Let’s face it, life is full of distractions. Whether you’re in school, at home, or especially, at work, it’s inevitable. In an office environment, there’s no way of avoiding them – you just have to learn how to deal with them.
Some of the most common distractions at work include the Internet, your co-workers, and yes, even your own workspace. Distractions will kill your productivity if you don’t handle them wisely. Anything that takes your focus away from the task at hand can be a problem. So how do you deal with these distractions if you can’t get away from them? Find out below.
The Internet is everywhere, like McDonald’s. However, it is also one of the main culprits for wasted employee hours.
Though the Internet is important for a myriad of reasons – you’re going to need to check your work email, conduct research, manage your CMS, etc – it can also be a sinkhole that saps your productivity. According to studies, Facebook and LinkedIn are the two most popular social media sites accessed by employees during working hours. Really?? LinkedIn? The last thing you should be doing at work is looking for another job! Let’s not also forget about Twitter and it’s never-ending feed of useless, yet entertaining, content and rants. And all those selfies, and motivational quotes clogging up your Instagram feed? Those can wait til your lunch break. You don’t have to double tap while at your desk.
Another distraction is your email. Although receiving emails is beyond your control, reading them is on you. If left alone, emails can pile up and bombard you with lots stuff–hopefully, mostly work related. While this can be difficult to ignore, you should not be checking your mail constantly. Know what emails you do need to look out for – updates from your boss, clients, etc. – and save the rest for later (when you’re not on the clock).
So, what to do? The easiest thing is to disable all non-work related notifications while you’re at the office. Those annoying pop-up notifications won’t go away if you never turn them off. Now, when you do check your email, make sure you read ALL unread messages so that you don’t have to return to them in the future. This helps you avoid the annoying pile of unread emails that has become a workplace epidemic.
Also, read your emails at intervals instead of opening them every time something new comes up. This way, you’ll have less interruptions. And knock out more emails at once.
You love your co-workers but there are moments when they can be, well, annoying. It is important to set boundaries with them so they don’t interfere with what YOU need to accomplish at work.
If your coworker approaches you about something that isn’t work-related, be frank and tell them you’re busy at the moment but you’ll get back to them once you’re done. If you’re in the middle of something that you can’t be disturbed at any point, isolate yourself by listening to music with your headphones. Headphones have become the new universal “Do Not Disturb” sign.
Another option is to work remotely by renting an office space away from your workmates. Fortunately, Common Space offers different options for those who are interested in renting a temporary office space that has the privacy you need to stay focused with work. While it might sound disadvantageous to pay for an office when your job already provides you with a space, just think about the amount of work you can finish in solitude. According to this Huffington Post article, there are benefits to working remotely.
Almost everything in your workplace can be a potential distraction. Workspace clutter like papers, folders, or even food can keep you from staying focused.
The easiest fix is to de-clutter. Before starting each day, clear your workspace of any clutter and put everything in its designated place. If this proves too much, visit a coworking space at thecommondesk.com. Renting a common coworking space gives you the benefit of working in a tranquil and productive workspace minus the clutter and the annoying coworkers. And since everyone is responsible for their own space, everybody cleans up after themselves; keeping things organized.
You can easily manage distractions if you’ve clearly identified them. The list above contains only three of them; there are many more to watch out for. That said, the bottom line is: you need to set your priorities straight in order to manage your time well.