In today’s fast-paced world, finding time to focus on the task at hand can be a challenge — especially when the job is difficult or complex. Just when you begin to feel productive, a text message, a social media notification or a co-worker interrupts you!
Whatever the interruption, follow these five tips for staying productive no matter how busy you get.
1. Set social media blackout times.
Work on staying productive by signing out of Facebook or Twitter (unless your job requires you to be signed in). Then stop yourself from checking notifications and instant messages until scheduled work breaks.
2. Complete the most difficult task first.
Sometimes figuring out where to begin can seem overwhelming, so it’s better to just jump right in. Figure out which task you’re looking forward to the least and get that out of the way first. Once you’ve accomplished the most difficult thing on your to-do list, your remaining tasks will seem a little easier, which can help you succeed in staying productive.
3. Get your tools in place.
The French saying, “mise en place” means “tools in place.” Chefs use it to refer to the way they set out all of the ingredients and kitchen accessories that they will need to complete a dish before they start cooking. Do the same thing when it comes to your tasks. Set yourself up for success with an organized set of tools in place.
4. Make sure you schedule time to unwind in between tasks.
You definitely want to keep your mind on accomplishing the task at hand, but going full steam ahead with no breaks can be both draining and counterproductive. It’s important to allow yourself a little recovery time between mentally or physically challenging tasks. This can actually help you in staying productive, even if it seems counterintuitive. Everything in moderation — even work!
5. Lists, lists, lists.
Having a good, well-organized list can make any task or project seem a little less daunting. Make a list to prioritize your tasks, and then make another list identifying the tools you’ll need to complete those tasks. Have another list just for the deadlines you need to meet. You can also organize contact information for people you’re working with on a project. Overall, lists are a great way to keep track of all the information surrounding a project.
With these tips and tricks, you’ll hopefully remain productive and accomplish your goals no matter what distraction comes your way!