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It’s a reality that most of us face various kinds of distractions every day. Most of us encounter an hour or more wherein we get distracted by something or someone. Unfortunately, that can lead to some adverse effects on our work efficiency.
As we all know, distractions can decrease the level of energy and productivity that we can contribute to the company.
That’s why it is essential to know how to eliminate distractions, which can hinder our accomplishments.
Performing tasks in the workplace may not always go as smoothly as we would like. Distractions can cause a loss of focus and concentration towards work. With a busy day, we are often required to attend meetings, conferences, brainstorm, and respond to calls, co-workers, and emails. Interruptions can also affect our productivity.
It’s vital to know the common distractions at work, so we can be ready to handle them.
#1 Social media
Social media platforms are tools that help people connect with others. They are also used in business and in building meaningful engagement. However, these social media platforms, including Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and LinkedIn, can also become distractions at work. Once a notification is received, it can be an interruption to performing a task.
Instead of working on completing a job, we are often more engaged in checking our social media accounts. We spend our time on Facebook or Twitter which usually distract us from our work which can result in unfinished tasks and pending assignments when proper actions are not made.
Most of the jobs in the workplace require a quiet environment. However, there are parts of the workplace where noise cannot be avoided, such as ringing telephones, machines in operation, people talking, etc. This needs to be given proper attention by the management. It’s essential to keep the employees on the appropriate type of workstation for their jobs. A noise that can be distracting must be minimized, and the right tools should be utilized.
#3 Your co-workers
Although building relationships with your colleagues is crucial for a better workplace, there should also be a limitation. Having conversations with your co-employees for long hours can also affect your work performance. Gossiping, for instance, is one of the most common issues in the work area; it’s an unproductive use of our time in general.
For some people, multitasking is an extraordinary skill in the workplace, resulting in productive results. Most of us can listen to podcasts while working on spreadsheets. We read articles while listening to audio. We can work on other tasks while brainstorming with our colleagues.
However, some experts advised that multitasking can distract us from urgent tasks given to us. This is because, according to some studies, our brain is not engineered to do multitasking.
In a post published on the Chron website, various harmful effects are discussed, including lack of focus, memory impairment, and increased stress levels.
A messy desk can add more distractions at work. It will be difficult to do analysis, evaluations, and brainstorming if the stuff can disturb your senses. Scientifically speaking, our brain is engineered to react to things around us.
That’s why a cluttered desk can also be a messy workstation. Workers must opt for minimal distractions. Put on your desk the things that you will need for work.
#6 Fatigue and other health issues
Our health condition plays a significant part in our job performance. That’s why it should be in good condition. Sick employees will not be able to perform well on the tasks assigned to them.
It can lead to more severe problems like often tardiness and absenteeism. Also, when employees are experiencing fatigue, work performance can be affected. This can lower the productivity and quality of work results.
So, how can we eliminate work distractions and ensure that we will get the tasks completed? Here are some practical tips you can apply in the workplace.
#1 Create an organized schedule
One of the primary reasons people get easily distracted is that they do not have a follow-up schedule. Do not spend the day without a to-do list to follow. This will only make you more prone to distractions. Plan your day, and have a schedule on how you will spend every hour at work. Of course, stick to your plan.
#2 Choose healthy foods
Fuel up your body with healthy foods. They will give you the energy and vitality that you need, so you will avoid getting sick. Avoid junk foods and other unhealthy snacks. They can add to the risk of acquiring diseases due to high cholesterol and sugar.
#3 Get enough and sound sleep
Some people are having issues getting enough sleep. The result is that they experience fatigue and poor concentration during the day at work. Sleep is the best form of sleep, as various studies mentioned. It’s an effective way of revitalizing the body and keeping you energized the whole day. Strive to acquire seven to nine hours of good sleep, as recommended by the experts. Avoid watching TV or playing mobile games before going to bed. Also, make sure to have a comfortable bed to get a good night’s sleep.
#4 Keep a clean and tidy workspace
Although some people say that a cluttered working area shows a hardworking worker, still, keeping a clean working environment is a must. Cleanliness contributes to better focus. It is more comfortable to work without clutter and other stuff that may distract you from completing your work.
It’s also a great idea to create an ergonomic workplace. Consider having ergonomic-friendly equipment such as a sit-stand desk. A sit-stand desk will help you work in comfort since you can alternate from sitting and standing—this aids in preventing the adverse effects of too much sitting at work.
You can also personalize your desk by adding some stuff to help you become more motivated and relaxed. For instance, an indoor plant, a framed motivational quote, or a family picture, will be perfect items on your desk as well.
#5 Turn off your phone and limit your mobile notifications
If your work does not require you to answer calls from your phones, it will be better to turn it off. Messages and calls can distract you from being focused at work. Also, turn off some notifications such as from online shops, news, and social media. They can divert your attention, and you may end up dealing with them instead of working on the tasks.
#6 Avoid gossiping or having long conversations with your colleagues
Although it is vital to building relationships in the workplace, we need to make sure that they are meaningful. Talks and discussions related to work and how you can enhance productivity are acceptable. However, when gossip and misinformation are spreading, this needs to stop at once. Gossips can attract attention and turn into big work distractions.
Let your co-workers know that you are working. You can leave voicemail messages or emails to see that you’re busy if they’ll get in touch with you. Some also put their Skype status to Do Not Disturb signal.
#7 Be aware of your habits
From time to time, you will get tired and may feel that your mind is not in the mode to work efficiently. That is why you need to evaluate your weak points, as well as your strengths.
Check also when is the best time of the day you are most productive. You can also schedule your distractions. For instance, you can set time to watch videos and check your social media accounts.
In that way, you will have that discipline in you to be aware of the various times of the day you will do each specific task.
We always value the quality of work we render to our company. That’s what we should always aim for. Another way to help eliminate distractions at work is to utilize the right tools for your job. If you use the ones that are not proper for the job, then your time and energy will be wasted.
So, procrastination spears no one, and if you are reading this article, it means that you may feel like you are slacking a bit because you get distracted easily.
In your defence, we live in the most ‘distractible’ world possible with social media, pop-us, fear of missing out, and other fun and exciting things that seem to get our attention the minute we should start working and focus on what needs to be done.
However, you can tackle everything efficiently as long as you have a plan, and you are committed to getting things done. As you have read in today’s article, keeping your focus and mind sharp while working is more than just shutting off social media. It is about making healthier food choices, getting enough sleep, avoiding unnecessary drama, and conflict with your co-workers, and good old-fashioned self-awareness.
Finally, while it is easy to get swept away and get distracted from doing our jobs, it is essential to remember that slacking off can cause unnecessary stress and anxiety because of guilt. So, understand that the work you are doing is essential for someone’s business. This thought might help you overcome working slumps in the future by refusing to get distracted by trivial things.