Productivity Hacks for the Easily Distracted
Staying on task isn’t easy for most people.
There are coworkers to catch up with and no shortage of entertaining websites to browse. For those that work remotely, there are dishes to do or kids begging for attention. So how does one stay on track throughout the day to get to all the work that must be done?
While there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to productivity, there are hacks you can use to find your groove. Here are ten of our favorites.
1. Clear your calendar of meetings one day a week
Meetings can really get in the way of productivity, especially if your schedule is packed with call after call.
So, try to dedicate at least one meeting-free day per week. You may receive some pushback from colleagues and bosses. If that happens, be prepared to make your case for why you need uninterrupted time to knock out bigger projects that require intense focus.
2. Clear away the clutter
Clutter is extremely distracting and it’s all-too-easy to focus on your cluttered desk instead of the work you need to complete.
3. Use a productivity app
Apps like StayFocused track how long someone is on time-sucking websites like Facebook or Reddit.
You can use these apps to block specific sites completely or set a daily time limit. Once you’ve reached the limit, the site becomes inaccessible until the next day.
4. Turn the phone to silent - or off completely
Phone calls are necessary for work, but unplanned calls can also be a disaster for your productivity.
When you need to focus, turn your phone to silent or off. When the project is complete, turn it back on.
5. Take a walk
Most people work best in blocks of time — trying to complete everything in one marathon session rarely goes well.
Make sure you take frequent breaks throughout the workday, ideally to go for a walk. The fresh air and movement will help clear your mind, and you’ll have an easier time focusing once you’re back at it.
Not all tasks are as important as others. It sounds simple, but start every day with your most important task. Once it’s off your plate, you’ll feel motivated and inspired to tackle the rest of your projects.
7. Be prepared
By the end of the day, most people are just ready to check out, especially on Friday.
The end of the day, however, is the perfect time to prepare for the next day or work week. Put together a task list for the next day or set some objectives for the following week before you close your laptop.
8. Create a to-do list
Create a single to-do list with everything that needs to get done on a daily or weekly basis, starting with the hardest task.
As the task gets done, cross it off and move on to the next one.
Easy enough, right? Not necessarily! You’ll want to stick to the list as much as possible, so this one will require some discipline. Emergencies will come up, but they should be few and far between. If a person is having too many fire drills, then they’re not prioritizing.
9. Outsource certain projects
DeCelles has another productivity hack: Outsource select tasks to freelancers and contractors, especially if the company doesn’t have enough internal resources.
One of the most popular areas to outsource is administrative assistance and phone answering, which is exactly what we focus on here at Intelligent Office. These areas can easily be delegated, especially when you’re working with the right virtual assistants and virtual receptionists.
10. Start early
When you start the workday early, there’s less chance of being interrupted by others.
If you’re simply not a morning person, there’s nothing wrong with working later in the evening, either. The key is to find a timeframe that tends to be free of everyday distractions.
How do you stay productive during the workday?
The best productivity hacks will vary from person to person, so consider trying a few suggestions from this list.
Stick with them for a period of time, evaluate whether they’re working, and keep trying until you find a system that works for the way you work.