The state that is the current technological age that we live in, is finally reaching it’s originally intended objectives when it comes to workplace efficiency… well sort of.
This efficiency and automation that’s now available because of the Internet, along with the ease of mobile communication, has made our lives and business processes a lot smoother. It’s succeeded in making everything convenient to use, while reducing costs.
So this is the good news when it comes to all things that’s electronic. But the not so great news is that all of this technology, which now appears to be advancing at seemingly warp speed, is creating a lot of more clutter to our brains and bodies.
For instance, whenever a customer happens to email you with a price or query request, what we’ll typically do is to just drop whatever we were doing, and then respond immediately to them, becoming distracted in the process.
The biggest issue with this is that we think our brain are similar to the hard drives on our computer, the main difference being that they’re not really designed to be dual-core processors.
Research has proven that our brains are actually not capable of multitasking at all. So as a result, what we’ll usually do is drop whatever task we were previously doing, even if it’s just for a few moments, and then do something completely different, which isn’t the definition of multitasking.
Instead of making ourselves more efficient, what this constant interruption by technology is doing is it’s taxing our mental as well as physical resources.
Then, what we’re left with are half-finished, half baked, barely began and hardly ever finished projects which are usually abandoned. We become constantly distracted and become too busy, while we forfeit devoting the quality time that’s deserved and allocated to the things that we should be doing.
But what our jobs dictates is that we need to be accessible and cannot ignore our client or customers, this based on our job descriptions or our boss’s demands. The biggest challenge then becomes attempting to create a balance, handling “real time” demands while attempting to do our actual work.
So listed are a few tips on keeping focused by getting better organized while learning to prioritize, this by keeping an eye on the big picture at all times, while continuing to remain accessible.
Setting A “To-do” List For The Day
Take a few minutes first thing in the morning to prioritize what you need to do for the day. Begin by listing all of your micro and macro goals that you need to accomplish, and then allocate a time limit for doing each of them.
Determine what you need to achieve for that day. If you have meetings scattered throughout the afternoon, then set your “mental” goals in place and then envision the outcome. If you need to make sales calls, then proceed the same way.
Knowing exactly what you need to accomplish for that day, that morning or afternoon, will allow you to accomplish that to-do list quicker and with more efficiency.
Effectively Managing All Of The Interruptions
There’s absolutely nothing wrong with politely asking someone to wait, or just giving them a strict “No” on occasion.
Office settings will also usually foster conversation and collaboration with others, work related or gossip, which encourages your colleagues to just wander into your office or workspace, to discuss issues of varying degrees of importance.
So what you can do is judge the severity and importance of the discussion and then act as accordingly as possible, this because you don’t have the time or interest to discuss the score of the ballgame the previous night.
There’s no need to constantly stop and drop whatever you’re doing, just because a coworker or anyone else asks you to.
Determine Which Tasks Can Be Done “Offline”
The best way to get the most productive and quality work done is when you’re able to completely focus on your work, allowing you to be as creative as possible.
What this means is avoiding all distractions for a set period of time, such as not reading emails, no texting or instant messaging, not taking phone calls.
Make sure that you block out a period of time on your schedule beforehand, and then let your colleagues and coworkers know that you’ll be busy and not wish to be interrupted during that set period of time.
Taking A “Time Out” Break
Having a brief break from your immediate environment can be an absolute godsend when it comes to increasing your work productivity. So take a few minutes to stroll around the office, take a walk around the block, or go grab a quick coffee down the street.
What this will do is allow your mind as well as your body to clear itself by taking this break, and as a result, will instantly feel refocused, refreshed, and re-calibrated.
Although there may not be much that we can do to slow down or avoid the progress and convenience that is technology, but it definitely does make our everyday business lives a lot easier.
What we can do instead, is consciously slow ourselves down long enough, so that we can make some good decisions regarding how we can best spend our workday, by performing better Office management.