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March 7, 2013

Avoiding Productivity Pitfalls

Being positively productive is an important goal to strive for in the workplace. While most people have the best intentions of finishing a project, sneaky interruptions will pop up and distract you from your current task. This is especially true in an increasingly technological environment. While emails, instant messages and online searches smooth the pathways for communication, they also contribute to more frequent interruptions. 

Ringing phones, coworkers stopping by to chat and meetings are all hazards of working in a busy office environment. While you may not be able to stop every interruption that comes your way, there are a few polite ways to let people know that you are busy. First, set your phone to voice mail, so calls will be redirected while you are working. Then, place a notice on your door or cubicle to warn others that you need some time to finish a project. You may still not be able to avoid that meeting; however, leaving a reminder about where you left off on your work can help you get back on track after the meeting.

With any task that requires a great deal of thought, it is easy to become distracted. This is especially true when working on a computer because emails and other instant communications can create a sense of urgency that takes you away from your work. Focus on the particular item you are working on at the moment and refuse to be sidetracked until you accomplish your objective for that item. Set aside a time each day when you respond to phone calls and emails.

Proactively managing interruptions and reducing distractions can improve your ability to focus and get things done.

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