I’m assuming that by the time you sit down to read this post, you’ve already been distracted at work at least once and possibly more than once. Likely, you won’t get the chance to complete reading this article. there are distractions at work you should avoid. The fact is, we all experience distractions at work daily. Typically, something or someone will divert your attention once an hour. It can frequently feel like a great effort to be productive and complete the key tasks when there are so many meetings to attend, talks or drop-ins by coworkers, calls, emails, social alerts, and numerous other interruptions.
Distractions reduce our energy and productivity. They interfere with our ability to concentrate and stay committed to tasks or projects long enough to complete them. You can probably think of 5–10 persons or items that caused distractions at work if you reflect on the past week. However, how many of those diversions are brought on by your environment at work, and how many are self-inflicted?
Well, in this article, I will guide you through the most common distractions at work and how to tackle them. You’ll learn why you should get rid of distractions at work.
Let’s dive in!
- 1 Why Should You Get Rid of Distractions at Work?
- 2 Most common distractions at work and how to tackle them
- 2.1 Chatty coworker
- 2.2 Office noise
- 2.3 Email consumption
- 2.4 Join our Newsletter
- 2.5 Smartphones and other device usage
- 2.6 Social media
- 2.7 Meetings
- 2.8 Multitasking
- 3 In summary
Why Should You Get Rid of Distractions at Work?
70 percent of workers admit to being distracted at work, and 16 percent of those persons say they are virtually always distracted. The following effects of workplace distractions were listed in the report:
20 percent of respondents stated they are “Not able to attain full potential and grow in their work,” while 44% said they “Aren’t performing as well as they should” and 50% said they “Are much less productive.” The following are the top advantages of avoiding workplace distraction, according to the poll by Udemy:
75 percent of respondents said they were more productive and got more done, 57 percent said they were driven to work hard, 51 percent said they were more certain they could perform their jobs effectively, 49 percent said they were happier at work, and 44 percent said they produced higher-quality work.
Office noise and chatty coworkers were among the top distractions listed by Udemy for Business in their study, which was completed by 80% of the workers who participated (70 percent). 60 percent of respondents cited meetings as the cause of their lack of productivity, and 58 percent claimed that while not using social media in their professions, they would be unable to go through the workday without checking sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
Read more: How to Easily Avoid Social Media Distraction
Most common distractions at work and how to tackle them
A quarter of employees are said to be distracted at work for up to three hours each day, according to a survey of 2,000 people conducted by the UK financial management service Think Money. Consider what might happen if you experienced fewer workplace interruptions, were able to sharpen your attention, and completed more of your best work. In light of these workplace distraction surveys, I’ve identified the top seven distractions you undoubtedly experience today and some practical solutions to help you avoid them and boost your productivity and creativity:
- Chatty coworker
- Office noise
- Email consumption
- Smartphones and other device usage
- Social media
Chatty coworkers are common distractions at work you should avoid. It’s crucial to establish relationships with your team and fellow employees. Daily talks are crucial for creating a welcoming, cooperative culture and mood at work, yet it’s simple to be sucked into gossip and endless convos. If your door is always open, it’s quite simple for someone to pop in and ask you a question, which keeps you from working effectively.
How to tackle chatty coworkers as a form of distraction:
You should try having a subtle conversation with them about the effect their constant chattering or distracting behavior is having on your day if you’re having issues with chatty or distracted team members. Alternately, lock the door to your workplace if it has one. Put on a set of headphones as another strategy if you need to focus and concentrate (if your office allows).
According to research by Kim and de Dear at the University of Sydney, 30% of employees in cubicles and roughly 25% of those in offices without partitions expressed dissatisfaction with workplace noise levels. According to Ipsos and Steelcase’s Workspace Futures Team research, 85% of people have trouble focusing because of their work environment. 95% of those polled stated working quietly was important to them, yet just 41% claimed they could, and 31% had to leave the office to finish their work.
Key findings from a survey of more than 10,000 workers in 14 countries revealed that:
- Distractions cause office workers to lose 86 minutes each day.
- Many workers lack motivation, are unproductive, and are excessively stressed.
- They are not very good at thinking, creating, and working constructively.
No matter how big or tiny your office is, I’m sure you’ve noticed how loud conversations, phone calls, music, and other noises may get.
How to tackle office noise as a form of distraction:
The easiest thing to do if you have an office is to shut the door so you can have some privacy and quiet time for concentration. Can you approach your noisy coworkers and have a private discussion with them about how their behavior is interfering with your ability to concentrate? Do you have to sit at a desk to work?
If you have a particular project that requires peaceful, uninterrupted time, consider working from a quiet area of your facility. There are other options, such as working from home (if at all possible) or from somewhere else, such as a park or café. In a workplace, there will always be noise, and for the most part, it will be tolerable. However, periodically you need to change your surroundings to complete your most critical tasks.
