You may have the best intentions to stay focused and on task, but distractions are rampant at work. How can you best fight off the interruptions? The number one way is to save personal communications — all that chit-chatting and gossiping with co-workers — for your lunch hour or break. “It can help put more time and momentum back into your workday,” says Rosemary Haefner, vice president of human resources at CareerBuilder. What else can you do to refocus and stop wasting so much time at work? CareerBuilder offers these tips:
- Organize and prioritize.
De-clutter your workspace and clearly lay out your game plan for the week. What do you need to accomplish each day? How much time will each project take? Which projects have the highest priority?
- Limit interruptions.
Incoming calls and co-workers dropping by to chat about their weekend can break your concentration and eat up time. Block off a conference room to work on a project to avoid distractions at your desk. Read your email at intervals instead of opening each one as soon as it comes in. Consider telecommuting on certain days.
- Avoid unnecessary meetings.
Don’t set aside an hour to meet about an issue or initiative that can be addressed with a quick phone call. Politely decline the meeting invitation and follow up with the organizer.
- Get personal on your own time.
Whether you want to call a friend, take advantage of an online sale or post a picture of your dog on your social profile, do it during your lunch hour or break time or after work.
- Communicate wisely.
Don’t spend 20 minutes crafting an email to the person sitting in the next cubicle. Save time by picking up the phone or walking over to your colleague’s desk.