Seven distractions at work and how to avoid them

We build offices to increase productivity. What if your office hurts rather than helps your efficiency?

Well, it probably is! No place is perfect to work as we don’t work in a void. These common workplace distractions are hard to avoid. But we have applied tips to help you get your productivity back.

1. Emails

Quite an amazing start! As you wind up in email chains with clients and co-workers, hours fly by. How many times have you become lost in your inbox?

Email can be a huge output killer if you don’t monitor its use. Of course, email cannot be avoided entirely. It’s primary communication for most jobs. As a cross note, Slack has the same pitfalls.

To regulate your email:

  • Using Gmail, this shortcode creates an automatic shortcut to compose an email. You don’t have to go to your inbox to compose a new email.
  • https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/?fs=1&tf=cm
  • Set aside blocks of time in your work schedule to read and reply to emails
  • Disable email notifications outside of the time blocks above

2. Smartphones

Our cell phones are a centre of distraction. Text messages. Instagram notifications. Tweets and Facebook Likes. It’s very easy to fall down the rabbit hole of constant distractions. The average person is addicted to their phone, even the most productive people. So this is hard to crack.

Here’s how to avoid your smartphone:

  • Use focus mode on your phone to quit specific apps for a specific time. Both iOS and Android have this feature.
  • Leave your phone in aeroplane mode during the day except for emergency calls.
  • Keep your phone in another room during intense work.

3. Interruptions from colleagues

Whoever invented the open plan office had no idea how annoying it would be. Some people are quite good at collaborating with noisy colleagues. But most of us are unaware of the effects of a lively working atmosphere.

Colleagues can interrupt us at any time. If you’re like me, you even feel nervous at the risk of being distracted. You cannot fully relax from deep work if you are afraid of someone interrupting you.

To avoid interruptions from colleagues:

  • Keep a traffic light map on your desk. Green means it is open to interrupts. Red means do not disturb.
  • Start work earlier and do thorough work before team members arrive.
  • Try noise-cancelling headphones

4. Clutter

You may not realize how a messy workplace affects your mental health. Fortunately, this is an easy fix. It’s amazing how a tidy desk can automatically clear your mind and increase productivity.

How to clear the clutter:

  • Make tidying your desk a habit in your daily routine
  • Keep only the essentials on your desk
  • Avoid eating at your desk

5. Multitasking

Humans are not good at multitasking. And yet we torment ourselves again and again with juggling tasks. Be honest: how many tabs do you take open right now? Avoiding multitasking is essential for focused work.

To avoid multitasking:

  • Practice mindfulness. I am being mindful means focusing on one task at a time.
  • Don’t overload your to-do list, so you feel like you have to multitask
  • Consider the music you listen to while you work. It is better to choose music without lyrics.

6. Hunger

Hunger is a basic distraction that we often ignore. Most of the time, it’s not that obvious. Of course, the stomach can growl. But sometimes, hunger also manifests itself in irritability or lack of concentration.

How to avoid hunger:

  • Don’t ignore your hunger signs
  • Eat a great breakfast with sustainable whole foods
  • Incorporate healthy snacks into your routine

7. Sessions

Meetings are notorious productivity killers. We met after the meeting to talk about work without actually doing the work.

How to avoid too many meetings:

  • Set specific days and times for meetings each week
  • Create meeting schedules before they start to make your meetings more efficient
  • Set actionable tasks after each meeting. There is no need to meet again until these goals are achieved.

The central theses

The first step is to identify the top workplace distractions in your environment. We hope these tips will help you achieve uninterrupted focus.

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