“Work is hard. Distractions are plentiful. And time is short.” Adam Hochschild
How often have you been distracted at work? Few times a day? Every time the cell phone beeps? Every time someone turns on the coffee machine? Every time the lift opens? Sometimes it is all that and way more. Question is, are workplace distractions really so bad? They seem pretty harmless of course but are indeed very evil.
A 2007 study by Basex estimated that distractions cost U.S. businesses $588 billion per year, and this high cost is likely repeated in organizations around the world. Recurrent distractions can also negatively affect your mood. Why? They prevent you from getting your work done on time, which creates more anxiety and makes you frustrated and even angry.
Then what? Let’s talk about a few simple tips to avoid these distractions that all of us have so openly embraced.
Keep your door closed. It will make you look busy and save you from the wanderers and the noises of the workplace. Focus on your work. Do not stare around and take part in conversations during work time. It is a silent invitation for people to come over and have a chat.
Make yourself unavailable
A perfect worker will be there for whoever and whatever. But then again that will mean that he or she is easily distracted and always willing to take a little time away from the actual task at hand. Avoid that at all costs. Let people around you know that you have things to do and are busy. When a colleague comes over to your desk with a cup of coffee, politely inform them that you are in the middle of some work and will chat when you are on a break. Remember that being aloof isn’t a good thing either. Be social but not when you are working.
Set your productivity time
Most people get more work done when they start off early morning. Others are in their full form when it is near to closing time as the hurry to get home drives them to finish their work. On average it is harder to give your hundred percent nearing lunch break. Know yourself and decide what time of the day you can get most of the work done. Also note down your less productive hours and use them to answer emails, contact colleagues or do other menial work.
Organize your work area
The only way to avoid phone messages from relatives, invitations from friends and reminders about grocery at work is to keep your desk organized. Keep all work related things closest to you. And keep all distractions away. Make sure your iPod and phone are in the drawer not on your desk. Your to do list should be in front of you at all times. It will remind you what you have to complete for the day.
Don’t be a distraction
Hate it when others distract you? Respect them and don’t do the same to them. If you are on a break but your colleague is working, please do not bring up the latest fashion trend or show off your new clothes. It is vital to remember they will not appreciate the distraction. Save all topics of discussions for mutual breaks and do not be the cause of someone else’s frustration.
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