Staying productive at work is hard, especially if you have a relaxed workplace. Flexibility allows us to bend the rules a little. Being more relaxed at work as a whole may contribute to less production from everyone. Workplace satisfaction may be a little higher, but the company could also be suffering. A few strategies to maintain a productive work day include avoiding the water cooler, cut desk calls short, and schedule your day.
Avoiding the Water Cooler
Every office has a break area. This is a common area when most people will gather every few minutes outside of break time and try to reset. This is also an area where office gossip starts to spread and while everyone is sharing experiences before or after break time, no work is getting done. If you need to step away from your desk, try heading to the restroom or just to get your drink and head back to your desk if possible. If a coworker tries to engage you in any conversation outside of work, tell them you have a client on hold at your desk and you’ll catch up later. The less involved you get into the work gossip the better off you will be and the more productive overall you will be.
Cut Desk Calls Short
If you have a desk phone a good majority of your calls will be internal. Calls from a coworker just needing to vent or catch up on the weekend need to be cut short. Time yourself. If you must listen or take the call and no work is being discussed after about one or two minutes, get off the phone. Tell them someone just emailed you and you need to give them a buzz. If the person can’t see your desk, you can even tell them that someone is standing over you and you have to go. Do the best you can to break away from the conversation and get back to what you are focusing on.
Scheduling Your Day
In order to get the most productivity out of your day you will need to know what you are supposed to be doing. Scheduling your day according to the best time frames can be beneficial. If you need a time slot for peace and quiet, schedule you work around the quietest time of day, whether that’s the morning or late afternoon before close of business. For your phone calls you can make a break time in between all of your quiet or focused hours and try to take calls. Calls can be distracting and occasionally they are about adding something else to your to-do list. It is best to schedule your calls after you’ve already knocked some things off of your plate. Do take a little time to check your voicemails throughout the day in case a call is related to a change with something you’re currently working on.
Staying productive in the work place can be challenging. Sometimes that can be more challenging than the work itself. If you already have a stressful job, distractions can be additional stress, which contributes to sickness and missing work. All of this counts against getting anything done at work. In order to be your most productive self you should avoid the water cooler, shorten your desk calls, and schedule out your day.