There you are, determined to finally finish that report you’d been avoiding for the last week. If not you are in for a serious scolding from either your boss or the client… This gives you that all too familiar pain in your stomach.
“I am cretainly going to finish it first thing in the morning, I should have no distractios, I should get this done”
You tell yourself.
“It has been 5 days already, it is the second time they’ve asked about it.”
“I am still waiting for information from finance (I received it two days ago but they don’t have to know that, do thy?)”.
“I will work myself to the bone if I don’t get this done (Why is it always me who ends up having to do this sort of thing)”.
“Ok, where was I, this part, I finished this part…”
-Excuse me? No thank you, I already had breakfast.
-White? No I don’t eat white bread “Get back to work, don’t listen to them, always talking about the same things, he said whole wheat bread not four slices of bread…”
“Ok now if I just tie up this part. Great! I wrote about this subject before I will just copy it from the previous report”
“Ah, whatsapp notification. Is it important? Shoul I check it? Maybe it’s by boyfriend. No it is that stupid women’s group chat again, maybe I should leave the group. No that’d be rude…”
“These women have no lives, what is all this ambition for? Afterall they are just parents, a group of parents who are sending their children to a picnic not to a space expedition.”
“Taking a light jacket? No way! They have to wear at least a Dolce Gabana jacket, to the children’s picnic!”
“This woman, she is always like this, she just has to show off. It turns out she was a friend of my boyfriend’s sister. Hmm, let me check her Facebook profile. So plain, I wonder who she is? I could check her Linkedin –No she’d know I looked.”
-The report? Yes sir it is almost finished!
-You are right sir, it will be on your desk by noon… “If it was so easy why don’t you do it yourself”
The murderer of eficiency in the office: Technology
The above conversatin is all to familiar for all of us recently. Social netwoks control or lives. Social media is with us anywhere and any time; while working, even while sleeping. We cannot escape messages from whatsapp or other services. Since we can easily answer e-mails from our smart phones, our work and home lives cannot be seperated anymore.
It seems that there isn’t a moment in the worplace when we aren’t interrupted. According to a recent article I’ve read, today’s office workers can work for a mere 11 minutes without being interrupted and after the interruption it takes them about 25 minutes to re-focus on the work at hand.
The more you get involved in social network, the deeper it sucks you in. Forbidding the use of social media in the office has become hilarious, since smartphones have already broken this ban. There are many more aspects to this but what I want to focus on is working efficiently. Afterall, for both the employer and the employee, spending time with no productivity is the source of unhappiness in the workplace.
My personal formula is this:
Seperate your daily work into smaller cycles. While starting the day identify the larger and smaller cycles and never allow any social network or ourside distraction into your space before a cycle is completed. You can start with very small cycles and take it from there.
You could put a little note on you desk “I cannot get back to you before finishing my work at hand” “I am out of service” or just something like “I have an urgent task to complete!”.
After finishing this cycle, answering any querries, writing, reading or completing any other such task, and then starting a new cycle will help you get things done through the day.
While these cycles may be very small at the beginning, you musn’t forget to aline them so that they serve a larger cycle at the end of the day. You must not end your workday without completing this larger task. In the long run, it may seem like we have an impossible mountain of work ahead of us, but when divided into smaller parts and tackled one at a time, feeling productive and efficient at the end of each cycle, even the largest tasks are easily overcome.
Donot close an e-mail without completing the requested task. Close the cycle! This could be as simple as writing a reply, refering the job to someone else or just doing whatever is requested in the e-mail. It may be impossible to answer all e-mails immediately, but remember, you will spend the same energy every time you re-open the e-mail.
Do not forget, if you are being distracted by technology, people or any other sitimuli without finishing your clycle at hand, this is a big loss for both you and your organization.