07 Mar | Focusing at Work
Time management is a necessary skill to have if you want to increase productivity and complete as many projects as possible. The fundamental rules for effective time management are known: reducing distractions and planning the “to do” list. But there are some tricks you can adopt to effectively put these rules into practice:
# 1 NO MULTITASKING
Social networks, emails, notifications, calls: they are all continuous distractions. Since the brain needs a certain minimum amount of time to enter fully into function, moving frantically back and forth from one activity to another prevents this form of ” adjustment ” from occurring, significantly reduces concentration and, as a result, undermines productivity. The feeling of completing multiple things concurrently is just an illusion.
# 2 SILENCE, MUSIC AND NOISE
Not everyone has the opportunity to work in a quiet environment. For most people, noise is a disturbance.
As far as music is concerned, it is scientifically proven that it can help you stay focused, but only when it is music you really like, otherwise the ability to concentrate completely collapses. Therefore, if you are used to working while listening to music, but the one playing at your office or from your neighbours’ home annoys you, buying noise-cancelling headphones can be of great help.
# 3 THE “TOMATO” TECHNIQUE
By using a timer (hence the name “tomato technique”, in reference to the shape of some kitchen timers) you can schedule work time and breaks, thus requiring your brain to stay focused for the time necessary to complete or continue a certain activity. It is normally advisable to set the timer for 25 minutes: when the time has elapsed, take a 5-minute pause and use it to reply to emails, go to the bathroom, talk with colleagues or scroll through the news and/or social networks. Every four “tomatoes”, 100 effective minutes of work that is, you can give yourself a longer break of 20 or 30 minutes.
# 4 TAKING CARE OF ONE’S SPACE
The space in which we work greatly affects our propensity for productivity. A clean, minimal and tidy environment increases productivity by reducing the most “cumbersome” and superfluous visual stimuli.