Improve your productivity: manage your time better and get your work environment in order
Constant interruptions make it difficult to get back to work and could lead to procrastination. When focusing is difficult, it can even seem pointless to try. Dilly-dallying during the work day is also called self-sabotage: instead of working, you hang out in the coffee room or in social media, until the hammer comes down and you have to rush like mad to get the work done.
Are you self-sabotaging?
Studies have shown that self-sabotaging your productivity can easily lead to a negative motivation loop. The more an employee self-sabotages their productivity, the harder it is for them to get started on their work the next time. According to researchers, every interruption or disruption at work is experienced as proof that “I am incapable of accomplishing the task”.
If an employee’s work is interrupted by daydreaming ten times in half an hour, the employee feels a sense of failure ten times. The motivation to start up a task is probably low if by default there is always a small sense of disappointment ahead.
Use time management methods to support focussed work
If your concentration is broken due to constant interruptions and commotion in the workplace, beating yourself up about it will not help you focus better. For many of us, the morning is the most productive time of the day: our brain is alert and it is easier to delve into our work before the day becomes filled with interactions with others. The key to improving the ability to focus is first to find methods and schedules that suit each individual’s natural rhythm.
According to one theory, you should tackle your biggest task first thing every day. The “Eat the frog” theory is based on feeling a sense of accomplishment: if you handle the most unwanted task of the day (= the frog) first thing in the morning, what is the worst thing that can happen to you after that? This also helps you gain an idea of which tasks on the job list are genuinely important and which ones should be the focus of your most productive hours.
“Eat a live frog first thing in the morning and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day.”– Mark Twain
Another easy tactic is to try to get all your ducks in a row, meaning scheduling similar tasks that can be taken care of successively. You can schedule entire days in your calendar for individual or focussed work, or aim to set up meetings on certain days or always in the afternoon, for example.
The key is to find days in the work week that are clearly dedicated to getting things done and to try to eliminate any disturbances on those days. It helps to divide your time into Maker vs. Manager days if it is difficult for you to find time for individual work.
Communication and office pods can establish boundaries
Conversation is one of the most common disruptions in open-plan offices. At the same time, however, communication is the key to achieving a peaceful work environment.
Setting common ground rules for the work space and openly communicating your schedule help reduce the number of unnecessary interruptions. Rules should be established for communicating: more thought should be given to starting up a conversation in an open space, for instance. Many offices follow the rule that people working in an office pod and those wearing headphones should not be disturbed. Sharing a calendar view with the work community and openly presenting your need for a peaceful work environment can also help reduce unnecessary interruptions.
An entirely open-plan work space rarely meets everyone’s needs. If possible, different zones should be created in an open space, and spaces can be divided with partitions and office pods. Achieving an environment where one can work in peace when necessary calls for tranquil, quiet and visually serene spaces.
Office spaces do not necessarily need to be renovated in order to achieve a place for quiet focus – an office pod can lower the noise level even in a very noisy office. Depending on the need, an office pod can be used for quiet, focussed work or as a conversation space. Either way, the work space is more peaceful when different tasks have their dedicated areas.
Increase the productivity of your office and introduce Module pods in your work environment
Investing in a peaceful office pays off, as work performed in an environment that supports success at work is more productive and the employees enjoy their work more.