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How to Avoid Distractions at Workplace

May 23, 2018
6 min read
How to Avoid Distractions at Workplace
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Human mind is prone to wandering around: being easily distracted by things.

Distractions are not just frustrating, but they take a heavy troll on productivity. During the day, million of things come up that makes us lose our focus from the present state of mind. One study found that office distractions eat an average 2.1 hours a day. Switching from one task to another can cause high level of workplace distractions and can be exhausting as we lose the energy to get back on track. And it is of no doubt that distractions at workplace are quite profound. And we all are susceptible to fall prey to these distractions. It blocks our thought process and makes us awry from what we are doing, which becomes detrimental to our productivity.

What are the basics of work productivity

“Productivity is never an accident. It is always the result of a commitment to excellence, intelligent planning and focused effort.” – Paul J. Meyer

As we know, workplace distractions are the enemy of productivity. We all wanna work super productively without getting interrupted. Work productivity is always at peak when you are in the flow. We have to get into the right frame of mind to figure out how to keep things moving forward.

So, how can we address it? To make it easy for you, here is a short list of distractions around you that you should be aware of and also some easy steps to combat it.

1. Workplace environmental distractions

The sound of random discussions, telephone conversations, the constant buzzing of printer, and other nearby noises in office might often divert your concentration. This bound to affect our productivity as you may lose your focus.

Tip: Soundproof a workplace

Smart office designs will help you find solitude if you want to work undisturbed. Noise equals distractions, so quieten your workspace. Rearrange the office so that everyone can work isolated and people passing by don’t disturb each other. Take control over other loud distractions by shutting the door, putting on headphones and soundproof it from external noises.

2. Emails

Most workers usually get distracted by constantly checking emails. The average office worker receives 88 emails a day. As soon as new email pops, it destroys the whole focus.  According to one poll, about 40% of people surveyed that they thought they checked their email between 6 and 20 times per day. And you can imagine how many times it breaks their focus to completing meaningful tasks.

Tip: Cut down checking the mailbox

Make it a habit to directly communicate over chat those small discussions that get stretched in emails. Decide on your email preferences and communicate more for less invasive emailing. You can also set pop-up notifications in order to check email less frequently or fix a schedule for yourself to check emails and reply them. Use your spare time for checking the mail while waiting for a client or using a taxi.

3. Conflict with co-workers

Often, it’s the luck that decides whether you get to be around annoying or wonderful co-workers. These distractions are likely to be difficult to deal with. Someone who has been friends with you suddenly cheats on you by blabbering things about you, or getting into a love relationship with a co-worker or someone who cuts corner with you on work is some of the conflicts that cause distractions at work.

Tip: Keep co-workers at bay

Of course, when you are working in an office you will be surrounded by your colleagues talking about everything. And that’s what creates a mess. Stay away from distracting issues discussed around water-cooler or over coffee. Whether you are friends or in love with a coworker, don’t get much into them.

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4. Meetings

If you are not able to justify the time spent on your meetings, then for sure they are big distractions for the whole team. Working in an office, teams get into sudden meetings that completely breaks the focus and of course decreases the productivity. Whatsoever be the crux of the meeting like getting feedback, brainstorming sessions, exchanging useful information and more, sudden and unplanned may prove to be ineffective. It’s proven that people spend around 31 hours unproductively at meetings over a month!

Tip: Track how you spent your time

As getting stuck in meetings is a waste of time, so make sure you have a schedule for your meetings, be it daily, weekly or bi-weekly meetings. Also, you can track the time on a time management software that you spend on meetings using a tracking tool, it will tell you how you can manage your time on meetings and other tasks. You will realize that you’re wasting time in the wrong places.

5. Social media notifications

Any kind of audible notifications is a huge distraction for workers. Every kind of notification distraction is a destruction of performance. Apps that frequently notify users makes it difficult to concentrate fully on tasks at hand. And all this consumes a lot of time.

Tip: Silence your excess notifications

So, you probably know the apps that distract you the most but you can’t uninstall them, so decide on whether you want you to be notified all the time. Closely monitor your schedule to use social media and another side. Consider turning off notifications for social media sites or give them a silent ringtone when it’s time to work.

6. Multitasking

With everyone having to wear more hats at work, there are dozen of things going around at work. And when you try to multitask, this degrades in focus and distracts our brain. As you juggle a variety of projects every day, streamlining becomes a challenge that often leads an impact on personal as well as professional productivity.

Tip: Break down your tasks

Stop being pulled in million directions and be sure to end where you start. Don’t be unsure of where you start your tasks. Start with it, break it into smaller manageable goals, and set up an environment to perform one task a time.

What did we learn?
Being productive is the need of the hour, so getting things done is important. See how you move up in the world. Make your job secure by focusing on ways to fight distraction every day. Explore ways to be more productive at work. Say goodbye to distractions and get focused.