Regardless of the situation, it is easy to get caught up with distractions at the office. Your co-workers may be taking a 20-minute Starbucks break, or you might become completely engrossed in the day's Wall Street Journal, shaving away precious work time. Whether it is due to social media sites, personal emails or phone calls, turning off or tuning out all the noise is easier said than done.
So how (and when) do you say it is time to to stop messing around and get serious at work?
Constantly losing focus at the office not only damages your credibility and quality of work, it adds to the long list of tasks your supervisors and colleagues already have.
An important part of most work environments is surviving well in a team and being a contributing member. If you constantly miss deadlines and turn in projects of low quality, your team will end up having to pick up the slack and consequently will ruin your relationship with them. If you are given the responsibility of taking the lead on the new client presentation and you find yourself not being able to complete small tasks such as compiling the research in an adequate amount of time, you know you have a problem.
Let your coworkers help you prioritize. By sharing your goals with your team, you'll know what you need to focus on in order to help other members of your team complete their projects. Be able to answer the questions: What is important to my team members? What do they need from me? Is there anything you need to complete that may be holding another colleague up?
Staying focused means more than simply finishing a project. It means finishing a task within a reasonable timeframe to allow for more work to be accomplished. Figuring out a way to monitor how long a project takes you can be a much-needed eye-opener in terms of efficiency. Sharing your goals and projects with co-workers is also important because it allows them to suggest ideas on the process of completing a project and its quality.
Breaking up large projects into small manageable tasks is a great way to get a large amount of work done during the day. If your task is to come up with a marketing plan for a client, break your tasks up into smaller goals — such as completing client research, reviewing previous examples and creating an outline. Being able to check off smaller tasks that lead to a larger project and goal will keep employees stay on focused and on track.
Every worker is different, and planning ahead with goals is key to having a productive day at work. Even if you do not plan your breaks by the minute, having an idea of the goals you want to will keep you on track during your day. Your bosses may give you deadlines which can easily be met, but it is up to to use as little time as possible to complete a project to the best of your ability. Efficiency is often assessed your supervisor, and it is up to an employee to manage his or her time in order to be considered valuable part of the team and company.
What are some things you do to turn of all the distractions at work?
Morgan Norman is the Founder and CEO of WorkSimple, a Social Goal management program, and is passionate about building the first performance management designed for all employees.