You feel an urge to Google something. You cave. What seems like 10 minutes turns out to be an hour.
You receive a Facebook message from a close friend. The Newsfeed tempts you with its promise of infinite scrolling, and exciting updates from your favourite media sites.
We’ve all been there.
As a business owner bent on being productive 80% of the day, I’d like to introduce to you three effective hacks I swear by - so you will always stay sharp and focused at the office.
1. Build a system to shut off distractions
While digital tools are key to many of our lives, they can also be the bane of our productivity. Deloitte’s 2014 Global Human Capital Trends study estimated that smartphone addiction costs costs “$10 million a year for mid-size companies.” This excludes the amount of time spent using social media or surfing news sites while at work.
Freedom is one of the best tools out there to help you manage your distractions on both your computer and mobile devices. If you want to avoid falling into a Facebook rabbit hole from 10-11am, you can set up a Freedom session. Without the help of digital tools, your mindfulness practice could you also help with minimizing distractions.
2. Inform others of your personal work system
Segment out your time well. When you have an individual task at hand that would only be completed within the next 2 hours, tell your colleagues approach you at the end of 2 hours. They would be more than understanding. Also, at the start of the day, schedule quick chats with the colleagues you work most closely with. Try to address all topics at one go, to avoid small distractions throughout the day.
Controlling external distractions complements the approach of tip 1, which is centered on personal distractions.
3. Take frequent breaks
Human attention is limited. A recent study by the University of Illinois showed that “prolonged attention to a single task actually hinders performance”. Taking a short break once an hour can help with your focus.
While you’re at it, you can hydrate yourself with a refreshing glass of water, and pick up a healthy, fuss-free office snack to ward off hunger pangs.
When you get into your flow state, you would not want to be disturbed. These hacks will help you get closer to that. I hope you apply these hacks to your everyday routine, just as I have!
Written by Roslyn Teng, co-founder of Made Real. A vegetarianism advocate and staunch supporter of balanced living.