Now is the time to think about how you want to make a difference for the 2020 year. The Private Industry Council of Westmoreland/Fayette, Inc. wants you to consider relating your New Year’s Resolution to your daily job performance. It’s true that our work tends to take up much of our time. This article is intended to have you stop and think about how you get the job done. Sometimes the workplace can be the most distracting place. Jen Lawrence, a former investment banker and Big Four consultant, assists companies with improving employee engagement by developing a thinking culture. She listed five ways to avoid distractions in the workplace. (http://www.inc.com/dave-karpen)
- Create a realistic To-Do list by compiling a small list that is accomplishable in one day. Hold yourself accountable by checking off the items on your list for a better likelihood of keeping on task.
- Turn off your technology and/or notifications to avoid distractions when you are trying to concentrate. A study by University of Essex found that staff are distracted by having a phone present and are less likely to form close interpersonal connections. (http://www.cnn.com)
- Think 40:15:5 to grab dedicated work time that you can power through. Work on a project for 40 minutes of the first hour without interruption then take 15 minutes to check messages. Take a 5 minute recovery break by going for a walk to the copier, retrieve a bottle of water, or check your mailbox. Have a brief conversation with a co-worker to reward yourself for you concentration and accomplishment.
- Be obviously unavailable by giving co-workers a signal such as closing your door or putting a do not disturb message on your phone line, or working in a conference room. For those working in an open environment or a shared space, consider wearing a head set or earbuds to signal that you are not available.
- Schedule office hours to meet with those that would like to meet with you or that you would like to meet with during your regular work hours.
As we have watched the growth of technology over the years we are able to see the role of technology in the workplace expanded. We value our work, but we also value our smart phones and other electronic devices. There are times when the quick access of technology is not the most productive and effective way of improving our productivity in the workplace. Sometimes the best way to increase our work performance is by powering down some of our technology and setting aside time to think without the distractions. Put yourself to the test by making a New Year’s resolution to adhere to the five ways to avoid distractions in the workplace. We all work hard at our jobs every day and having a plan to follow just may help it to be a little easier to achieve.