If you often find yourself wishing for more hours in the day, you’re not alone.
Workday distractions are eating up our time (a typical manager is interrupted every 8 minutes), making it difficult to maintain focus and accomplish the tasks at hand.
And while we can’t fully eliminate distractions, a few simple tips and tools can help you improve focus and get work done more efficiently.
START WITH A TO-DO LIST
The simple act of writing down your goals for the day can put you on the path to productivity: Studies show people perform better when they’ve written down what they need to accomplish.
Take a few minutes each morning to identify 3 or 4 tasks that are top priority. Write them down (or type them on a virtual sticky note) and keep your to-do list front and center. As you complete each task, cross it off the list – it’s surprisingly satisfying and gives a visual representation of your progress throughout the day.
COMMUNICATE MORE EFFECTIVELY & EFFICIENTLY
Relying on email alone to communicate just doesn’t cut it anymore.
Collaboration tools, like Microsoft Teams, allow you to quickly share information with colleagues or clients via secure instant messaging or video call. Teams also allows you to create ‘hubs’ for specific projects or departments. With files, comments, and chat history in one spot, these teamwork hubs help keep everyone on the same page.
When you’re pressed for time, every second counts. Mastering PC shortcuts will make it easier to perform simple tasks in less time. Below are a few that always come in handy:
– Ctrl + A – to Select all content
– Ctrl + C, Ctrl + V, Ctrl + X – to copy, paste, and cut selected items
– Ctrl + Z – to undo changes
– Ctrl + T – to open a new tab on your web browser
(Check out this list for more time-saving Windows shortcuts)
BLOCK TIME-WASTING WEBSITES
If you or your team have trouble staying away from non-work-related websites (social media, video streaming, online shopping), consider blocking access to them.
Business-class firewalls allow you to block access to specific URLs or categories of websites. Not only does this help boost productivity in the office, it reduces the risk of viruses and other malware attacks.
TURN OFF UNNECESSARY ALERTS
Do we really need an alert for every new email, text or call? Short answer: No.
The distraction of every buzz, ding and tweet not only increases the time it takes get things done, it also affects the quality of our work.
When a task or project requires your full attention, minimize distractions by putting your phone on Do Not Disturb. Or try turning off email alerts and checking your inbox only once every hour. The uninterrupted focus boosts creativity and helps you power through tasks more quickly.
Looking for more ways technology can help you make the most of your time? Check out how an office phone upgrade can keep you ahead of the game.