It can be easy to get distracted. Especially when it’s gorgeous outside, as it has been in New York for the past three days. I find the trickiest time to control my schedule is right in between not busy at all (because you always have some work to do), and insanely busy to the point of tears. If you have constant deadlines, you are constantly doing work. If you have some time to get your projects done, procrastination can seduce you into spending your time “monitoring competitor Pinterest accounts” rather than conquering the real task at hand.
I, for one, am the worst/best procrastinator I know. I find a way to meet my deadlines, but not until I’ve put off every assignment until the last possible moment. That leads to unnecessary stress while my supervisors patiently wait for my work. Over the years I have found a few tricks that have worked for me to stay on task, and push through my to-do list with minimal drama:
Only attend those meetings you HAVE to be at: Make sure you have a chunk of time to get work done in your day. Thirty minute breaks inbetween meetings will only be spent catching up on emails. Also, if you tell your supervisor you have to miss a meeting to work on a project, you will be even more inclined to actually spend that time working on the project (gasp!).
Shut down all distractions…: Though our office uses gchat as another form of communication, when your girl friend’s window pops up asking about the cute guy in your building, you’re not exactly going to be focused on work. Send a quick note to your teams that you’re going “heads down” to complete an assignment, log off email, gchat and facebook, and put your cell phone in your purse.
…Except those that keep you on task: Everyone has that random thing that keeps them focused. A former colleague of mine could get all her work done so long as she kept the coffee flowing for two hours straight. I actually work best when I have music on (I used to study in college with country music blaring on my iPod). Find the one thing that calms you and switches your brain on, and make sure to indulge in it while you tackle the project.
How do you stay focused throughout the day?