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Improve you work efficiency by staying focused August 29, 2008

Posted by Darth Sidious in Career Management, General.

We live in an information overloaded society. I know you earthlings have your MSN/Live Messenger, AIM, Yahoo Messenger, IRC, Twitter, FaceBook, E-Mail, BlackBerry’s, iPhones, you name it…

In the Empire we have similar technologies such as our E-Mail (short for Empire-Mail), VaderSoft Outlook, etc… It’s good to stay connected, but it makes it challenging to stay focused on large tasks and push them through.

Here’s some things you can do:

  • Put on headphones and listen to music. It communicates to others that you’re focusing on something, and it blocks out the office chatter that subconsciously a part of your brain is dedicating power on.
  • Do other things to indicate that you’re busy… Close the door to your office, shut off the lights in your office, put a message on your desk saying “Coding in Progress”, etc….
  • Block out chunks of time in your calendar so that you have large continuous blocks dedicated towards work and prevent people from slicing up your time into small fragments.
  • Turn off instant messengers, email, IRC, etc… anything that could draw your attention. Send a note to those who may want to contact you that you’re going off the grid for a period of time.

Though I’m curious to know of any other techniques you’ve found useful, considering most of you lack the powers of the force you’re limited to more conventional means.



    1. Aditya Gholap - October 3, 2008

    Interesting tips. Chat i think is more of a bane than a boon. For inreasing productivity and focus we use Project Management tools. Currently we are using Deskaway (works fabulously well). Coupled with shutting yourself out and things like that, clear emphasis on tasks and milestones an issues ensures that there is a single minded attempt to achieving goals.

    2. Debby Chappelle - October 29, 2008

    I just finished a book about the Myths of Multi-Tasking… great read, but it did not address how to handle those small chunks of time (I typically get 2-3 30 minute chunks/day) that allow enough time to answer a few emails followed by work that spills into my personal time. I have tried to block off time on my calendar, however, my space is invaded by meetings that get scheduled anyway. I supposed I could reject the invite or propose a different time, however, I don’t want to be the reason why we’re late meeting a date. I suppose I could arrive at work early to get my blocks of time in. Any other ideas?

    3. Darth Sidious - October 29, 2008

    Ya, individually you can only go so far. The next step would be to try working through your manager to help standardize meeting protocols. E.g. I’ve heard of some companies setting meeting blackouts where meetings aren’t allowed, or the opposite where meetings should be setup.

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