3 simple techniques you can implement at your desk without spending a buck in your pocket
1. Throw distractions away from work desk
I am going straight to the point here — Do not put your smartphone on your work desk! I learned this lesson in my previous company where I charged my smartphone on a standing phone charger that was placed on my desk. Every time a new notification popped up on the lock screen, my mind immediately turned the attention to whatever that was popped up. It was impossible to focus on getting a single thing done.
Even though turning off all notifications and turning the device to silent mode might eliminate those kinds of distraction, having it physically there would give my mind a subconscious signal that someone might be looking for me.
Same apply to any devices that trigger attention, such as smartwatches and activity trackers (I refrain from wearing them when I need to get things done), or printers that someone else in the office might use anytime.
I understand that sometimes we might need smartphones to complete specific tasks, but I always think of alternatives that would not give unnecessary distractions. For example, if I need to attend a meeting in 30 mins on time, I use a simple digital watch to alarm me when it’s time to go, rather than using my smartphone or smartwatch to do it. Because whenever I turn on my smartphone, I would have the intention to check my Email and other social media.
2. Keep work desk setting simple and clean regularly
This might sound weird to people who worked with me before, as I was known for having a ton of stuff around my work desk. Yes, I’ve changed and I mean it, keep the work desk settings as simple and clean as possible, regularly.
I learned that from multiple millionaires and leaders who I saw as my life mentors. One common trend that I realized they all shared is that they only have a few items on their work desks with lots of desk space. I mimicked that on my work desk and found out that I was so much more focused and motivated. The key here is having lots of desk space where I could draw and write things on.
It takes discipline to keep the work desk as clean and simple as possible, but it is certainly worth the effort and is a great habit to have.
3. Display things that symbolize the current focus
I always ask myself: “How can I alter and create a work environment to work towards my productivity?”
My answer to that is putting things that I currently focus on in front of me. There are usually a few items (within 5 items) on my desk, I call them my focus-triggering symbols. For example, I put my water bottle near my desk to remind me to drink water regularly in order to maintain a fresh and healthy brain. I also put cash notes on my desk to remind me that my current focus is on generating new streams of cash flow.
All the items I put on my desk has a specific meaning to it. Whenever I saw them, it creates a positive force and energy for me to work on the goals I have set for myself.