*note: I did not do this illustration – although I would love to steal credit.
In today’s world its easy to get distracted.
Some are better at ignoring the temptations than others. However, in an office where a pool table, ping pong, and a bar are just a few steps away – not to mention a giant screen directly in your face….sometimes it can be …….OH LOOK A BUTTERFLY!
Some tips for having a successful work day and a clear mind to create beautiful things:
1. PUT YOUR PHONE ON SILENT
Well, not only is it incredibly RUDE to have your phone going off (thanks, Greg for teaching me that in your last post) but also attention grabbing. True, phone calls and emergencies can happen throughout the day that require immediate attention. More often than not, every text message and Facebook notification aren’t very important (unless you HAVE to see the waffles your friend ate this morning.)
2. REGULATE DISTRACTING SITES
For everyone it’s different. For me, my internet crack is Reddit and Facebook. Take 10 – 15 minutes at the beginning of the day to get your fix then start your work.
3. PRACTICE ONE-MINDEDNESS
My dad taught me this one. Focusing on one task at a time not only makes you do the work faster but at your fullest potential. If you are eating cereal and reading a book you are only doing them to half their potential. This is because your attention is split and you can’t become the master cereal eater you’ve always dreamed of. If you’re writing an email, write an email. If you’re working on a logo, work on a logo, and so on…
4. TAKE A HIKE
Not literally. I meant take a walk. I know what you’re thinking – LAURA, isn’t this causing MORE distraction? – Think of it this way, if you are having the urge to let your mind wander into LALA land (my version is LA-RA land) then you probably need a visual and physical break. instead of aimlessly browsing IMDB wondering if Whoopi Goldberg was indeed the leading role in “Sister Act” …who knows where and how long that train of thought can take you? Next thing you know you’re on Wikipedia looking up Carl Tanzler (don’t…) or finding out if Bald Eagles have enemies (bears, hawks and snakes). Taking a walk will not only rejuvenate you but place a solid timeline on when you return to work.
5. LISTEN TO MUSIC – NOT VIDEOS
I realize this is going against my one-mindedness suggestion but if you’re the type that cannot for the life of you sit in silence, I would suggest music over videos. Watching YouTube takes over your auditory and visual sensors rendering you basically a blob of uselessness. Music is nice background filler while working on visual stuff. Writing usually should be done in silence. I frequently rip earphones out of Jenny’s ears (our office Hemingway.)
7. USE YOUR LUNCH TIME FOR YOU
The guys at Blue Ion like to have a game of ping pong after lunch, Lauren is browsing for wedding stuff on weddings wednesday and I’m getting my Reddit fix. Its the perfect time to stuff your face and mind – with crap.
8. TURN OFF YOUR EMAIL/ICHAT
This is probably one of the biggest productivity killers. Every time you hear the little ting and beep of an email or ichat come through – it’s comparable to a black hole pulling you in with curiosity. Your concentration is ripped away from the current task. Each time you break your attention away to shift gears, once you get back to what you were originally doing, you have to restore you train of thought. It can get exhausting. Also, as Chris so eloquently put it – if it’s that important, a co-worker can walk 10 steps to let you know what it is they need.
I believe that following these tips can lead to a more productive day which leads to more enjoyment on our time off and ultimately, less stress. Try it out!