By Kari Miller
If poor concentration, inconsistent follow-through and a feeling of being overwhelmed get in your way, you’ll want to improve your workplace productivity. Make changes that guarantee you complete priority tasks to increase your income and give you more free time for yourself and your family.
Do any of these sound familiar to you?
- You easily get sidetracked, jumping from task to task or thought to thought.
- When you think about a big project it feels overwhelming and you can’t figure out how to get started, so you just put it off.
- You schedule more things in a day than you can get done and consistently underestimate how long it will take to accomplish things – which means you’re always running behind.
- You spend time looking for things that seem to be misplaced only to find them right in front of you.
- Despite feeling constantly “busy,” you never seem to be “productive.”
- You feel more clear-headed, alert and focused when you drink coffee or soda, or smoke cigarettes.
Tips to managing overwhelm at work
If you are dealing with these signs of workplace overload, you’ll want to put the following workplace productivity tips into action.
Remove the “clutter” from your surroundings
One key to better concentration is to limit the distractions around you. Start by choosing one important thing you are going to work on NOW. Make a commitment to do this one task to the best of your ability. Write the name of the task on a post it note and stick the note up on your computer or desk, right in front of you so you can’t miss it. Clear all unnecessary things from your desk. Close unneeded computer programs. Put the task “in the spotlight” so it grabs your attention!
Remove the “clutter” from your mind
There’s an old saying, “garbage in, garbage out.” In this case it means that productivity is the result of mental clarity. There are many things you can do Evaluate your patterns in the following areas and look for ways to improve your basic health and to sharpen your mental acuity.
If you are not exercising every day your body is not adequately eliminating toxins, and these toxins are clouding your mind.
If your diet does not contain adequate nutrients, your mind is paying the price in terms of concentration and memory.
The brain is 75% water and functions by conducting electrical impulses. Your mind will function more quickly and smoothly if your body is properly hydrated.
If sleep is a problem for you, it may help to relax your nervous system for at least an hour every night before turning off the light.
Here are a few of my favorite ways to calm your body so your mind can rest:
- take a warm shower or bath
- use soothing smells such as lavender either as a lotion or potpourri
- put on soothing music or a favorite DVD, lie down, close your eyes and just listen
- learn reiki or chakra meditation techniques to take control of your body’s energy system
If you are not giving your body the things it needs to run smoothly, your workplace productivity will suffer. Commit to making changes that will support your body’s ability to do its job smoothly and efficiently or you’ll suffer from “garbage out”!!!
Make changes in your physical environment
There are several ways you can plan your environment to improve your concentration, follow through and productivity. Figure out how you work best in terms of the arrangement of furniture, the kind of chair you use, the lighting and the temperature.
Include movement as a natural element to your work routine. Great ways to do this include alternating sitting with standing or walking. Get an extension for your telephone and attach a headset so you can get up and move around while you talk on the phone. Stand on a balance board while working. This stimulates the attention control center of the brain.
Create “flexible workstations.” Set up two locations outfitted for work and alternate between them every hour or so. This will stimulate your mind and improve concentration. One of your stations can be a high table where you stand while working. You can stand on the balance board at this station, stimulating your nervous system for better attention and concentration.
Shine a spotlight on your values and goals
The most powerful productivity strategy is to connect your work with your deepest goals and values. Find a way to connect what you are doing now to your most cherished beliefs. Find the deep and profound “why” of every task.
For example, if paperwork is boring to you but people really matter to you, find creative ways to remember that you do the paperwork in order to benefit people. This is even stronger if you connect the benefits of doing paperwork to one specific person who you truly care about. Try it, it really helps!
It takes some practice to remember to think of the deep connection and value you bring by completing boring tasks, but with practice, you’ll find you are less resistant to boring tasks and take more pride in accomplishing them!
Display reminders of your values and goals in your environment. Set out pictures of your loved ones to remind yourself how much your work supports their lives. Post inspirational pictures and quotes, much like a vision board to keep you on track to achieving what matters most to you! Keep the items that connect you to your goals in plain sight so they motivate and inspire you to concentrate and get more done!
If workplace overwhelm is not the whole story
If your thoughts race from topic to topic and you constantly feel overwhelmed, even in situations other than work, you may be facing more wide-ranging issues that affect other aspects of your life. If getting things done at work is only one of the struggles you are facing, you may be one of the millions of women living with undiagnosed ADHD.
There are more myths and misinformation about ADHD than most other conditions. ADHD is a biochemical condition affecting the chemical makeup of the brain. It is not a choice and it is not a character flaw. ADHD can’t be caused by poor diet, working too hard or having a stressful life.
If you have ADHD and are not actively managing it, your entire life is affected. There are many strategies that can help women who are living with ADHD. The first step is to get more information about the signs of ADHD in women. Begin right now to take charge.
Take one these screening tests for ADHD to see if you have symptoms associated with ADHD. If you are concerned, get educated and seek diagnosis to get effective treatment. For more news on the issues facing women with ADHD, see ADDvance.com with Katleen Nadeau, Ph.D. and Patricia Quinn, M.D.
Originally published as: “Productivity in the Workplace: Tips for Concentrating and Getting More Done” by Kari Miller – As an ADHD coach and board certified educational therapist, Dr. Kari helps women conquer their biggest ADHD challenges. She assists women in getting focused, organized, and motivated so they get unstuck, finish what they start, and accomplish more every day! Dr. Miller capitalizes on her expertise as a learning specialist to help women find unique and exciting strategies for managing their ADHD challenges. Through her group and individual coaching programs and online supportive community, she encourages and inspires women to set their sights high and make big changes in their lives! www.ADHDclearandfocused.com Kari.Miller.firstname.lastname@example.org
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