such challenges by creating an agenda for the day.
With the help of the steps as mentioned below, you could create a focus-driven workplace:
1. Set Priorities:
- Let us agree to the fact that we all know about our tasks on any given day. But we never set priorities, and then we engage ourselves in other non-important things.
- When you are done for the day, make sure you create a priority chart for the next day.
- Define tasks in FIFO (First In First Out) order. When a task gets assigned, ensure you finish it before you move to the next.
- In case any other task gets prioritized in between, then do not forget to update the priority chart.
- Create Space for Breaks: Remember, you are not a machine. Your brain needs breaks to restore creativity, energy, and focus. Add these breaks in your priority list. Go for coffee breaks with your colleagues-cum-friends. Have casual discussions that are not work-related.
- Keep Buffer in Your Deadlines: Every task has specific completion time. But we recommend not to keep neck-to-neck deadlines because sometimes additional requirements extend the defined deadlines.
So share the Estimated Time of Arrival (ETA) of the task with your leaders, keeping buffer time in mind. For example, if you know, a report would require only half-a-day for the completion, then better extend it by the End of the Day (EOD).
2. Keep a Progress Tracker in Place:
Sometimes, it happens that we keep stretching a given task causing a delay in the task submission. Hence, keep a progress tracker with updated assigned tasks, start and end dates, responsible person’s name, current status, and blockers (if any). These trackers increase productivity, transparency, and keep a check on the ETAs.
3. Keep Your Workspace Mess-Free:
If everything on your desk is well-organized, your other tasks get organized too. It helps you set an emotional response and keeps you focused. Hence, organize your drawers and desk. Keep them neat and clean. Conceal wires and cables creatively so that they are not occupying your desk space.
4. Encourage Clear Communication:
Most of the time, prioritization get impacted because of the lack of clear communication between team members and stakeholders. Hence, keep below points in your emails when you are managing a process:
- Why you assigned a task as the top priority when compared to other tasks?
- What would be the deadline – End date or time of submission?
- Who is responsible for working on the task in hand and for updating the progress tracker?
- What are the expected results and when to pullback any action in between the process?
- What are the challenges and how to fix those?
5. Create a Playlist:
Yes, you read it right. You must listen to music while at work. Every office space has different sounds surrounding people working there, such as teammates having conversations, floor polishers, something dropping on the floor, other team members having huddles, phones ringing.
To avoid distractions from such noises, use headphones. Create a music playlist that does not impact your work, but also keep you focused. As per a study done at the University of Illinois, researchers found that listening to music in increased work output by 6.3%. Not bad, huh!
Anyone could follow these steps, but need a lot of practice to see results. You will notice how your focus has started improving, delivering high productivity with positive outputs. There will be no extension of office hours and no carryforwards. You will also notice on-time work assignment and delivery of tasks becoming the culture of your team.
If you are looking for tools that could help you organize and track your work, we recommend using ONPASSIVE’s AI-driven Staff Manager and Checklist tools. Staff manager keeps a check on work assignment and productivity, whereas the Checklist tool helps you monitor assigned tasks and their progress, thus helping you deliver expected results on time.