Distracted at Work? 3 Simple Tricks to Get You Focused

In the world of technology, distractions are everywhere. Pinging notifications have a way of popping up on our phones and computers, and then an hour later, we find ourselves trying to remember what it was we were doing in the first place. However, when it comes to staying focused at work, it's just a matter of building good habits that will stand the test of time (or at least get you to the end of the work day). Here are a few tips for focusing amidst the mountain of emails and instant messages that are sure to come your way. 

3 Tips for Focusing At Work:

  1. Set specific goals.

    Part of the reason we get distracted at all at work is that we are bored or overwhelmed by the task at hand. However, knowing your priorities and setting goals can help minimize any attempt at procrastination. One of the best tips for focusing is proper goal setting. Proper goal setting works best when you break down each goal into reasonable time blocked tasks. Outlining all the steps it will take to accomplish what you want and then giving yourself a time limit for each one will help motivate you to meet your potential and fulfill your deadlines.  Make sure the goals you set are SMART; meaning they are specific, measurable, assignable, relevant, and timely. This will ensure that you aren’t overwhelming yourself or wasting time on unattainable projects. Also try tackling the hardest tasks at the beginning of the day when you’re most energized and have loads of time ahead of you, and save the more routine things on your to do list for the end of the day when you’re brain and attention span is winding down. This way you won’t be as stressed or pushed for time on an important project.
  2. Take breaks.

    It’s important to step back every once in a while, and if you do so regularly, you’ll find yourself less prone to give into the little distractions that present themselves throughout the day because you’ve already taken a break. For example, after spending a period of time hard at work, try rewarding yourself by getting up and walking around, grabbing a cup of coffee, filling up your water bottle, or even eating a mid afternoon treat. You can control the temptation to constantly check emails, social media, and text messages by setting aside a specific about of time in your workday for it. Catch up with your peers during lunch, so you don't find yourself chitchatting at your desk instead of working. It also helps if your work space is somewhat enjoyable. So if you can, listen to background music to pump you up or keep your brain relaxed.
  3. Regulate technology.

    \ When you’re in the office, why not make your devices work for you? Take advantage of the many apps out there that can track your time spent on certain sites, and even block those that you are prone to linger on for too long like YouTube or Facebook. Additionally, consider disabling your phone by turning it on silent, or having calls go directly to voicemail so you’re not interrupted unnecessarily during work hours. Keeping any handheld devices in your bag, or face down on your desk so you can’t see if the screen lights up, will also help prevent you from being pulled off track.
At Number8, we believe one of the keys to achieving your business's goals is great IT that supports your company. We help businesses access great IT by connecting them with remote workers that utilize best-practice tools and processes. If you’re interested in learning more about Number8 and what we do, give us a call at (502) 890-7665, or check out our information page!

Increasing Productivity on a Software Development Team

October 30, 2017 / in Blog, IT Team Player, / by number8

Increasing Productivity Before the New Year

As the year draws to a close, you may notice your software development team is lacking in productivity. You're not alone. Managers from all types of sectors notice a dip in work rate as the holiday festivities approach. So how do you go about increasing productivity with a team distracted by online shopping and dreaming of vacation days?

Communicate Face-to-Face

We often rely on messaging applications like Slack and email to relay important information to teammates, but with all the digital noise available, crucial points may be lost. If you want to keep your employees' attention, start logging IRL face time with your developers. Getting them away from the screen will help keep the task at hand on their mind without being overly aggressive.

Clarify Project Specs

If a project's specifications are not clear, your team will waste hours trying to hit a target they can't even see. Ask your programmers about the requests they receive and their clarity. There is always room for improvement as far as processes go and you will save time and money, in the long run, figuring out how to fix them today.

Lead by Example increasing productivity

Your attitude this season will affect your team's, so be positive and productive if that's how you want them to function. Teams work harder if their leader has a good attitude, so make a concerted effort to stay that way throughout the season.

Encourage Breaks

You may think that encouraging your team to spend time not working is counterproductive, but there is scientific proof that breaks boost productivity in the workplace. If you notice your team members are plugging away hour after hour and not getting up from their desk, gently remind them that it's not a crime to take a break. Encourage them to take a 10-minute walk, get a fresh cup of coffee, or even take a minute to stretch.

Set End-of-Year Goals

Going into the season, have your developers set goals to reach by the end of the year. Help them decide how they will break up the work into daily activities so they can accomplish the goal. Setting small milestones is a good way to keep your programmers on task when the time of year tempts the mind to wander.     At Number8, we encourage healthy business relationships for increased productivity as well as job satisfaction. If you’re interested in learning more about Number8 and what we do, give us a call at (502) 890-7665, or check out our information page here!    

Tips Successful Software Developers Follow to be More Productive

June 16, 2017 / in Blog, Tech Advice, / by number8

How to be a successful software developerAll software developers have their own tips and tricks they use to keep on track and work efficiently and thoughtfully. However, those habits don’t necessarily pave the path to becoming a successful software developer. Below we have outlined a few helpful pieces of advice that established developers hold to be true. While it may seem difficult to adjust the habits you have already developed, take some time to think about these tips and see how you can work them into your day-to-day routine. It may just make all the difference when you’re looking for the next job opportunity.  There are three overall concepts to keep in mind as you work to elevate your abilities as a software developer. If you can get into these mindsets it will become easier to follow specific steps and tasks that help to fulfill these ideas.

Have the big picture in mind

How does the work you’re doing directly impact and help the business you’re working for? The quality of your work is sure to improve if you feel personally invested in the outcome of the project. Even if it is a one-off freelance assignment, you should still take the time to understand the mission of the business and of the specific content you’re creating.  

Focus on problem solving

Don’t let yourself give up when a project gets difficult. That is exactly when it becomes the most rewarding. If you only work on projects that you know you can succeed at with little challenge then you’ll never grow. To become a better software developer you need to accept difficult projects even if you’re afraid that you won’t excel at them. If you don’t try to succeed then you never will.

Be flexible and stay open to new ideas

If you’re reading this, then you’re already on the right track to embracing new ways of thinking. It is important to remember that just because the way you’ve been working has been decently successful so far, that doesn’t mean you should commit to those methods forever. Keep your eyes and your mind open to new ways of approaching projects. Accept advice from others and allow yourself to adapt. A few specific ways you can begin to adopt the above habits are as follows:
  • Be disciplined
  • Keep your code clean, concise and reusable
  • Ask for help
  • Track your time
  • Follow a routine
At Number8, we believe in the power of focus and flexibility. We know how important it is to be the best in the business so that we can provide our clients with premium service and attention. If you are looking to partner with software development team that not only cares about their code but also about their clients, give us a call today at (502) 890-7665!

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