Are you overwhelmed by the sheer number of emails that you receive every day? Between the job listings, Yahoo! Groups digests, mailing list dailies and updates from your favorite blogs (>cough<), do you feel stuck in the inbox quicksand?
Attention span of a fly? This list will help you get in the zone. Are you considering taking a sick day so that you can get some work done? Do you find your mind wandering as you scan through a spreadsheet or write a post for your blog? You're not alone. Knowing how to prevent interruptions and avoid distractions is important, but those considerations become secondary if you've mastered the art of staying in focus. Here's how to do just that.
Whether at work, on the go or at home, people rarely like to be interrupted. Here are some tips on preventing that from happening. You too can prevent interruptions 1) Relax and get comfortable before you begin the task at hand; sit in a good chair, adjust the lighting, etc. It's bad enough when other people interfere, you don't need to let your own body beat them to it with a cramped neck or tired eyes. 2) Allow people onto your instant messenger contact list once you're confident that they won't abuse the privilege of being there. 3) Turn off your email/messaging program or any other work communications mechanism but make sure that people know how to reach you in case of emergency, work or otherwise. In my case, I used instant messaging as my hotline and that's why it's important to follow tip 2) before this one.
How to get in focus fast. A 3-part series. Don't you hate it when you sit down to do something, you start getting really into it, you're perhaps even working something complicated out in your mind and then RRRING! the phone goes or BEEPOO! an email arrives or BOOWEEP! someone messages you or HEY! you're tapped on the shoulder...A few minutes later, you're finally back to what you were doing and then...and then you're thinking where was I? And those are just the interruptions you had in the past 20 minutes. Even worse is when no one gets in your way and you can concentrate except - oh look at that, I'll just check the headlines quickly - or - what time is it? I'd better call Kate/Ofer/Ming-li to see what we're doing tonight - or even, when around others - he doesn't need to yell into that phone, we don't all need to hear him.