Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Fight for focus ..... not talking about Ford Focus here, lah...

I love our HR manager. She likes to forward work-smart tips and short articles on stress management. Here’s the one she forwarded today. I’m using this as my personal checkpoint. Hope you all will benefit from this too.


We all know that multi-tasking can be a virtue and at times a curse. Despite this, it is an unavoidable reality when we work in the Information Age. It is hard to focus when there are items requiring immediate attention and action. Focus has become a luxury, but it need not be elusive.

Focus is something that must be fought for. It’s not something that automatically switches on when you want to. You have to make sure your surroundings are perfect for working if you want to be focused. Here are a few tips that can help you focus better:

1. Use offline tools. Paper products, pens, and other physical tools are a Godsend for those of us who have a hard time focusing throughout the work day. They’re so simple that we can use them quickly, without having to worry about becoming distracted.

DNAS’s response: Yeay, I have 2 pens, 2 pencils, 4 colorful note books and a stack of Dilbert cartoon calendar to jot things down. I don’t only write things down, I scribble, draw caricatures, stab the books with ball pens when I’m angry and make paper planes.

2. Take more breaks. More breaks = More productivity. It may sound wrong, but it’s true. Breaks allow us to re-group our thoughts and focus for the task at hand. They also keep us fresh so that we don’t end up burning out after only a few hours work.

DNAS’s response: God, I love breaks. I have morning coffee break, 10a.m lepak at Suraya’s place break, 11a.m kacau secretary break, 12 p.m gaduh dengan security (yang suruh alih kereta) break, extended lunch break, afternoon coffee break, kacau pre-sales at 3pm break, paksa orang lain pergi gym at 4.45pm break. No wonder I’m always fresh at work.

3. Smaller tasks to check off. When you’re planning your day, make sure that your “action steps” (aka items in the checklist) are small actions. Instead of “Paint living room”, try breaking it down into many tasks, like “buy paint, buy rollers, pick colors” etc.

DNAS’s response: Oh man, you people should have a look at my activity plans (complete with remarks, resource name, check boxes, start-time and end-time columns).

4. Keep a steady pace. Don’t try to do too much. Keeping the pace manageable allows you to keep your focus. Unfortunately, people can confuse this with “Work till you drop without breaks”. See number 2.

DNAS’s response: In other words, when Project manager asks ‘Can you complete this installation of 6 servers in 3 days?’, the answer will always be NO because I have to keep at my pace which is one server per week. Kekeke.

5. Keep a daily “purpose” card. It’s pretty easy to get lost staring at the computer all day long. We’ll find rabbit holes to wonder down (ie. Youtube, Myspace, etc.) if we’re not careful. Having your daily purpose card gives you clarity and a reminder as to what you’re doing today.

DNAS’s response: Don’t stare at computer screens more than 15 minutes. Take more breaks (see number 2 ). If you’ve stared at the screen for more than 15 minutes, start bloghopping. Once you’re done with bloghopping start Facebooking, and then repeat number 2 for more gossips. Sooner or later the boss will come to your cubicle to give you your daily ‘purpose’ card.

For the rest of the tips and to read the full article, kindly view it here.

Have a fruitful day at work, y'all!

Picture taken from

1 comment:

Jade said...

muahahahaaha... i will certainly do as what is suggested... by the blog owner... muahahaha...