So you’re sat at your desk in a busy, noisy office and you’re struggling to focus on the task in hand. You’ve got a shed load of work to get through, but any distraction it seems, is a welcome one.
Or perhaps it's more like this: you’re working from home for the day, because ironically enough, you’ve got so much to work on that only way of doing it is shutting yourself away from any distractions. You get up early, open your laptop, crack your knuckles with every intention of ploughing through the lot. But, for one reason or another it’s near enough midday, you’re halfway through your second episode of Homes Under The Hammer, you’ve put the kettle on ready to sit down and lose yourself in Location, Location, Location at 12.
We’ve all been there. And most of the time it’s not for lack of caring. There are just times when even the smallest and simplest of tasks feel like a walk up the side of Everest. Being productive at all times is simply impossible. That said, there are some tried, tested and trusted ways of helping you remain productive when it’s just not going to plan.
One thing at a time
You might have a to-do list as long as you’re arm, but the trick is to focus on one task at a time. While sometimes very necessary, juggling a number of things at once can be overwhelming, stressful and as a result, unwise. Try setting one clear goal at the beginning of each day and do it brilliantly.
Silence is golden
It sounds obvious, but keep background noise to a minimum. Silence your phone and your laptop and have a go at working quietly. If you work in an open-plan office you aren’t going to have much control over the noise levels, so take your work somewhere quiet or try working from home. By rule of thumb, if you can’t turn it off, turn it down or work from somewhere else.
Get some fresh air. Whether that means opening a window or stretching your legs outside, natural light and a cool breeze does wonders for the soul. With a bit of luck you'll return to your desk relaxed, energised and ready for the challenge.
Shut down any unnecessary windows on your computer. It’s simple - the more there is to distract you, the more likely you are to get distracted. Yes that’s right, Facebook, Twitter, AirBnB, BBC Sport - close them all down and treat yourself to them when you’re ready for a break.
Rise and shine
If you’re prone to unproductive streaks, try mixing your working day up a little. Some of the most successful entrepreneurs start their working day while most of the world is still asleep. Get stuck into work nice and early and get a head-start on everyone else.
If you’re able to, pencil in half an hour or more a day to exercise, you’ll feel the world of good for it. Studies have shown that exercise helps you focus, will motivate you and improve your mood. And a happier working is on average 12% more productive. So, it’s a no-brainer really.
Got any tips that keep you at the top of your game? Get sharing...