How to Stay Focused at Work During the Holidays

RIX Industries

Find yourself at work scanning social media; window shopping for the perfect company party attire, or finalizing your holiday plans? With the final push toward the end of the year upon us, it will be even more of a challenge to push through the workday.

Clear Away Clutter: Do you really need all those papers scattered on your desk? Take a few minutes to clear the clutter away from your workstation. File away papers. Organize your desk drawers. When possible, go paperless. Scan all those important or useful documents into your computer. The less clutter you surround yourself with, the less likely you are to get distracted.

Prioritize (with lists): Keep anxiety at work to a minimum by making lists. Get a bulletin board or white board for your workstation. Write out your week’s worth of to-dos on that board. If you easily fill that space with tasks, and that makes you even more overwhelmed, take one day at a time by writing a list of priorities just for that day’s work. Still stressed? Separate that day’s tasks between morning and afternoon activities by scheduling analytical tasks for your morning and more creative tasks for your afternoon. Prefer digital lists? Here’s the short list of organizational apps (pun intended).

Take Regular Breaks: Studies have shown regular breaks increase productivityand are great for your eye health. Here’s a simple one: after every hour of work, look away from your computer or close your eyes for 20 seconds. Have a longer break? Get that blood pumping with a quick lap around the building or a few sweat inducing laps on the stairwell. Don’t work through another lunch. Make sure to take advantage of your lunch break by doing something you enjoy: read, eat, take a power nap, or even exercise. Think you’ll forget to take your breaks? No matter the length, here are five free apps to remind you to take regular breaks at work.

Take Control of Emails: If you are a slave to your work email, you could find yourself being pulled in many directions and starting multiple projects at any given time. This will make you less productive and leave you feeling anything but focused. Set aside one hour in the morning and one hour in the afternoon to work within your email server. When that hour is up, exit out of your emails and move on to your prioritized list of tasks that need to be completed by the workday’s end. Do not keep your emails open all day. No matter how strong of will you think you are, you will fall victim to the very distracting email rabbit hole. The good thing about email is that it’s not going anywhere; they can wait. Those email messages will be sitting in your inbox when you are ready for them. Check out this article that points out the benefits of letting your email wait.