If you’re a leader, then you probably want to get more done at work. It’s a smart goal but one that may come with a certain amount of frustration. Whenever you’re starting to get to your important work, someone interrupts you.
In its survey called, When the Walls Come Down, Oxford Economics researchers found it was a common problem. The study asked 1,200 global employees and executives what was the most important thing in their work environment. Coming in at 29% was ability to focus and work without interruptions.
This earned the top response, beating out amenities like free food and daycare services, as well as being able to connect your devices from anywhere in your office, or natural light.
The interruptions won’t go away but you can change the way you react to them. Consider these tips to help you get more done at work:
Shift Your Mindset
When everything becomes urgent, you lose sight of what is important. Make sure you know your top priorities and spend most of your time on them. Other things can wait or perhaps they can be performed by others.
Remember that you’re not paid to do everything. You’re paid to do your job. It’s an important thing to keep in mind if you want to get more done at work.
Can you create periods of time when you turn off your phone and don’t check your email? You also may want to put a do not disturb sign on your door. This time is for you to focus on your most important tasks.
At first, this may feel uncomfortable. If so, then start out trying it for just 15 minutes. Then try it for 30 minutes. I think you’ll find the world doesn’t end while you’re unconnected from it. Most people will respect your boundaries, if you let them know when you’ll return to availability.
You may also discover certain times of the week, like Friday afternoon, are good for some work isolation.
If you want to get more done at work, you may need to redefine the meaning of being busy. Do you want every minute of your day packed with activity? Do you get a rush of adrenaline as you race from one task to the next?
While you may enjoy this ride, it may not be taking you anywhere. A packed schedule doesn’t mean you’re experiencing a productive day.
Being busy and making progress on your goals are not always the same thing. Sometimes a supersized schedule is nothing more than an excuse for you to not focus on your most important work.
Make sure there are some openings in your work day. They either can allow you to catch up on work or give you some breathing room, when unexpected demands come up.