The modern American workplace is filled with distractions. Even if you’re the type of person who keeps your head down and tries to stay on target, you’ve got text messages, IMs, and email alerts to contend with, and then there’s chattering coworkers and the constant chance someone will call a meeting. What’s a well-intentioned employee to do?
First, he or she can read “4 Creative Ways to Stay Productive During the Work Day,” a great new post that entrepreneur and business expert Daron Pressley has written for Black Enterprise. As the the title suggests, Pressley outlines a series of tips for blocking out those ever-present distractions and taking care of business. If you can spare five minutes, scroll down to read his terrific advice.
1. Build a 45-Minute Playlist — Pressley is realistic: We have short attention spans. If you’re lucky, you’ll be able to power through 45 solid minutes of work at a clip. In order to help you do this, create three or four 45-minute iTunes playlists of your favorite songs. When you’re done blasting your tunes, get up and take a five-minute walk.
2. Stop Multitasking — Everyone thinks they can do more than one thing at a time, but when you’re trying to write a proposal while answering emails, respond to texts, and update your Facebook page, the work is bound to suffer. When you’re working on something important, Pressley advises, turn off every program except for the one you’re working in.
3. Get Up, Stand Up — You know that 10-minute walk Pressley talked about in tip No. 1? It’s not just handy after a music binge. “A little time away from the computer screen can leave you more productive in the long run than staring at a computer screen for hours and getting only a few things accomplished,” he writes.
4. Communicate Efficiently — With correspondence, like anything else, we get stuck in ruts. Is email always the best way to respond to a colleague? In some cases, Pressley writes, a text message or even a tweet might be better. And then there’s that thing on your desk with all the buttons on it. You know — the thing covered in dust that you used to use all the time. “Don’t forget about the age old phone call,” Pressley writes. “If something requires more than four or five sentences to communicate, it might be easier to have a simple phone conversation.”