Managing interruptions at work is an important skill in the modern workplace. It is tempting to check your email, update your calendar, and research your current assignment all in one go. This type of multitasking can be quite inefficient and it’s often better to focus on one task from start through to completion. Some suggestions may include checking your emails once during the morning and once during the evening; updating your calendar at the end of the day; finish up on that research and move on to the next step. The office design team at Future Fitouts have written this blog to provide you with some tips, tricks and ways to stay focused while you work.
Staying Focused at Work – Our Top Tips
Make a plan
One of the easiest ways to help with managing interruptions at work is to make a plan for your day. Schedule things to do with your time. Don’t confuse this with making a to-do list, rather, focus on your workflow at specific times on a given day. This should help with staying focused at work and on what needs to be accomplished.
Urgent and Important
Another useful suggestion for managing interruptions at work is to use the ‘urgent and important’ rule. Work on tasks that are both urgent and important. This will change from office to office but after you begin using the rule it starts becoming easier to assess and implement.
A simple and polite ‘no’ is another easy way to stay focused. It is easy to go off task when have co-workers asking for information or help. Saying focused at work is hard to do when you are being interrupted by such requests. Frankly, saying “no” is actually just a request for time and can be politely phrased like this, “I want to help you but I can’t right now because I need to work on this. How about a bit later?” Ask them to email or teams you instead but let co-workers know that if the interruption is an urgent one, they may ask if they can interrupt you.
Your workspace plays an important role in how you get things done. Having a proper place for your phone, documents, and other work accessories is necessary for staying focused at work. Having a tidy work area not only looks pleasant but also allows you to get things donein an orderly fashion.
Assess your workspace
Take a good look at your work area and make an evaluation. Is it conducive to managing interruptions at work? Arrange your furniture and organise your equipment in a manner that minimises hearing and seeing others. Consider using a white-noise machine to cut down on distracting sounds. Open-work areas can be distracting. Consider requesting a change to how your work environment is laid out.
Open-work areas are popular but they frequently have higher occurrences of interruptions and distractions. Think about arranging your office by blocks of areas dedicated to getting certain things done. Have an area for socialising, another for collaboration, and a quiet space for thinking.
The right colour combination is one of the most pleasant ways to stay focused at work. White is connected to cleanliness but can be viewed as uninspiring. Blue and green are seen as pleasant, relaxing, and productive. Red and orange are excellent for highlighting or for use in social areas.
Efficiently designed meeting and conference rooms
Designing meeting and conference rooms properly can go a long way towards improving focus at work. Managers can spend a significant portion of the day in meetings. Making sure these important rooms are well-lit with natural light, have comfortable working furniture, and designed to shut out distracting noises all go a long way to improving focus. Good use of colour works well here too.