Working in front of a computer has its pros and cons. There are many useful work applications that are available on your desktop or laptop. But there are also so many distractions on-screen vying for your attention that it’s easy for you to lose focus on important tasks. Here are a few tricks to avoid distractions at work and boost your productivity.
Monitor productivity levels
Start by tracking how much work you complete on an average day. There are many useful apps for this. For example, Google Chrome has an extension called RescueTime, which records your most frequently visited sites and tracks how much time you spend away from your computer. 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 increase your output by deleting old files, uninstalling unused programs, and organizing documents into appropriately labeled folders. This makes finding files easier and improves your computer’s performance as well.
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 sites that waste your time
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 often 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 over 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 and faster to perform simple functions. There are more than a hundred useful shortcuts, but here are the most common shortcuts you should keep in mind:
- Ctrl + C, Ctrl + V, Ctrl + X – to copy, paste, and cut selected items
- Ctrl + Z – to undo an action
- Alt + Tab – to switch between open apps
- Alt + F4 – to close the active app
For more of these, take a look at this updated 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 for you and your business staff.