First weeks back at work after the holidays, we put the most pressure on ourselves to be "productive". Unless you are unproductive by choice and silent quitting your job, productivity at work kind of matters, let's agree on that. Did you also find yourself making endless to-do lists and calendars to improve your focus or reading books and searching on the web to find new ways for boosting your productivity as you ended up reading this article? These will be the last 4 minutes you will be spending on this issue if you promise that you will follow these steps!
These are the 10 factors that affect your concentration and productivity at work!
“Remind me later”
Are you a snoozer, delaying everything including your alarm in the morning? Wait, did you just postpone that task again? Do not leave your tasks unfinished to check "other stuff" first. When you have everything done in half, you will be less likely to start from the beginning to focus on “everything” once again.
“This is boring, I’ll handle it later”
Nope, you need to save that fun stuff for later sometimes. Unfortunately, those boring stuff will not disappear if you leave them to the last minutes of your working hours. Get rid of them in the early morning and when your energy gets lower later, enjoy doing the less boring tasks.
“Bring it on, I can survive”
Probably not... You will burn out soon if you continue like this. Be aware of the difference between “urgent” and “important”. Most probably you always have those urgent matters to handle, but what about the important ones? Clarify the urgent issues that are really urgent to solve and save your remaining energy for your important projects. Let your supervisor know about the unnecessary burden you have and try to get rid of those small matters blocking your concentration and creativity.
“I have 99 tasks but this ain’t one”
Everyone claims that they are the best multitasker because they were asked to be in the job interview. But we know that it’s not true. If multitasking isn’t your true ability, stay away from it! Try to work the same way your brain works and focus on tasks one by one. No one has to answer an e-mail while they are on the phone. Don’t suffer from constantly coming e-mails, for example, set an alarm to handle them every 2 hours or prioritise the ones coming from your important clients or superiors. Do your tasks perfectly rather than handling them quickly.
“I’m a perfectionist”
Okay, just because I said perfect, don’t get serious on this immediately. For most people, perfectionism is nota great strength to write on the CV,it is sure their worst weakness! On paper, “perfection” should be still related to “effectiveness” rather than being an enemy to your productivity. If you are also one of those who cannot start a job before it “seems” perfect and get busy with minor matters that no one really needs and cares about, perfectionism is your biggest weakness indeed. Take appreciation seriously when you think you do not do things perfectly.
“Sure, yes, I’ll take care of it immediately”
Repeat after me: NO! It’s a virtue to be able to say “no” when it’s necessary. You do not have to take care of everything by yourself, and there are times you simply can’t do it. Asking for help is not going to lower your status, don’t forget that!
“Let me ask first”
Sure, go ahead, only if you really need it. But don’t forget that sometimes you need to take initiative rather than delay it for another day waiting for an answer. Or are you the one asking for all those small affirmative meetings? If not, you should know what I’m talking about the meaningless meetings that are just a waste of time while one can simply wrap up without all the buzz. Don’t do it yourself and don’t let others waste your time as well.
Are you reading this article while you suppose to work?
Gotcha! Don’t let your company decide if you want to check your Instagram or Twitter. You have to limit yourself on this if you don’t want to stay late to finish what you have got. Do not click out of your work and start surfing on the depthless waves of the internet before you are done with your current task.
“Before I continue, I’ll have a small break”
That’s what I said yesterday when I was supposed to write this article. Guess what? I couldn’t continue until today. Take that break when you really need it (also reminding myself)! You know that to be able to continue working on a project with full focus after a break will take at least 15 minutes that will be wasted for nothing. Use that 15 minutes later to have a big break to celebrate your accomplishment!
“Everyone seems fine by applying that productivity method”
They might be, yes. But aren’t you tired of trying new techniques to boost your concentration and focus better? Well, I am. That’s why you should know yourself better first. Do not sabotage yourself by applying others’ methods but encourage and improve the way you work!
Now take 5 minutes to think about it while you are already on a break and then return to what you were doing to finish it at once (if it was a job application you were postponing we are waiting to receive your CVs). Enjoy your productive hours ahead!