Do you have trouble staying focused on your daily tasks? You really aren’t alone. Many people find themselves struggling to keep on task at one point or another during their workday. Being productive for a good chunk of your workday is no easy feat! There are numerous challenges that may be sabotaging your ability to focus – here are four and this NYC Professional Office Organizer’s office organizing strategies to help you combat them.
CHALLENGE: You have lots to do and no process for managing the tasks. If you start the day with 15 voicemail messages waiting to be addressed, an inbox full of hundreds of unread emails, and an overflowing to-do list, it is impossible for you to focus on what’s really important.
WHAT TO DO INSTEAD: The key is to first consolidate all your to-do’s in one list and then prioritize – start each workday by identifying the top 2-3 tasks you must complete. You can implement a strategy like the Eisenhower Method to make sure that you are focused on the most important tasks first.
CHALLENGE: You are surrounded by an abundance of distractions. Doors opening and closing, notifications from your cell phone with new social media mentions and text messages, and more tabs open on your computer then you can possibly manage at one time… this is a recipe for disaster. It’s no wonder you can’t stay on task!
WHAT TO DO INSTEAD: Create firm boundaries that you follow daily to limit or even eliminate as many distractions as possible. For example, make it a policy to let calls go to voicemail for specific blocks of time when working on a high priority time sensitive task. Schedule firm times to work and put out a “do not disturb” sign during that time or put on headphones to block out the noise.
CHALLENGE: Your lifestyle can contribute to a lack of focus. We don’t often think about this, but what happens outside of the office can absolutely influence your ability to focus in the office. If you haven’t eaten all day or didn’t get much sleep the night before, you might have a tougher time trying to focus on your to-do list. Stress, lack of exercise and sunshine are also factors.
WHAT TO DO INSTEAD: The first step is to make yourself a priority. Leave work at the office and let yourself enjoy your evenings as much as you can. Set a bedtime and really stick to it. Pack yourself healthy snacks to take with you to the office so that you can refuel. Take breaks during the day and stand up and move, or even go on a walk on your lunch break (after eating, of course!).
CHALLENGE: Your office is cluttered and is uninspiring. It’s important to create an ideal working environment so that focus can thrive. If you are surrounded by piles of papers, office supplies, and every surface is covered by clutter, it’s no wonder that you can’t stay focused.
WHAT TO DO INSTEAD: Schedule time to tackle the clutter and get rid of it once and for all. Once you have the job done, take 5 minutes at the end or beginning of each day to clear the excess that has collected so that your workspace remains clutter free. An organized space that supports you and your goals will have a positive impact on your productive.
Staying focused at work can be difficult with obstacles such as these. Tackling the issues head on and applying office organizing strategies that become part of your daily routine will not only improve your focus but also your productivity.
For more hands-on office organizing strategies, reach out to your NYC Professional Office Organizer today!