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How to Stay Focused at Work

 

Whether you are working remotely or at the office, it can be hard to maintain focus throughout the day. The increasing use of technology is making it more difficult for the brain to concentrate on one task at a time. Fortunately, with the right mindset and practice, you can train your mind to stay present longer.

Use these tips to improve your focus throughout the workday.

Reduce Distractions

Take away everything you can that interrupts your thought process. This includes turning off your email and text notifications, closing your social media pages, and shutting your office door. Clarify that unless there is an emergency, you are not to be disturbed during work time. You need your environment to be as quiet as possible to be productive.

Prioritize Your Tasks

Create a list of your most important work for the day. Rank each item by its level of importance. This lets you focus first on what absolutely has to get done. Set a timeframe to accomplish each task. Completing one item at a time lets you feel less stressed about what you need to accomplish later.

Focus on One Task

Direct your attention to one item at a time. The brain is not designed to multitask. Moving from one focal area to another takes time to adjust. Doing this in rapid succession results in greater errors and poorer quality of work. Instead, fully complete one task before moving to another. You will more efficiently complete it and feel motivated to move to the next item.

Train Your Mind

Engage in brain training activities that improve your cognitive abilities. Two excellent examples are meditation and yoga. Instructing your mind to be more disciplined helps you pay attention to the work you need to complete each day.

Take Regular Breaks

Schedule time throughout each day to rest and recharge. Your brain needs time to disengage. This is especially important if you are stuck on a task and need time to think through a solution. Leave your work area to take a walk, read a book, or listen to music. During your lunch hour, eat healthy foods, talk with coworkers in the breakroom, or connect with your family. Come back ready to tackle the rest of your work for the day.

Maintain Adequate Sleep

Be sure to get enough deep sleep every night. This helps you remain in your best physical and mental state. You stay alert, engaged, and productive.

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How to Create a Positive Team Culture

 

As an IT manager, you understand the importance of teamwork. When your team members communicate and collaborate well, they are better able to do their work. However, blending employees with different talents and personalities can result in challenges. This is one reason why having a strong team culture is necessary.

Follow these 6 guidelines to build a desirable team culture.

1. Define Your Team Culture

Talk with your team about what your culture should look like. This is important because your employees’ actions, interactions, and attitudes impact the effectiveness of your success. For instance, your team culture may be defined by having a positive mindset both inside and outside the office. This creates a strong team synergy that minimizes conflict and increases success. Everyone performs better when they work as a cohesive group. Different ideas lead to solutions for problems. Shared visions let your team see the future.

2. Learn from Other Successful Teams

Explore how teams with proven track records communicate, collaborate, and solve problems. For instance, incorporate ideas from companies like Google, Southwest Airlines, and Zappos to develop your teambuilding procedures. These companies are among the most successful in engagement, productivity, and goal attainment.

3. Encourage Collaboration

Instill in your team culture the importance of collaboration. Use your enthusiasm, self-discipline, and strengths to serve as a guide for teamwork. For instance, trust your team members to make hard decisions when you are away. Encourage them to discuss how you would handle a situation and carry out an appropriate plan of action.

4. Emphasize Your Company Mission and Core Values

Work with your team to create a list of team values based on your company’s mission and core values. Include in the discussion what everyone’s most important personal values are. Find out whether the same values impact their professional success and whether they would look for these values when hiring employees. Also, talk about what your team would not tolerate in the workplace. Use their answers to set team standards for job performance, customer service, and related issues.

5. Clarify Your Expectations

Explain to your team what you expect from them all of the time. Examples include honesty, accountability, commitment, conflict resolution, and pride in top performance. If your expectations are not being met, privately talk with the employee about the issue. Find out what it causing the problem and how you can help. If the employee does not want to set goals for improvement, assume responsibility, or respond to feedback, they may need to find another source of employment.

6. Continue to Build Your Team Culture

Use positive reinforcement to maintain your team culture. For instance, provide real-time feedback and coaching to help your employees maintain professional growth. Also, encourage your team to get involved in local charity events. Plus, organize employee family activities one weekend per month.

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3 Tips to Keep Remote Employees Productive without Micromanaging

Many businesses didn’t choose to go remote in 2020: it became the only suitable option overnight. As a result, there was no time to prepare a remote management plan or brush up on new skills.

If you have micromanaging tendencies, then you may have found them stretched during the past year. But micromanaging is just as counterproductive out of the office as it is when you’re co-located. Micromanaging leads to poor morale, a lack of confidence, and stress, which all contribute to lower productivity and higher turnover.

How do you make sure employees remain productive without getting in your own way? Use these tips for remote management inspiration.

Use Team Management Software

Clear, measurable goals are the ticket to productivity. When you have a good team and a crystal clear deliverable, you can almost count on it getting done.

To help you avoid micromanaging a project — even one with a defined goal — use goal tracking systems, like team management software. The right software enables you to see where your team is at a glance, which cuts down on wondering, emails, and unnecessary Zoom calls. 

Software also makes teamwork more transparent, so members of each team can see where their colleagues are and collaborate easier. There are plenty of options out there, from enterprise systems to freemiums like Asana. Just be sure to choose the right one for your team’s needs and get them onboarded so they can hit the ground running.

Provide a Daily or Weekly Focus

If you find yourself wondering what your team is up to, then your team may not have a focus. Make life simpler for everyone by pulling out a daily or weekly focus for each goal and communicate it with the whole group. Make the focus clear and ensure it ties into the overarching effort.

Using this method not only helps you stay on top of what’s happening in the short-term, but it helps keep employees on track even when other projects may be calling their name.

Tip: Weekly focuses tend to work best for longer projects or sprints. If there’s a pressing project or need, you might use a daily goal.

Build Relationships Based on Trust

No system or method can save you from micromanaging if trust isn’t the foundation of your working relationships. You have to earn trust, and it takes hard work. However, it is the best way to avoid relying on harmful management tools and boost productivity overall.

Remember: you set the standard for behavior. So if you want to earn trust, you need to give it. Check out this research from the Kellog School of Management on what it means to build trust and build a stronger remote organization.

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RightStone can help you build the remote team you need to exceed your goals in 2021. Get in touch to learn more about the RightStone360 process.


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