Defeating distractions

Many managers will know the dangers that distraction poses to productivity. Not only is multitasking less productive than focusing on a single task one after another, but research from the University of Sussex showed that people who are constantly subjected to multiple streams of electronic information have a lower brain density the area responsible for empathy, cognitive and emotional control.

Achieving the goal of a focused office space isn't easy but it is important. Here are four handy productivity solutions. 

De-clutter your workspace

Cluttered desk; cluttered mind. A disorganised desk makes it hard to find what you need when you need it, and is frequently distracting when you're working on other projects. Take an afternoon to go through those swaying stacks of paper, file what you need and bin what you don't, then take a moment to appreciate that sense of calm that comes with a clear desk.

Make a to-do list each afternoon

"Start as you mean to continue" the old saying goes, so if you're looking for a productive day, starting with half an hour of checking your emails probably isn't the way to go. By creating a list of things to do the day before, you can hit the ground running in the morning, setting the tone for the rest of the day. 

Tame your inbox

Email can become a constant distraction if you let it. Each time a new email arrives, a browser-tab flashes and pulls you away from what you were doing, breaking your concentration and taking up valuable time while you mentally switch gears. Set several times each day to tackle your emails, and keep that tab closed for the rest of the day.

Use work-flow technology

Small tasks and problems can add up over a workday, breaking a person's flow over and over again. The right productivity software can speed up and smooth out the day through everything from workflow automation to online timesheets and payroll software. Every speed-bump removed means more time focusing on what matters.

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