With online notifications, emails, and colleagues vying for our attention, no wonder many of us get easily distracted in the workplace.
Additionally, the popular open floor plan in many offices today can sometimes cause more disturbance when completing reports or reaching deadlines.
Maybe now more than ever, we need ways to beat distraction so that we can thrive and do our best. Below are 4 tips to try when distraction gets in the way of productivity.
Manage Time & Tasks
Assigning tasks at specific times in the day may help reduce distraction. If a major project needs finishing, breaking up tasks into smaller ones can make that project more achievable. Plan out the day before it starts and prioritize to-do lists based on what’s most important or urgent. Also, scheduling a block of time during the day for a certain task may increase concentration during that time.
Block Online Notifications
Social networking, online calendars, and emails are always on our fingertips, so blocking notifications while at work might be a good move. Productivity apps such as Forest and Anti-Social can help sustain focus and block social media apps that tend to grab our attention. Silencing or turning off phones and setting limits on checking email and certain websites may also be effective. Create a personal strategy by testing out methods that may work.
Set Boundaries with Others
Telling colleagues about work goals and preferences can create a supportive work environment. When quiet time is necessary, retreat from others by working somewhere private such as a conference room. If a quiet space isn’t available, noise-canceling headphones may help. Tell coworkers to send requests through email instead of approaching you in person. Check in with a friend frequently about your progress or let them know your strategy so that he or she can keep you accountable.
Take Breaks When Needed
Oftentimes, taking a break can re-energize and motivate us into tackling a task at hand. Sometimes all we need is a decent stretch, walk, or healthy snack. This gets our minds moving in the right direction. Breaks can act as reminders to take care of yourself and let you step back and reflect on the work you’re doing. Take some time to write a list of priorities and review them at the beginning and end of each work day.
Losing concentration and focus can be frustrating, but this happens to the best of us. There may be more reasons to get distracted in the Information Age, but we can decide to place information and technology on our side. With plenty of productivity tools and methods, anyone can beat distraction if they really want to.