Ever gotten so “in the zone” at work that you completely lost track of time?
This intense state of concentration is sometimes also called “flow.” Your whole world becomes you and the project you’re working on — and it feels great to emerge from that state after getting a whole lot done in not a lot of time.
If you’re like most people, achieving “flow” only happens every once in a while. In fact, the average office worker gets interrupted from their work every three minutes.
Thankfully, if you combine self-discipline, good habits, and a productive work space, you can retrain yourself to get into a deep state of focus when you really need to. Check out the infographic below to learn helpful tips on getting “in the zone” and increasing your productivity when it really matters.
Optimizing Workflow and Productivity in the Office
We’ve all been there. It’s a busy day at work: emails flying, bosses checking in, meetings to attend, phones ringing off the hook; on top of work-related instant messages, personal instant messages, personal text messages, tweets, Facebook updates, etc., etc.
The average worker experiences an interruption every 3 minutes. It typically takes 23 minutes to return the original task.That means you’re progressively falling more and more behind. Every day.70% of employees say meetings don’t help them complete work.
67% of employees say they spend up to 4 hours per week preparing for status update meetings.
45% of senior executives say their employees would be more productive without meetings.
But only 16% of companies report reducing workplace meetings.
We’ve become excellent at pretending to get stuff done, and increasingly awful at actually doing so.
Get Rid of the “Multi-Task” Ethic:The science is out: there is no such thing as multi-tasking.The more apt term is task-switching, and it’s shockingly ineffective – to the tune of a 40% decline in productivity. Workers attempting to juggle set tasks with emails or phone calls literally become dumber, suffering a 10-point IQ drop.That’s the equivalent of missing an entire night’s sleep, and twice the effect of smoking marijuana. In fact, with the rate of errors you’ll make interrupting workflow, multi-tasking quickly becomes not just unproductive, but counterproductive.
Prioritize on-the-go. If the task is non-emergency and not on your to-do list, make a note and return to it later.
Learn to say no – or at least not right now. If it can wait, make it wait.
Let Workers Determine their Workspace:Never overlook the importance of the physical work environment.Whether your office is open space, cubicled, or a hybrid, what ultimately matters most is worker empowerment.
Finally: Take a Break! Scheduled, disciplined breaks are different – and much more productive – than unscheduled interruptions and distractions. A 30-second mini-break can increase productivity 13%. A 15-second break from staring at your computer reduces fatigue by 50%. And if you can get away with it, a 40-minute nap increases alertness by 34%.