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Distracted? How to Get Back to Business

March 11, 2014

distractionAfter a long winter, the spring like temperatures outside can become a distraction to your daily work activities. When spring fever strikes, use these tips and strategies to help get you back to business.

Find a Quiet Place to Work

The ideal workspace is a quiet and private office, yet the reality is that many of us work in open cubes or in close proximity to noise and distraction.  If possible, find a room with a closed door to sit in if you need extra focus time.

De-clutter Your Workspace

Whether it’s filing those papers that have been sitting on the corner of your desk, putting away binders in cabinets or just cleaning off your desk and keyboard, you will always feel refreshed when working at a clean space. This is a great project to tackle on Friday afternoons when brain function may be at an all-time low.

Take Notes

Have you ever finished a marathon meeting and wondered, “Now what was I supposed to do?”  Take notes and never miss another assignment!  You don’t have to recap the whole meeting, but when people are discussing next steps or deadlines, make sure that you write those down.  Your scribbles will do wonders for keeping you focused during your next work session and will make all those meetings you attend more productive.

Prioritize Tasks

Make a list of all of the tasks you need to do, then assign importance levels to the tasks. For example, use “red” to highlight tasks that have a deadline of today, “orange” for something that needs to be completed this week, and “green” for tasks that you have a little bit of time to work on.  Then get to work on the “red” tasks first.  This can help you meet deadlines promptly and reduce all the time you spend figuring out what to do next.

Break It Down

If start to feel overwhelmed, it could be because you are taking on too much at a time.  Break a large job into smaller, more manageable pieces.  Consider doing a small part of the project each day for a week until it’s complete.  This can help ease stress levels, which, if left untreated, can become an additional distraction.

Use Relaxation Techniques

When I have had a tough day at work, I often find that I just need to breathe.  Take one minute every hour to take slow, deep breaths in and out of your nose (recommend using five seconds breathe in and five seconds breathe out).  If you crave more intensive breathing exercises, you could opt for Alternate Nostril breathing.  Yogis have practiced “Nodi Sodhana” for thousands of years as a way to promote health and overall well-being.  Another great relaxation technique is to do yoga once or twice a week.  Yoga, breathing techniques and meditation are all great ways to reset yourself so that you are ready to start your next task.

Now, let’s all get to work!

Sara Trexler is the South Boulevard JobLink Manager.

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