Do you get easily distracted at work? Have you tried paying attention to the task at hand but find your attention constantly wavering at work? Well, do not be discouraged if you are termed as a ‘distracted worker’ because there are many individuals who suffer from the same ‘disease’. Sometimes you might not be the reason why you get so easily distracted, thereby decreasing your effectiveness at work. At times it could just be a pesky co-worker who talks constantly, or a colleague who continues to make unwanted ‘cubicle’ noise with their chair.
However, sometimes the reason for your distraction might be your inability to stay focused on the task at hand. This is not considered as a shortcoming, it just means that you have added responsibilities which you need to keep a tab on.
Whatever the situation, there are some easy and proven steps which you can follow to ensure that you shut out all the surrounding distractions and concentrate on doing the best work possible, effectively. These suggestions and tips are also useful for those who feel that despite their best efforts, they are not successful in making a mark in their respective area of work.
You can change all that. It all begins with you.
In order for you to be more effective at work, you will need to start communicating more. In order for you to get your point of view across, you will need to start relaying your ideas, thoughts, perceptions and suggestions without holding back. Once you give ‘voice’ to your opinions (good or bad), you will feel more involved in the organization.
Always make it a point to reply to e-mails promptly in order to create a good impression. If you are late for a meeting, always send a text or call explaining why you will be delayed. These small changes can bring about big changes how people perceive you in the company.
By procrastinating, you tend to become your own worst enemy. Therefore, take necessary steps to battle procrastination. Once you receive a task, try and complete it almost immediately before you find something else to distract you. Pick an opportune time to complete the task at hand as distractions can play havoc with your concentration. Once you immerse yourself in your work, you will not want to leave it unfinished. Easy.
If remembering things are not necessarily your strong suit, you have no choice but to maintain a diary or a ‘TO DO’ list which will help you complete tasks for the day. Also, make a mention of the appointments for the day, actions and completed work. This list will help you manage your time more effectively, maybe even giving you the leisure to procrastinate at the end of the day.
One of the best ways of ensuring that you stay effective at work is to organize documents that require immediate attention. Try and file away papers and other documents that may be strewn all over your desk. Also, once you arrange them in file, code or name each file to ensure that you know where to find what you may be looking for. The keyword here is – Organize.
Shut the (cubicle) door!
If you find yourself at the receiving end of non-stop conversation between co-workers, you do not have to yell at them. All you need to do is politely shut the cubicle door. This will help you concentrate better so that you can be more effective at work with the constant chatter bothering you. However, if you do not have your own cubicle, you will need to politely ask your co-workers to tone down their conversation. Do not forget to add a smile after the request, it makes it easier.
If you have the ability to focus your attention on more tasks than one, you can always carry excess work when you are travelling for an outstation meeting. There also may be times when you are asked to wait in the reception area for a considerable length of time before the start of your meeting. This time can be used productively to complete small tasks that require small investments of time. This will mean that you do not have to worry about one less task when you get back to your office.
If you too much on your plate and worry about trying to complete all tasks without forgetting any, all you need to do is take the time out at least four times a day to reflect on the work completed and the tasks that are yet to receive your attention. Take the time to assess how you can effectively manage your time wisely to run things smoothly.
If you have an idea or thought and you may want to relay it to the entire team at a meeting on a later date, you can always pen it down and refer to it when the time arrives. In order for you to be an asset, you will need to step out of your comfort zone and come up with thoughts and suggestions that are unique. Therefore, pen them down and speak them out later.
Do not try to complete or tend to all tasks at one go. Take the time out to segregate tasks according their priority. Devote the time set aside for each work exclusively before moving on to the next job at hand. If you choose to answer emails and reply to voice messages at a particular time, make sure you only perform these tasks during the time set aside for them.
Ask and receive
Do not be afraid to ask for help or seek further training in order to better yourself and become more effective as a worker. If you feel that you need some advice or training in a particular area of your work, do not hesitate to ask your boss or supervisor to dedicate a few minutes to making you understand better. Your immediate senior will definitely not mind in sharing their valuable expertise because it will only mean that their employees will become more effective. Therefore, it becomes a win-win situation for all concerned.
When you feel that you are not being as effective as you want to be, do not be disappointed. Just tell yourself that you are capable of doing great things. Sometimes you are your best motivation. Take heart from your past achievements and look forward to completing your tasks to the best of your ability.
These tips, though easier said than done, will help you in your mission to become more effective at work, if you feel you aren’t already.
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