Bustling, jam-packed, over-scheduled work lives are a breeding ground for distraction. It takes a concentrated effort to combat the craze that encompasses the grind of a daily work routine.
While the route to decluttering is simple, the dedication and commitment to staying focused always proves to be the challenging part. The key is to be your own advocate; keeping your priorities at the forefront of your mind, regardless of what else is going on around you. If you have an intentional plan going into each work day, you’re more likely to succeed and stay honed in on your goals as a productive professional.
Establish & Revisit Goals
Find whichever organisational tool works best for you, be it a spreadsheet, checklist or Post-It notes on your desk. Use this tool to help you create a list of goals or dreams for yourself in your workplace.
These dreams could be as small as getting in a lunchtime workout to train towards a half marathon, or as big as gaining a promotion or reaching a certain sales target. Regardless of which line of work you’re in, simply look to create attainable goals for yourself.
On a daily, weekly, monthly and even yearly basis, take time to revisit the list you have created. Remember why each of the goals and dreams are important to you and how they are going to help you evolve as an individual, coworker, teammate, colleague, friend and professional.
It happens all too often; you set goals and then you veer off course. This happens to every single one of us, but can certainly be prevented and avoided. It’s important to leave yourself reminders in places where you will actually hear and absorb them. For instance, leaving yourself a note on your fridge or on your desk is easy to overlook because after a few days, you forget it’s there.
Perhaps a more effective idea is to set reminders on your computer or phone. These reminders can be as simple as “revisit goals” or “check progress on tasks.” Finding a verbiage that motivates you to jump back on the horse is important. The ultimate goal is to prevent distraction; thus, brevity is your friend with these reminders. Keep them short and sweet. When you read the reminders, you leave yourself, you want to have an “ah-ha” moment in which you regain focus or even just become aware that you’ve gone off course.
Worst case scenario, you are cruising through your work day completely engrossed in your work, with a quick reminder that affirms and cements your efforts.
Create a Conducive Environment
Working in an office or workspace that’s full of distractions creates an environment that encourages a lack of focus, motivation and productivity. Keeping your desk clear, your inbox organised, and processes simplified are a few ways to streamline your workday practices so that you stay on task. It’s not about attaining perfection, but rather setting yourself up to succeed in a world that’s increasingly complex.
Make sure you’re not unknowingly self-sabotaging your productivity goals as well. Keeping too many tabs open on your browser and even trying to multitask too often can actually impede productivity and focus. This may seem counterintuitive, as working on multiple things at once appears to be a solution to get a lot done fast. What normally happens though is a lack of focused energy spent on any one task, resulting in slower progress and lower quality work. Focus is the key to staying on track, while distraction is its hinderer.
Acknowledging that distraction is the killer of focus is a key reminder to take with you. Anytime your focus shifts away from what it is you’d like to conquer or achieve, you are pushing back the day that you will reach that benchmark.
The challenge of processing masses of information we encounter every day, while maintaining unwavering attention is a real feat. Luckily, you can find success if you implement a plan and focused effort. Aim for progress, not perfection. If you find your attention leaving the task at hand, simply bring it back and start again. Making this method a habit will help you to get back on track with your workday in no time.
By Helen Sanders
Please welcome this week’s guest blogger, Helen Sanders, chief editor at HealthAmbition.com. Established in 2012, Health Ambition has grown rapidly in recent years. Our goal is to provide easy-to-understand health and nutrition advice that makes a real impact. We pride ourselves on making sure our actionable advice can be followed by regular people with busy lives.
*The Conscious Professional is dedicated to providing corporate mindfulness and professional resilience training, executive coaching and wellbeing services at the level of professional excellence. Thank you for following our blog.