In a world of smartphones, instant messaging, social media and a constant stream of up-to-the-minute news, it’s easy to get distracted and dive down internet rabbit holes on a regular basis. It’s also pretty common to use multiple devices at the same time, e.g. scrolling through the Twitter app on your phone while watching Netflix on your laptop. So, how do you work smarter in an age of distraction? Here are five simple ways to stay focused.
1. Manage your workspace
Ensure that your work area is an organised and calming space. Go through any paperwork, file the important documents, and recycle the rest. Keep a few items on your desk that you use regularly and stash the rest in a drawer or cabinet. And introduce a pot plant or two to green your space.
2. Plan and prepare
Take a few minutes in the morning to review your workload and decide on two or three key things you need to accomplish during the course of the day. Keeping a close eye on your schedule and prioritising your work will help you advance your projects and ensure that important tasks are completed. Plus, it’s always gratifying to be able to cross items off your to-do list at the end of the day.
3. Check email at set times
It’s tempting to open your inbox each time you hear the familiar ping of an email arriving, but checking and responding to emails as and when they arrive can affect your productivity and up your stress levels. So how often should you check your mail? Mashable cites a study which showed that three times per day is the “right amount to keep added stress away” – but if that’s not doable for you, aim for between three to five times a day.
4. Block out noise
Unless you’re a social media or community manager, it’s unlikely that you need to follow online happenings minute by minute. So if you find yourself constantly checking your news feeds and timelines, it’s time to break the habit. It may be tough to cut back in the beginning, but aim to spend only ten minutes twice a day catching up on news and social media updates. Once you manage to reduce the ‘noise’, you’ll probably find that you feel calmer – and that you’re more productive.
5. Take a break
Whether you work from home or in an office, it’s always a good idea to take regular breaks during the day – and according to an article in Forbes, some of the benefits of these breaks can include increased productivity and improved mental wellbeing. So, make sure you take a proper lunch break away from your desk. Exercise is a great energiser, so consider going for a walk or run, or heading to a Pilates class during lunch. Alternatively, if you work close to a safe green space, enjoy the occasional break outdoors – getting into nature is a great way to de-stress.
Looking for the ideal office space?
Then why not explore what Melrose Arch has to offer? This aspirant business district and shopping precinct in the heart of Joburg’s northern suburbs boasts a diverse range of quality boutique and large-scale convenience retail options as well as urban office space available to lease. To find out more, contact the Property Café on 010 020 4800.