One of the major killers of productivity is distractions. They throw you out of your working flow. Every time you are distracted, you lose much more time than the actual time period of the distraction. Even if the distraction might seem minor and innocent to you, it will have a profound impact on your mental focus. Research has indicated that on average you need 23 minutes to fully regain your focus after a single distraction. Distractions significantly affect the quality and accuracy of your performance at work.
Thus, it is extremely important to eliminate distractions at work. How? Let’s find out!
Find Your Own Most Frequent Distractions
Even if distractions are an inevitable part of everyone’s working day, each of us is detracted in a different way. So, you need to monitor your own behavior and working habits. Keep track of your working day to find out the frequency and the nature of your distractions. Since, first, you need to identify your major time-waster habits to be able to get rid of them. Maybe you have some specific behavior that is not common to everyone, huh?
Turn Off Notifications
Notifications have become one of the major sources of distraction in today’s life. Turn off the alerts that appear on your computer monitor, smartphone or any other device you possess. You can answer your missed calls or messages once you have a logical break in your task.
Schedule an Email Check-In
The average person checks his/her email about 15 times per day at work. Not good! So, try to reduce this number as much as possible. Checking your email once a day is an ideal option if you can afford this. Discover the rhythm of your day and schedule the email check-in on the low productivity period of your working day. Keep your peak hours for more important tasks.
Avoid Idle Conversations at the Workplace
The so-called “shoulder tapping” is actually one of the most common interruptions at work. A good solution for this kind of a distraction is to wear headphones, which will “protect” you from basic questions and random conversations with colleagues. You can also find other ways to signal your colleagues than you are engaged in work that requires high focus. For example, put a “do not disturb” sign or flag on your desktop.
Follow Your “To Do” List and Work Schedule
Try to be strict with your planned schedule. Of course, many unexpected tasks will appear during work. To tackle them efficiently, just keep an extra half an hour for them at your schedule. Concentrate always on one thing. Don’t try to handle unscheduled tasks by multitasking. As a matter of fact, multitasking affects your brain’s efficiency and drops your IQ. Research shows that only 2% of people can multitask efficiently. Are you sure you are one of them?
Distractions surround us everywhere. Thus, totally avoiding them might be tough, but try to do your best to reduce them as much as you can. Develop new habits that help you lessen interruptions and sharpen your focus.