We all get distracted now and then, it’s only natural. Without Productivity Training you may find yourself getting lost when you should be getting work done. Spending a couple minutes on checking your Twitter account or watching that one YouTube video can soon spiral into hours of procrastination. Just think of all the work you could have done instead of binge watching the whole season of Stranger Things, for example. Our Productivity Ninjas believe that in order to be more productive, you need to actively create an environment with fewer distractions. That’s why we have come up with 5 ways in which you can be more productive by overcoming workplace distractions.
Time to be distracted
Okay, so you know you get distracted, I know you get distracted, so what are we going to do about it? The first step is to be honest with yourself and allocate time towards it. Committing to a segment of time to separate yourself from work, can allow you to focus more when you are meant to. By setting breaks you avoid burnout. Think of the time set aside as a reward for your hard work. Take the Pomodoro working technique, where you’ll have a brief five-minute break every 25 minutes but you should also plan larger breaks every 90 to 120 minutes throughout your day to keep you fresh and alert. So, encourage timed breaks throughout the office to maintain both a high morale and a focused work ethic.
Many of us understand how much time such a seemingly small task can take out of our day. It’s a burden, something moaned about by the masses. Emailing back and forth throughout the day can consistently interrupt your workflow. Stopping the task at hand every 5 minutes to reply to emails is not the path to productivity. The amount of emails one can receive can be appreciated, however. According to a report from the McKinsey Global Institute, the average person spends 13 hours a week (28% of their workweek) reading, deleting, sorting, and sending emails.
Now, we’re not suggesting you ignore all those lovely people messaging you. Although, it’s important to understand that most do not need an immediate reply. And by doing so, you’re giving into an almost constant tool of distraction. A much more productive solution is email batching. Allocate specific times of the day to your Email Etiquette and spend the rest of the time working on the task at hand. Communicate your email etiquette to your colleagues and the outside world, that way you can manage expectations and people will know when they can expect a reply. It’s also helpful to establish an understanding in your team, what should be done by email, face to face or a phone call – it’ll save everyone time and energy.
Physically Remove Yourself
In desperate times, Productivity Ninjas call for desperate measures. Sometimes the best way to avoid distraction is to remove yourself from the environment completely. This can be done by perhaps booking a conference room or going to do some reading in a quiet café. The workplace can be a loud and distracting place, sometimes it’s down to you to take control. A simple way to do this if you have your own office is to simply shut the door when you have to get some serious work done. This lets your peers know that you’re busy and that they should only interrupt you if the matter is truly pressing.
Use the quiet time
If your office is particularly busy and noisy, use the time where it is quiet, wisely. Have you ever come to the office before everyone else? Do you remember what happened? Chances are you were rather productive. The reason for this is that you get alone time to get on with work without distractions from peers. Early in the morning is an especially good time, perhaps even before daily emails start rolling in.
Your desk is a distraction
A desk is probably where you spend most of your working day. As such, make sure your place of work is clean and tidy. Don’t be that person. The one with the leftover doughnuts spread among a mountain of papers. You know who you are. By de-cluttering your desk and uninstalling applications that don’t aid your job performance, you will benefit from a natural increase in focus. Anything which may entice you into a period of procrastination should be removed. Productive work ethic is the finish line, don’t let gadgets and a dirty desk be an obstacle.
We are offered the chance to be distracted to hundreds of times each day. It is down to us to make an active choice to avoid these and be as productive as possible. Hopefully these steps offer you some guidance, if you wish for more help with reducing distractions, check out our Effective Meetings Training?
How do you overcome distractions at the office? Share your tips with us in the comment section or tweet us @thinkproductivecanada
By Miles Singleton
Miles is Think Productive’s Editorial Content Producer.