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How can you keep your team focused and productive?

Olly Denhard
Founder, IT Trouble Free
4 April 2021

When you run a business, you know that your most important assets are not the material things you see around you. Not your office. Not the equipment in it. Not the smart company car that’s sitting outside.

You’re no doubt proud of all those things, and rightly so. But none of them would be there if not for your number one asset – your team.

And you will do anything necessary to make sure they are a priority, right?

Their wellbeing is important, and part of their wellbeing is dependent on them being happy at work. Now, we appreciate that your employees’ happiness goes way beyond what we are about to discuss…but bear with us!

Achievement + Focus = Happiness

To be fair, we made that equation up! We can’t say it’s from data cited from an official study. But we’re willing to bet that you agree it has a ring of truth to it. If we’ve achieved all we needed to that day, we usually go home happy.

However, things inevitably get in our way. Interruptions and distractions are all around us. You can probably think of several more, especially if you’re still working from home and are contending with the doorbell, the postman, the washing machine, the dog. But the most common, immediate distractions when you work at a PC all day are: notifications pinging up, emails popping in, files being updated.

There’s no getting around that.

Or is there? Well, yes!

Here are a couple of ways to help you stay focused and be more productive:

Use Focus Assist to stop unwanted interruptions

 Windows 10 has a feature called Focus Assist, and we can tell you from experience; it does what it says on the tin. It will block all notifications and alerts when you feel you need to knuckle down to a task without interruptions.

To find it, go to:

Settings > System > Focus Assist

It can be set to turn on automatically during the hours you decide. And you can even select some contacts as priorities, so their notifications always get through – even in Focus mode. So, you’ll never miss a message from someone important.

Not only does it help you get through your To-Do list with relative ease(!), it’s also a great tool if you’re giving a presentation and don’t want to be interrupted. Or if you’re sharing your screen during a Zoom or Meetings call, for example.


Use Microsoft 365 to stop unnecessary repeats

 Watching endless repeats on the TV is bad enough – you don’t need to be re-enacting Groundhog Day at work too.

If you find yourself repeating Outlook tasks (like forwarding emails to the same, specific group of people), you can save time and use Quick Steps to automate those tasks for you.

Here’s how:

 In Mail, select home 

  • In the Quick Steps group, select Create New Quick Step 
  • Name the task and select an icon 
  • Under Actions, choose an action that you want the Quick Step to do. Select Add Action for any additional actions 
  • Want to create a keyboard shortcut? Select one in the Shortcut key box 


Try those out, and let us know how you get on – we are sure they will make a difference to your day.

And, not wanting to distract you further, but…have you seen this quote?  J

“The factory of the future will have only two employees, a man and a dog. The man will be there to feed the dog. The dog will be there to keep the man from touching the equipment.” 

Warren G. Bennis, American scholar 

If you need someone you can trust to touch your equipment, give us a call! As long as you don’t have dogs guarding it, of course.

Olly and the team