The technological support available at the workplace could turn into a distraction before you realize it. Constantly checking emails, messages and push notifications can buy into your actual work time. While small distractions could appear harmless, frequent ones can eventually hamper your overall productivity and sometimes negatively impact your work as well.
Best Ways to Avoid Distractions at Work
Here are a few steps that could help you stay away from distractions:
1. What to Prioritize in Your Business Communication
Let’s say you find yourself continually checking emails that pop up on your screen and before you blink half a day is over. The best way to deal with this would be to prioritize the emails that require an early response and consider responding to the others later.
Remember, that communicating over email allows you more time to think and draft your response as compared to a video-chat session with your superior, team or clients.
Avoid using “reply all” if you don’t want your communication thread to end up as chatter in everyone else’s inbox. Address your mail to people who are meant to be kept in the loop.
You can seek the help of a few tools that enable you to check your text messages, emails and social media updates at pre-set times. Inbox pause plugin services or apps such as Block site allow you to restrict access to specific websites during work hours as scheduled by you.
Turn off the push notifications if you don’t want to get distracted by irrelevant reminders.
2. Limit Your Texts and Calls
If you sense that unnecessary calls and texts can get the better of you, exempt specific numbers that you would want to respond to and set a “do not disturb” to silence calls and messages for numbers other than these. Setting the phone in ‘aeroplane’ mode can save you a day at work!
If your workplace uses the instant messaging platform to keep team members connected, consider setting a specific time of the day to go online.
3. Stick to Productive People
Like distraction, the focus is also contagious. Sitting beside productive colleagues can work as an inspiration and reduce the chances of being frequently distracted. On the contrary, if there are colleagues prone to distraction and try pulling you as well, try telling them politely that you would join them after completing the task at hand.
4. Combat Environmental Distractions at Workplace
The random sounds of telephonic conversations across your cubicle, the sound of the printer, random discussions and other sounds around your desk can be distracting and can cause a loss of focus. If you can’t sneak into a quieter workspace or rearrange your desk, take control by shutting off distractions. You can consider using headphones or programming your mind to ignore the chatter around.
5. Compartmentalize Work
Large tasks can be the root cause of distractions as they seem overwhelming. If you don’t want this to impact your productivity, you can split the bigger project into smaller chunks. This will make your work appear achievable and easy to handle, thus ensuring you attempt to complete it one at a time. The modern workplace requires employees to wear different hats at work. The challenge of multitasking can distract your brain as you could be reeling under the pressure of having to juggle myriad projects every day. Take some time to see where you could start your work to be able to accomplish it. Set realistic goals and approach them one by one.
6. Break the Monotony
While you strive to stay focused at work, it’s equally essential to take work breaks. Such breaks can recharge your mind. A little face-to-face social time is a healthy way to rewire the brain cells and motivate you to take up the next task on your list. You can time your breaks. For, instance, a coffee break can be motivating and trying to keep up with that time can encourage you first to finish the work.
7. Incorporate Flexibility in Your Work Schedule
Repetitive tasks and the same environment can kill the excitement and energy that you initially started with. In such cases, you could try introducing a few basic changes in your work environment. Once in a while, you can work from a different setting if the options are available. For instance, work from home or explore remote work options.
8. Allocate Time for Every Piece of Work
It might sound repetitive, but there’s nothing that is as wise as creating a timeline for deliverables when it comes to achieving targets at work. Whether you are at a desk job or running around to meet clients all day, keep track of the time you devote to every task.
Finishing work when it seems easiest is the trick to success as it could motivate you with the feeling of having achieved more in a day, thus keeping distractions at bay. Don’t let work pile up as it could end up becoming the biggest cause of distraction.
9. Manage Conflicts at the Workplace
Conflicts at the workplace can be annoying and yes, very much distracting. It isn’t easy to deal with conflicts and unresolved situations can worsen it. They might keep playing in mind making it difficult to concentrate. While you can’t always choose to interact with people who you want to be around, discussing an issue outright can ease the stress and help you cope with a conflicting situation. Steer clear of gossip and lose talks to stay updated with what’s happening around you. Remember, that’s not relevant to your deliverables!
Nobody pays 100% attention to work at all times, and everyone can be subject to distraction. However, not only do distractions reduce your productivity but can be a cause of stress. Inculcating new habits to replace the old ones does take time. You can attempt to eliminate one cause at a time from your schedule. Practising focus can be of help, especially when you want to walk the road of self-discipline.
I hope you find this article helpful.