Common office interruptions, such as phone calls or visits from co-workers, can lessen your productivity. These interruptions are especially menacing when on a deadline. By following some key steps, you can keep office distractions at bay and get your work done on time.
1) Take Advantage of Voice Mail. Phone calls are important to every job; however, when on a deadline, let the call go into voice mail. When you answer a phone call, your mind wanders from the task at hand. Unless you are waiting for an important call, when on deadline let the machine get it. Returning phone calls is easy, while returning to your train of thought is not.
2) Do Not Disturb. Chatting with co-workers is the most common office “time-sucker. " That's not to say that you should be anti-social, but sometimes it is important to separate yourself from others to complete your project. If someone other than your boss, tries to interrupt you while you are scrambling to complete a project, don't be afraid to tell them that you are extremely busy and don't have time to chat right now.
3) Stay Focused. Although it is often tempting to let your mind wander, a key to success is to keep from daydreaming when on a deadline. Your mind may want to continually wander away from the task at hand, but don't let it! Otherwise your concentration will be broken and you'll likely make mistakes. So stay focused on your task at hand to get the work done.
4) Keep it Neat. A messy workspace is a guaranteed way to cause interruptions. When you have to clear space each time you want to do something, or when you have to constantly search through your clutter every time you need something, you are wasting time that could be better spent on the project at hand. Keep your work area clutter-free and you'll be surprised how much more you can accomplish in less time.
Following these guidelines, you can remain calm when facing a deadline. By keeping distractions to a minimum, meeting an impending deadline should not be a cause of panic. “Remember your ultimate goal – completing the assignment.
Sharon Mann is a an organizational expert with Pendaflex a leading supplier of office products and organizational solutions, author and President of the I Hate Filing Club. For more information go to http://www.pendaflex.com