How I stay on track and focused at Qualogy

I have been with Qualogy for 10 months now. This has been nothing short of a complete challenge. One important thing I realized is that focus is a main ingredient for having success in this company. I will share my thoughts on how I think we can remain focused and on track at work. I apply these rules to myself and it helps me to make small steps forward each time.

In my opinion there are two main factors that can affect your focus. These are yourself and your environment (for example colleagues, available tools, etc). Without you even noticing it, you tend to have a lot of time-wasting habits that take your focus a bit off the goal. Now what if you were to have a recipe to ensure you stay on track and remain focused all the time? As it turns out there is one.

Where to start?

1. Manage your time

This might sound cliché and you might have heard this a lot of times, but time management at work is really important. An action plan, to-do list, meetings are all must-haves but they are not a guarantee that you will stay focused at work. Most of the time you get distracted by other stuff, like personal things. Think of personal emails, facebook, twitter, SMS, phone calls, chats etc. How do you expect to stay focused with so many distractions? Try to shut these down and see how your focus improves. I allocate some time each day to do all the distracting stuff, for example, during lunch or early before I actually start work.

2. Start early

When you start early, you can clear a lot of things out of the way before the busy day starts. You can also take the time to prepare your workday and list all actions for that day. And take a few minutes to drink your coffee, tea, or read a newspaper. I use the time in the morning to check my facebook, do some personal emailing and answer some chats. After this, I close it all until my next break.

3. Make use of Scrum

Within Qualogy we make use of Scrum meetings to stay on track of our projects. With Scrum you have the ability to stay up to date with your colleagues’ part of the project and the status of the entire project. It has been of great use for us and I recommend this if you want to have structure in your projects.

4. Take short breaks

Make it a habit to take really short breaks. It helps you refresh your mind and you can even come up with ideas for issues you’re facing. I personally like to take a 5 minute break every hour to stretch a bit and clear my mind.

5. Stop making excuses

Don’t wait too long to pick up a task. With excuses the to-do list gets pushed further and further back. To be honest, things will keep bugging you because you know it needs to be done. Just stop any excuses and get on with a task right away. The faster you start it the quicker it gets done and you can pick up another task.

6. Have boundaries

When you start your task/work/project, make sure to give yourself realistic deadlines. Maintain boundaries. During the project keep track of your schedule and make sure not to get off track too much and stay within the requirements. Sometimes when you’re busy you can get lost in all the things that need to be done and you tend to do more than is required. I found some nice images on www.mrneal.com that display the quotient to stay on track. Decide for yourself which one suits you the most. Hopefully it is not the last 2 images ;-)

Image 1

This would be the best way to stay on track. The perfect way achieve to your target.

Image 2

The below image represents a person that stays on track but sometimes needs some kind of intervention from a supervisor or manager to get back on track.

Image 3

This image represents someone who crosses boundaries frequently. They need guidance from a supervisor or manager all of the time. Make sure not to be in this state and if you are, try working towards the above image.

Image 4

The below image displays a person you definitely don’t want to be.

Mellisa: “One important thing I realized is that focus is a main ingredient for having success in this company”