You clicked on this article. Were you in the middle of something as you started to read this? Are we the cause of your newfound distraction?
The average workplace is filled with distractions. Everyone experiences them from time to time, and only a few are immune to the pull they have on us. Here are some of the most common types and how to remain on task.
It’s always tempting to check your smartphone during the workday. Whether it be a phone call or text message, when we see it, we immediately feel the need to answer. If you don’t answer a call, you will be distractingly thinking all day about the news you could have missed. And if you answer a text, you are bound to spark a back and forth conversation that could lead to a lot of time wasted.
To avoid smartphone distractions, consider turning your device off or on do not disturb at work. You can also consider putting it away in a desk, drawer, or bag where you will be less inclined to check it as often.
If you have email notifications on, you will likely feel compelled to check your inbox immediately, even if you are in the middle of something else. The best solution to this is to go to your email settings and switch off push notifications or alert sounds. This will give you the freedom to check your inbox when you are available without being distracted while working on something important.
It’s hard not to get sucked into the latest workplace gossip, especially when the sound of any type of non-work related conversation sounds entertaining. However, workplace gossip can be detrimental to your work productivity as well as the environment. Leave the gossiping (if necessary) to your lunch breaks or outside of work.
4. Social Networks
We all own at least one type of social media profile. Whether it be Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, these platforms can be the most distracting for various reasons. Social media has become a place where you can get sucked in for hours, wasting indefinite amounts of time.
Avoid the urge to check your social accounts by keeping your phone off or away. You can also invest in website blockers like DistractOff to help you block any tempting websites and social networks that you know will distract you.
An open office design can have its pros and cons. One of its unfortunate cons is the noise that may result in your workspace. It could be the sound of the printer, fax machine, coworkers moving around or eating a very crunchy snack, or even just people walking by. All of these different noises can potentially interrupt your focus.
To avoid the distraction of noise, consider wearing headphones while you work. Whether you play music or not, wearing headphones or even earplugs can help you focus and remain on task. You can also invest in a pair of noise canceling headphones to get the job done.
We all think we can multitask. Whether it be checking an email while talking to a client, ordering lunch while participating in a meeting, or listening to a podcast while conducting research, we’ve all tried to make it work and most probably have failed in doing so.
The truth is, our brains aren’t made for multitasking. Avoid wasting time by sticking to one topic at a time. Once you have completed one task, you can move on to the next one. Do not allow yourself to multitask because you will ultimately get less done in the same amount of time.
How many times have you sat at your desk with your stomach growling, counting down until lunch time? You may not notice it but hunger can be a huge distraction to your work, especially when all you can focus on is your empty stomach.
To eliminate workplace hunger and increase productivity, consider storing snacks at your desk. Plus, you save time leaving the office in search of snacks throughout the day. Also remember to eat a healthy and nutritious breakfast in the morning. A good breakfast will keep you focused and energized to get through the morning.
Now get back to work!
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