March and April are two of the most difficult months to work through because there tends to be a lack of motivation; everyone wants time to fly so summer arrives and PTO’s happen every other week. However, it’s actually crucial for professionals to be productive during these two months because vacation season is fast approaching.
The only way you are going to reach your work goals is if you use your time efficiently. This means avoiding unnecessary phone calls, distracting conversations, and chores around the office. If you let yourself get distracted every minute, then before you know it, its 7:00pm and you are still at the office finishing up work.
Stay in “work mode” by applying these solutions to the following three common problems:
The phone that never stops ringing
You aren’t going to be able to get a lot of work done if your phone is constantly ringing. Aside from being annoying, your phone ringing every 2 seconds is also very distracting for you and your coworkers. What is even worse is that 9 out of 10 calls are not for you – they are someone trying to reach someone else.
The solution is simple; let your office telephone system handle your calls. The latest office telephone systems are equipped with an array of voice mail and CTI features that sort spam calls from work-related ones.
For example, by purchasing a telephone system with an auto attendant feature, you will reduce the number of calls that aren’t for you. The auto attendant feature is a recorded message that answers your business phones and instructs callers on how to reach the right person. This way, if your phone rings, it’s actually for you.
It’s great to be social at work and catch up with your coworkers now and then. However, if being “Mr. Popular” is getting in the way of your work productivity, then something needs to change.
The solution is easy: close your door. By closing your door, you are letting everyone know that you are going into “work mode” and don’t want to be disturbed. If someone does knock on your door, chances are it won’t be to chat but instead, for something important.
Likewise, if people can’t walk by your cubicle without saying “what’s up,” enforce a headphone rule; let people know that when your headphones are on, you don’t want to be disturbed – unless it’s important. This is a much better and less aggressive way of showing people you are busy.
Volunteering your muscles
Just because you go to the gym and lift weights every day, doesn’t mean that part of your work responsibilities include lifting heavy office objects. However, believe it or not, some businesses professional spend up to an hour per week helping unload deliveries. Aside from this being a health risk, it is also a complete waste of time. Henry Eisemann was such a victim.
“The receptionist where I worked was a woman in her late 50’s,” Henry explains. “I walked by her desk one day and saw her trying to lift a large package and offered to help her. What started as a nice gesture later turned into our little routine. I didn’t mind doing it but my boss eventually told me that I should focus on my work and that the delivery guy should have been helping.”
Although Henry, who is 5’11” and can lift 200lbs, didn’t mind helping, he later realized how much time he wasted.
It’s easy to solve this problem by purchasing a dolly for small packages and a forklift for heavy materials. Dollies are great because they transfer office supplies from cube A to cube B with ease. Forklifts are a lifesaver for businesses who are constantly expecting large and heavy deliveries. You can turn a job that takes 5 professionals to do in 30 minutes into a job that takes 1 trained professional to do in 10.
You get paid 40 hours a week to work. If you find that there is a portion of your time not spent working due to distractions, then something needs to change. Whether it’s volunteering yourself less or secluding yourself more, focusing on your work is your number one responsibility.