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Organize + Energize: 6 Ways to Stay Focused at Work

Tuesday, February 28, 2017


We all have interruptions and distractions in our day. You may have a co-worker calling for answers to a question. Your emails may be piling up by the minute. Your co-workers are standing over you dropping items into your inbox. You may get pulled away from your desk while you’re in the middle of completing an important task. These distractions and interruptions will not only allow you to lose focus but will decrease your productivity.

Here are 6 ways to stay focused at work:

Declutter and get organized. Visual clutter leads to mental clutter which will in turn cause you to lose focus and decrease your productivity. Declutter and organize your desk. You should only have on top of your desk what you need on a daily basis.  Remove the horizontal flat filing trays. They are a breeding ground for paper.

Have a system and a process for everything you do in your office. If you’re disorganized and go to search for a file or important paper, you’ll waste time searching for it and this will allow you to become distracted and lose focus. Have a process to handle every piece of paper and email that arrives at your desk. Create working filing systems so that when you need to search for an item, it will be at your fingertips and you’ll be able to find it at a moment’s notice. Remember, the simpler the systems you create, the easier the system will be to maintain. 

Work on your time management skills. Organization and time management go hand in hand. You can’t work on your time management skills until you have decluttered and organized. Create blocks of time that you dedicate to projects you’re working on. Prioritize your tasks. Take some time to think about how you’re functioning in your day. What changes can you make to become more efficient and productive? 

Limit your interruptions. Aside from urgent issues that need to be handled immediately, set aside time for your co-workers to ask you questions. They won’t be disrupting you throughout the day and it will allow you to stay focused. 

Reduce your lingering time around the office. The minute you get up from your desk, you’ll immediately get distracted. Somebody may see you are up and that is a cue for them to speak to you. It’s going to distract you and take you away from what you were doing at that moment. 

Drink water and eat healthy while at work.  This will keep you alert, productive, and will keep you focused.

Remember that when an urgent matter occurs in the office, the organized person handles the situation and continues about their day. The disorganized person, wastes time searching for a file, gets stressed and frustrated, loses focus and takes longer to recover from the situation. Getting organized and working on your time management skills will allow you to stay focused throughout the day.

Kristin Carcieri-MacRae, is an organizing & efficiency expert and owner of Organizing in RI. Kristin teaches her clients that living an organized lifestyle will save them time and money, decrease their stress levels and help them become more efficient and productive. Her articles have been published in local and national magazines. She has also given over 70 presentations throughout the state. Watch Kristin LIVE every Thursday at 3pm here on GoLocal LIVE with Molly O’Brien.


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