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How do you stay focused/productive at work?.

Big Harv

TRIBE Member
I've been having a terrible time staying focused at work lately. I'm easily distracted with e-mails, phone calls, outside noise, people coming into my office, my secretary, etc. I waste so much time in the day, and I end up having to stay until at least 8 or 9 each night to finish up what I need to. I try to exercise, bring snacks to work, get a decent night's sleep on most nights and force myself not to look at my computer screen, but I'm just not being as productive as I should be.

Can anyone offer some practical tips on how to manage the constant barrage of communications/interruiptions to actually get some work done during regular business hours?
 

deep

TRIBE Member
- allocate a certain hour to responding to emails then shut off the blackberry and outlook

- turn down the phone ringer and do the same for phone calls as is done for email

- ear plugs or close your office door for noise

- look at it like the determining factor over whether or not you keep your job is what you can say you've been doing with your time in the past 5 minutes
 

Liquidity

TRIBE Member
keep work and personal emails seperate. only check personal emails during breaks.

ditto for phone calls.

create an aura of "FU"-ness when you're zoned into work. act like a total ass if someone interrupts you (unless they outrank you).

take a late lunch and focus on getting your main shit done before lunch.

leave before 7 even if you're not done. you have to get into the habit of thinking you MUST get your stuff done before 7 or else you're gonna end up thinking you can put it off 'til later.

you have a secretary? communicate with him/her that they need to be your shell against low priority interruptions. this is the minimum role they play. if they can't even do this much, junk 'em 'cause they're not doin' their job.

close the door.
 

Lovely N Amazin

TRIBE Member
is something on your mind, that could explain your difficulty to concentrate?

try checking/writing e-mail msgs at designated times ; scheduling something at 6 or 7 (dinner date, gym time, class) that forces you to get stuff done.
 

Big Harv

TRIBE Member
Lovely N Amazin said:
is something on your mind, that could explain your difficulty to concentrate?

try checking/writing e-mail msgs at designated times ; scheduling something at 6 or 7 (dinner date, gym time, class) that forces you to get stuff done.
Usually the only thing on my mind is; holy F*ck I have a lot to do and not a lot of time to do it.

deep/liquidity: thanks - exactly the type of time mgmt tips I was after.
 
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poker face

TRIBE Member
This might sound hard but I dont know you. I dont know if you party much but that could have a impact. also try to figure out a way to challange yourself. If you are single that can distract you also.
 

deep

TRIBE Member
I think a lot of avoidance (procrastination) as it pertains to work has to do with perceiving the "whole" that you have to accomplish instead of what piecemeal parts of it are more readily overcome. So breaking things down into their constituents can help. And if it's a metric fucktonne of big things you have to do, focus on making a sizable dent in each task rotating until you've made good headway on them all. The switching from task to task I find lets you work for more sustained periods of time than if focusing on one thing until completion before moving to the next. Same reason why ADD types can actually multitask for hours on end but can't make a few minutes sticking to one thing.
 

Big Harv

TRIBE Member
deep said:
I think a lot of avoidance (procrastination) as it pertains to work has to do with perceiving the "whole" that you have to accomplish instead of what piecemeal parts of it are more readily overcome. So breaking things down into their constituents can help. And if it's a metric fucktonne of big things you have to do, focus on making a sizable dent in each task rotating until you've made good headway on them all. The switching from task to task I find lets you work for more sustained periods of time than if focusing on one thing until completion before moving to the next. Same reason why ADD types can actually multitask for hours on end but can't make a few minutes sticking to one thing.
planning the work has not been the biggest problem for me - it's working the plan where I'm in need of the most help!
 

Resolver

TRIBE Member
Big Harv said:
Can anyone offer some practical tips on how to manage the constant barrage of communications/interruiptions to actually get some work done during regular business hours?
Go around and start emptying all of your co-workers garbage cans and start sweeping and vacuuming the floors. They'll feel better that you care so much.
 

deep

TRIBE Member
Big Harv said:
planning the work has not been the biggest problem for me - it's working the plan where I'm in need of the most help!
What are your long term goals? How is what you're doing now consistent or contributing to what you want to be able to do in the future? Relating what you're doing at the moment to that I find is helpful.
 
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derek

TRIBE Member
octo said:
get rid of your hot secretary. she's distracting you
lol...i was about to say the same. who the hell has secretaries these days anyways? aren't they admin assistants now. i have an 2 ops analysts, 4 production leaders, 200 staff, and no secretarty. what am i doing wrong? (actually the 2 analysts do alot of my admin so i guess the count). i wish i had time to procrastinate.

don't know what to say big harv, could you be getting bored of you position?
 

quantumize

TRIBE Member
i dont want to sounds like a nerd but i honestly love my job and staying focussed is easy. sometimes its hard to pull myself away from what i'm doing actually. my job is very motivational because i get to see results immediatley.
 
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kmac

TRIBE Member
I make to-do lists every morning, and break down the task to its smallest part. Although looking at yesterday's list, I see I completed everything but the most pain-in-the-ass assignments. :S
 

peko

TRIBE Member
- stay off tribe while you're at work
- check emails and phone messages in the morning and rank importance of them
-make a 'to do list' and prioritize tasks listed
- keep a log of how long things take you to do (helps time management skills
- DELEGATE things if you can to your staff or people in your department
- close your door and make a sign "Do not Disturb"- (eg. doing batch control - or whatever major thing you need to do in peace and quiet)
- take snack breaks - especially in the late afternoon to increase energy and attention span
- go into work an hour early and force yourself to leave at a normal time
- start filling your calander for 6pm appointments so you can't stay late


good luck!
 

MissBlu

TRIBE Member
I find for me, the more work I have to do, the more productive I am... If you can take on more tasks this may help...

Like mentioned here, make certain times for certain tasks. I also find that if I purge my email and voicemail at the end of the day, it makes it easier and more appealing for the next day...

Coming in early is also a great idea. I get more accomplished at work between 7-9am some days then the whole rest of the day...

I am also a big believer in lists - when you complete something - instant gratification....
 

kmac

TRIBE Member
Already crossed two things off my list this morning! Sure, it was email a birthday greeting to a friend and grab a coffee but at least it's something.
 
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quantumize

TRIBE Member
kmac said:
Already crossed two things off my list this morning! Sure, it was email a birthday greeting to a friend and grab a coffee but at least it's something.
i want to see a copy of this 'alleged' list of yours
 

kmac

TRIBE Member
It's got about 10 items on it so far, most of which are to call people and think of story ideas and call some more people and then write about it. But there is a list!
 

Flashy_McFlash

Well-Known TRIBEr
kmac said:
I make to-do lists every morning, and break down the task to its smallest part. Although looking at yesterday's list, I see I completed everything but the most pain-in-the-ass assignments. :S
I make my to-do list for the next day right before I leave. It's a nice "it's 3:45 and I don't want to start anything" kind of task.
 

kmac

TRIBE Member
That's a really good idea, actually. Then I don't have to waste my drive home thinking about all the shit I have to do the next day. Last night I was doing that and I drove through a red light (at one of those intersections with a camera).

Anyone know how much that one is going to cost me?
 
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