Distraction is the enemy of productivity. While technology has greatly increased our ability to connect with customers, as well as people across our business, it has also driven us to distraction in productivity-crushing amounts. While productivity isn’t the only measure of success, it’s a necessary part of the picture, helping us complete tasks and ultimately drive progress forward. Here are some simple tips to help disengage from distraction without having to go into hiding or stay after hours every day.
1. Schedule your time
Our work calendars can be an onslaught of meeting requests, and even getting up to get some coffee can end up eating 20 or more minutes if we meet someone in the hallway with a question. One of the top tips for increasing your daily productivity is to block out time on your calendar that will be dedicated to whatever deadline-driven or task-oriented work you have to do. Those one or two-hour chunks of time can be for reviewing work, writing up feedback, researching or whatever your day demands. Having it blocked not only means no one else can schedule a meeting during that slot but will also serve as a daily reminder for you, helping you get into the rhythm of productivity.
2. Be strategic about where you sit
Not everyone can move from the lunchroom to an empty conference room and then back to their desk, but most people working on laptops have some flexibility to move throughout the day. Being tethered to your desk can be draining and a change of scenery, however small, can be a boost to productivity. Plus, it also means that people are less likely to drop by your desk to ask you questions when you’re in the middle of something.
As a manager, you absolutely have to make yourself available for questions and meetings and reviews, but organizing your time and occasionally breaking up your landscape are small, daily ways you can make productivity a priority.