Got distracted yet again and had to kiss your deadlines goodbye and ask yet again for a new one?
I asked my coworkers at the office about what distracts them the most? Smartphones, social media, meetings, and emails were their first distractions and productivity killers of all. However, technology can’t take all the blame for preventing us from getting work done. So, why we end up being distracted?
Why you always end up being distracted?
- Attention is a limited resource. Distractions eat your attention alive by cutting it off. Distractions make your brain operate in a mess of distress. If your attention is divided, you will have no energy left for emotional regulation, mental focus, or physical fatigue.
- In a world designed to feed on your attention, your brain usually craves to find out what’s new, what’s exciting and what you might be missing out. And without noticing, you’ll be the scapegoat of distractions.
Why employees don’t talk about distractions?
- Protecting team spirit: They don’t want to break the spirit of the team.
- The open office dilemma: In open offices, almost most employees would prefer to isolate themselves than asking for silence where they’re working especially.
- Serving team culture: If the culture of the company values/appreciates the initiative of discussion among employees.
- Fear of judgment: They don’t want to seem incompetent, inattentive, or even stupid. Usually, employees wouldn’t love to appear exigent. They might not ask for help if they’re distracted because it might give them an impression they can’t do it all.
According to Udemy’s 2018 survey, almost 3 out of 4 employees admit they feel distracted when they’re on their job while 16 percent declared that they are almost always distracted.
Five ways to avoid falling in the distraction trap.
1- Fade them all away
Noise, side talks, coworker playing music (that’s not your taste)? You must know by now what distracts you. Set a list of them. Avoid wasting time with your colleagues. Write a sticky note with your deadline dates.
If noise is your biggest distraction, headphones could be your friend. We have written a whole article about dealing with your loud co-worker. Either you’re playing music or not. Headphones have proved their prominence efficiently. You may also want to check our playlist for more on how music boosts your productivity.
2- Increase your ATTENTION SPAN:
Our concentration has limits. Think of concentration like a full tank of gas in your car, if you’re not careful, you’re going to consume it all on the wrong roads.
Simply, choose to say No after asking “Do I have to spend time doing this?”. Saying no will give you the courage to have authority in focusing.
You can also try the Pomodoro technique, which uses the idea of working in short intervals (usually 25 minutes) separated by short breaks (5-10 minutes).
Another effective fix is to work remotely from home, cafe, restaurant or even on a baladi cafe.
3- Utilize your smartphone
Smartphones have helped us to be more connected than we’ve ever been. But then comes the struggle of being the biggest distraction. It might get you troubled with time too.
Smartphones are useful if used rightfully. Download mobile applications that will help you out when you find yourself distracted and digressing. Whenever you’re struggling with time create a start and end limit. Try to manage your spare time and work equally.
4- Write it all down, check!
Big Pile of work can stress you and lower your productivity and energy level. Overlooking some tasks is so natural at that case.
Write all your to do’s for the day and mark check every time you finish one in front of it. Before you feel like taking a break, push yourself to work further. It will help you work more and be proud.
Draw charts in front of you, evaluate yourself daily for a better effort every day. Take better decisions, create a system within your co-workers such as signals, flags, signs of the “do not disturb” mood. Again, that headphone sign really works.
5- Be consistent about avoiding distractions and you’ll see the magic.
The reason behind every consistency failure, especially at workplaces, is what smoothly sliding in front of you. Things like hunger, multitasking, emails, and meeting are standing in your way. Their bad habits need to be kicked out.
Consistency is always the key to absolute success. Remember It’s a win-win situation. Resist trying to be perfect with everything. Think positively, satisfy your needs and don’t beat yourself up over little things. Don’t sweat over things out of your control.
Plan for good distractions
Only if you knew that some distractions are good
Long distressed days deserve breaks to filter your mind. Breaks are helping us to:
- Increase productivity: some might see that taking breaks are counterproductive but stepping away from your desk help recharging energy, focus, concentration. It allows you to continue with a higher rate of work upon your return.
- Improve your creativity: stimulating yourself and your senses from the sounds and sights you’ve been exposed to through your day.
- Take a walk with views that have varieties of colors, textures, and sounds will inspire the creative side of you.
- Visit the noise: If you work at a silent office, the lack of noise may stifle your creativity. Visiting the busiest place around is a very effective strategy.
- Reduce boredom: somehow doing activities seem to increase our attention span when doing tasks later on.
Distractions can be good and healthy in some cases. The article has shown that people might need to be distracted sometimes. Human beings pass by a lot of harsh and stressed experiences through their day and life. So instead of being anxious, stressed or pale it would be fine and merciful to be distracted.
Distractions are no one’s friend. If you transformed your workplace and avoided these drags on your efficiency. You would master productivity.
What’s the distraction that bothers you the most?