When you spend more than eight hours a day staring at a computer screen, it can be easy to lose focus on important tasks. While you can access some of the most useful applications through your computer, an ever-growing number of distractions are vying for your attention. Here are a few tricks to avoid getting distracted at work and boost your productivity.
Monitor productivity levels
Start by tracking how much work you complete on an average day. There are useful apps for this such as Google Chrome Extensions like RescueTime, which record your most frequently visited sites and track how much time you spend away from your computer. Running the app will provide you with a productivity rating and a detailed log of how you spend your time at work.
If you discover you’re wasting a huge portion of your time on social networking and other productivity killers, you’re more likely to make conscious adjustments on how you manage your time.
Get rid of clutter
You can also decrease distractions and increasing output by deleting old files, uninstalling unused programs, and organizing documents into appropriately labeled folders. This makes files easier to find and improves your computer’s performance.
As for the clutter in your email inbox, Gmail and Outlook both have features that filter out unimportant messages. Simply enable Priority Inbox on Gmail or Clutter on Outlook to get a clean, spam-free inbox.
Block time-wasting sites
Visiting non-work-related websites hinders productivity. A quick five-minute break to check your Facebook feed may not seem like much, but a few of those per day add up to a lot of time.
If you and your employees have trouble staying away from social media sites like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, it’s a good idea to block access to them using URL filters.
Alternatively, you can use apps like StayFocusd or Strict Workflow. These allow you to set a limit on how long and how many times users can visit non-work-related sites.
Stay on track with to-do lists
To-do lists help you break down large projects into manageable, bite-sized tasks. Crossing things off the list is surprisingly satisfying since it gives you and your employees a sense of accomplishment and total visibility of your progress.
You can choose from a wide variety of digital to-do lists like Google Tasks or Trello. These platforms allow you to set deadlines for small tasks and write clear instructions for each. What’s more, they’re incredibly easy to use and are great for keeping track of your workflow.
Use keyboard shortcuts
Mastering keyboard shortcuts will make it easier to perform simple functions. There are more than a hundred useful shortcuts, but some that you should always keep in mind are:
- Ctrl + C, Ctrl + V, Ctrl + X – to copy, paste, and cut selected items
- Ctrl + Z – to undo changes
- Ctrl + T – to open a new tab on your web browser
- Alt + Tab – to switch between open windows
- Alt + F4 – to close the program
For many more like these, take a look at this list of advanced shortcuts for Windows.
In this digital age of short attention spans, focus is key to achieving business success. Drop us a line today if you’d like to know more about how tech can induce focus and improve overall productivity.