We’ve all been there. You’re focusing on your daily task list when suddenly a surprise meeting derails your entire morning. Or maybe the mid-afternoon slump hits and all you can think about is a cup of coffee.
It’s easy to lose focus, but getting back in the zone is a different story. Yes, it’s something the Printing Solutions team struggles with from time to time, just like anyone else. Fortunately, we have a few tricks we use to get ourselves back on track and stay focused throughout the day.
Every morning here at Printing Solutions starts with a team-wide production and design meeting where we discuss our wins from the previous day and our tasks for the current day. We also take a moment to read the company’s Quote of the Day. Each day, a different person gets to choose a fun and inspirational quote to write on the board. This meeting sets the tone for the day and helps to get us focused right away.
Pencil It In
Many times, anxiety can set in when you start looking at an entire day’s worth of work. That’s a full 8 hours’ worth of tasks, and it can feel like too much when you look at the whole picture.
For our team, we find it’s easier to look at smaller chunks of time. At Printing Solutions we love to block out our days. We break out each of our tasks into manageable time blocks in our calendars, and color code those blocks based on time needed. Then we make sure to focus 100% of our attention on that one project for the required length of time. Our team has access to each others’ calendars, so we know when someone is in a block. No distractions during this time block.
Teamwork Makes the Dream Work
We can always tell if a team member was not as focused as they should have been based on their task list at the end of the day. Sometimes unexpected tasks come through that take our focus away. Maybe a client needs a rush order, or something went wrong in the production process. When this happens, we mold and adapt to the situation, and continue to push forward with the original plan and blocks in the day.
But sometimes it can be a challenge to refocus our attention on the right priorities. When a graphic designer has 10+ projects he has to bust out for the day, it can be easy to lose focus on what is important. So we as a team come together to help each other out when it comes to our tasks for the day. We find ways to make each other successful and to push ourselves to complete what we can by focusing on the essentials.
Take a Break
As big believers in time management, we also know that sometimes we just need to shut off and focus our attention on something less stressful. Our office includes a ping pong table, basketball court, and lounge area in our office where the team can go and power down. We also have a lot of space where anyone can go and enjoy some peace and quiet for a few minutes. This includes meditation, reading, or simply to step away from their desk.
Another great trick we use is the good old-fashioned outdoors to redirect our focus. Studies have shown that fresh air can boost productivity by as much as 11% … and we are located in a prime area for people to walk and enjoy Mother Nature.
Most days, our least focused times are early morning and mid afternoon. The later parts of the morning are dedicated to 100% focused production time. Until we hit that zone, it can be difficult to concentrate fully. And after the 2:00pm mark, things tend to slow down, tensions are not as high, and our focus may slip a little. By this point most of the day’s deadlines have been met, so there is more of a relaxing feel on everyone’s shoulders.
During the week, Monday through Thursday are days with heavy focus. Because we are in an industry which focuses on quick turn times, we have to keep on our toes to make sure we can uphold a promise that we make to our clients. Here’s an example. Your project will completed by end-of-day Thursday for your big event on Friday.
But Fridays are always going to be a struggle for the majority of businesses. With the weekend just around the corner, it’s hard to maintain a solid focus on certain projects. However, in the end we know that there is a professionalism we have to maintain with our clients. We make sure we continuously push ourselves to complete the job.
No matter what comes up throughout the day, we know that staying focused is the key to delivering quality solutions for our clients. To learn more about how our team can deliver these solutions for your business, give us a call at 480-596-6300.