Tim Ferriss believes that we must: “reduce the amount of email you send and receive. The biggest hiccup to occur in recent times is this. Email may be very distracting, as we are all aware. How many emails do you send and receive on an average day? This may sound familiar to you. You receive a notification that you have received an email while working on a crucial assignment. You now have two options. You have two options: either stop what you’re doing, lose attention, and read the email, or continue working and read the email later.
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Many folks experience their entire day in this manner. They are completely focused on their work when an email notification appears. You pause what you’re doing, go to your inbox, and read the email, which frequently has nothing to do with your present priorities and is entirely irrelevant. These emails can lead to an ongoing sense of busyness and frequently leave work incomplete at the end of the day. This can therefore give us the impression that our day wasn’t productive.
How to tackle email consumption as a form of distraction:
The following ways are the common ways you can stay focused and reduce distraction:
- Time blocking
- Work in offline mode
- Check e-mail at certain times each day
- Don’t check e-mail first thing
Smartphones and other device usage
Smartphones and other devices are the most common distractions at work you should avoid. Constantly checking your phone disrupts concentration and job flow. A recent Deloitte study found that the typical consumer checks their smartphone 47 times each day. If you use your phone an average of 47 times each day while working an 8-hour shift, you may be doing so almost 6 times per hour. Anybody would be distracted by that. We are all aware that our cellphones and other devices frequently cause interruptions and divert our focus from the activity or project we are working on. It’s simple to constantly pause throughout our crucial work to check our watches, phones, and other technological devices.
How to tackle smartphone usage as a form of distraction:
Put your phone somewhere else – Even when we are focused on a crucial project, it is incredibly tempting to check our phones. The answer? To avoid being tempted to quickly glance at your phone, put it away or in a drawer.
Disable notifications – Disable all notifications, especially social media notifications, that don’t need your immediate attention. If you have email set up on your phone, this also applies to it. Make some notifications mute and remove them from your lock screen if they are truly important.
How much time do you spend at work on social media? LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest There are several websites and mobile applications that compete for our attention. There is a never-ending flow of information coming from our friends, coworkers, news sources, and businesses. As you read this post, some of your coworkers are probably checking their social media.
Cal Newport, the author of Deep Work, compared using social media to going to a casino in a TED Talk. You exit the situation while expecting to receive likes. You return with the thought that “I’ll earn the reward next time.” Next time, I’ll receive the award. I’ll be rewarded the following time. And all you do is wait around till you get a notification so you can return.
Try to create time limits or restrictions for when you will check social media, just like you do with your smartphone and email. When you need to devote focused, productive time to a particular activity or project, make sure all notifications are turned off.
The last thing a manager or leader wants during a hectic week is to waste an hour or two in a pointless meeting. I’m sure a lot of you would respond to “terrible meetings” if I asked what the most effective way for you to be inefficient would be. More work hours are now spent in meetings than ever before. The majority of employees attend 62 meetings per month, but half of them are deemed unnecessary. Over a typical month, unproductive meetings last 31 hours, during which 91% of employees admit to daydreaming and 39% report dozing off.
How to tackle meetings as a form of distraction:
Each meeting must have a defined agenda and leader to be fruitful and valuable.
All of us must occasionally multitask, but the less we do it, the better. The productivity and creativity of multitasking are decreased. Peter Bregman observes in a piece for the Harvard Business Review that trying to focus on multiple tasks at once reduces our productivity by 40%. According to Gloria Mark, it takes an average of 25 minutes (23 minutes and 15 seconds, to be precise) to get back to the original job after a break. We lose focus, energy, and productivity when we multitask. Simply put, our brains are unable to handle multiple tasks at once.
How to tackle multitasking as a form of distraction:
Work in time blocks. It reduces the amount of distraction that our increasingly linked lifestyles are subjected to. It shields us not just from external distractions but also from those caused by ourselves.
Time blocking is the deliberate allocation of a block of time to the completion of a certain project or work, as well as the deliberate attempt to avoid letting outside interruptions or diversions divert your attention. Take a planned break after that block of focused time is finished, then start the following block. Each focused block of time is devoted to a single activity, project, or group of related tasks.
The 60-60-30 time blocking strategy is what I employ: 50 minutes of work followed by a 10-minute break. 50 more minutes of work followed by another 10-minute break. After that, give yourself 30 minutes to relax. This could include eating lunch or taking a walk. Utilize the Pomodoro Technique to assist you in working in time blocks.
The distractions at work won’t ever stop. We must recognize our sources of distraction and devise strategies to counteract them if we are to make good use of our time and boost our creativity and productivity. I’m confident that at least one of the distractions mentioned in this post will be familiar to you. Hopefully, some of the teams will assist you in overcoming workplace distractions and improving your effectiveness and productivity. That is all for this article, where the most common distractions at work and how to tackle them are being discussed. And why you should get rid of distractions at work.
I hope you learn a lot from the reading, if so, kindly share with others. Thanks for reading, see you around!