Daily Archives: July 15, 2008

Getting the Most Out of Your Workday: Part 2 of 3: Avoiding Distractions

The first part of this series was on identifying the best routine for optimal productivity. This part of the series discusses how to avoid distractions to get the most out of your workday.

Have what you need nearby.
By constantly getting up to retrieve essential items, you’re wasting valuable time and interrupting momentum built up from productive work. Keeping items within reach will leave you with more time to complete tasks. Storing nutritious snacks and bottled water nearby will prevent you from constant trips to the vending machine and water cooler, where you can get sucked into lengthy discussions by co-workers.

Slip on headphones.
To cut back on background chatter, slide on your headphones and listen to some music. Your train of thought can be easily broken by office noises, such as printers or copiers, or by ongoing co-worker conversations. Music can help drown out the sounds and keep you focused. If you can’t work while music is playing, try slipping the headphones on without music as a “do not disturb” sign to others. Be sure to keep iPod etiquette in mind at the office.

Make time for breaks.
When you’re swamped, taking breaks might sound like the last thing you should do, but breaks keep you fresh and prevent you from burning out after a few hours of work. Time away from your desk can help you re-group your thoughts to focus on the task at hand when it’s deadlines are looming.

Check out the last part of this series in our next post on organizing and prioritizing your workweek to increase productivity.