At ACM Building Services, we’re committed to keeping your workspace clean. However, sometimes the messiest thing in your office is your work schedule.
One study showed that workers are interrupted after three minutes working on a task, and on average it takes them 23 minutes to get focused again. This can be a huge time suck and can prevent you from doing your best work, as three minutes often is not enough time to think thoroughly about your daily tasks and how best to perform them.
How then can you focus? Create a schedule and stick to it. This will allow you to focus on your tasks in the way they deserve to be focused on.
In this article, we’re recommending you create a calendar and a daily to-do list.
Creating the Perfect Calendar
The biggest advantage of calendars is that they prevent you from double booking and thus looking unprofessional.
But they also provide a major psychological advantage. By concretizing what you need to do and when, they allow you some degree of control over your work life.
They key is to determine your work goals — the deadlines you have to hit — and then work backwards and determine how long it will take you to reach these goals.
The first thing you want is a calendar with plenty of white space. Assuming you work nine to five, there are going to be a variety of things you want to plan for. You want to be able to write down more than one or two tasks per day.
The second thing you want to do is make sure to keep your calendar within easy reach. Google Calendars are appealing for this reason, since you have access to them wherever you have access to the internet. The key with physical calendars is making sure they’re within easy reach wherever you do the majority of your work.
There are several different options for which sort of calendar you choose. Physical calendars are nice because the act of physically writing down your schedule can make it seem more real. Google Calendars, on the other hand, allow you to coordinate more easily with your team.
Creating the Perfect To-Do List
A to-do list is how you get control of your daily schedule. At the start of your day, think about your biggest priority. This is the first thing you want to get done, since the later in the day you start something, the more tired you’ll get.
This means you’ll want to avoid checking your email in the morning, if you can. While it’s important to respond to emails in a timely manner, doing so doesn’t usually require the same level of attention and focus as the more complex problem solving elements of your job.
As you go through your list throughout the day, you’ll want to take a minute before starting each task. This will allow you to visualize the task and strategize the best method of completion.
When planning your day, also keep in mind that people can only concentrate for roughly 45 minutes at a time, so schedule some quick breaks. This will allow your mind to wander for a bit, which in turn will make it easier to focus when you get back to work.
The Beauty of Schedules
Of course, schedules aren’t the only key to success. You still have to work hard and smart to make sure you do your job well. But a good calendar and daily to-do list can help you stay organized, which is essential in today’s business world.