Stay Focused and Productive

September 6, 2011

Chapter 13 – Understanding and Resolving Problems

Your family, friends, hobbies, as well as the Internet, can all distract you from working. Don’t let them get in the way of being good at your job. Stay focused and practice a little discipline in your work day.

Close the door. The physical separation of a closed door is a powerful symbol. Close the door when you need to get work done.

Set expectations. Keep a steady work schedule and let people from home and work know when you will be working and when you won’t.

Separate communications. Your working communication and your personal communication should be separate. Use a separate phone line, email account, and IM username. Keeping your communications separate allows you to turn off outside distraction and still be connected to the office.

Create a log of your workday. If you aren’t getting your work done start by making a log of your day. Write down everything you do as you do it. For an added benefit you can classify your log entries as work-related or not. For many people, writing down how they spend their time is an eye-opener that gets them back on track.

Buy a personal computer. Keep your work computer for work and nothing else and use your personal computer for Internet browsing and games. Don’t turn on your personal computer until you are done working.

Remove distractions from your work computer. Uninstall the entertainment software from your work computer. Take out all the games and move your nonessential bookmarks to your personal computer. Remove Flash, Quicktime, and iTunes.

Don’t work from home. If you home is too distracting then find somewhere else. Many coffee shops and public libraries provide wireless Internet access.

Work in an office. Most large cities have buildings offering office hotelling. If you need a professional environment to get your work done then pay the extra money and work in an office.

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