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    Efficient Project Management – 3 Tips to Minimise Distractions

    on 16 February 2016

    Tags: ,

    Posted by Sam Abrahams
    resizedimage600413 bigstock Blue billiard table with color 45727477

    The 1997 Snooker World Championship. Ronnie O'Sullivan steps up to the table in his first round match versus Mick Price and five minutes twenty seconds later he has knocked in the fastest ever competitive maximum break.

    Injury time versus Greece, and with practically the last kick of the game Beckham sends an unstoppable free-kick into the top corner to guarantee England's place in the 2002 World Cup finals. August 2015, and Stuart Broad charges down the wicket one time after another to record extraordinary figures of 8-15 at Trent Bridge in the Ashes Test. The zone – propelling athletes to sporting greatness.

    But what if our staff, colleagues and team members could also achieve this state of mind? How dramatically would productivity and quality be enhanced if we could recreate the conditions in which people truly thrive, helping them get into the zone and then stay there? Effective project management isn't just about setting deadlines and milestones, it's also about developing an environment for distraction-free progress in the workplace, where people can focus and gain momentum with their tasks and challenges.

    Here are 3 simple tips on how to work distraction free and stay in the zone:

    1. Minimise meetings. Even if meetings usually are a good way to synchronise a team, they can also be a huge distraction if handled poorly. Call meetings only when they are crucial to the project, and schedule them either early in the morning or late in the afternoon, with the same time for every gathering. This enables everyone to schedule their time around them so that there are no surprises. Also keep them short and to the point to stop time-wasting chatter.

    2. Handle non-critical communication via email. Sure, it takes longer than a face-to-face chat, but it helps everyone focus on their work. Dedicate time-slots for email checking and replying, otherwise even emails can have a negative impact. But if scheduled correctly they are a distractive free way of communicating.

    3. Plan your workspace. If you work in a cubicle style environment there are usually plenty of distractions with co-workers talking, phones ringing and noise from printers and other office tools. If you have a tight deadline consider booking a meeting room and work from there. Or if that is not a possibility, simply use headphones to filter out unwanted noise. Another way of removing noise is to put your phone on silent, that way you will not be interrupted by messages or phone-calls while working.

    Taking steps to keep your team in the zone might not bring any silverware, but it'll bring results – and is a sure sign of great project management skills.