It’s another work day and you have so many things to do, but you keep on surfing Pinterest and Instagram for something interesting. Although the average person has an 8-hour work day, it’s so hard to stay focused and productive all day long. Many distractions come our way, and our productivity levels drop down do just several hours a day.
Here are the most common distractions that reduce your productivity at work constantly.
The brutal truth:
People spend 60% or less of available work time actually working.
No matter how experienced as a worker you are, different chronophages at work distract you from the working process. Chronophage is a term in time-management which describes everything that distracts you from the working process. Therefore, it reduces your productivity.
If a worker can stay focused and concentrated on completing a task, the job performance doesn’t suffer which means achieving career goals with ease. Thus, fighting against distractions helps to climb the career ladder.
Here comes the list of top 6 distractions at work (and tips on how to get rid of them)
- A Toxic Workplace
Believe it or not, the average person spends 10 years at work in a lifetime. Employees are more likely to work productively when they’re physically and emotionally have the desire to do it, and a proper workplace has a huge impact on it. Thus, the workplace environment affects employees’ productivity and well-being.
If you work in a toxic workplace, you decrease your productivity even without knowing that.
Solution: organize your office.
Maintain a comfortable temperature level: it’s recommended to maintain the temperature at a summertime range of 23-26°C and a wintertime range of 20-23.5°C at 50% relative humidity.
Provide the proper ventilation: improve the air quality and put live plants that produce oxygen. Create the proper lighting: make the most out of the daylight and get a desk lamp with 3500-4000K light. Plus, adjust brightness on your computer to reduce the risk of eye strain.
Take an ergonomic office chair: it should support the lower back and promote good posture. Declutter the workplace: use shelves and lockers to keep documents and office stuff. Add inspirational things: decorate your workplace the way it will inspire and motivate. Creating a well-organized workplace is the number one task if you want to work efficiently.
- Coffee Breaks
Around 24.3% of workers agree that drinking coffee is the second distraction at work. Do you agree that before you grab a cup of coffee, your brain doesn’t want to function?
If so, you’re just another coffee-addicted worker who should boost energy by consuming caffeine. Although you can improve the focus with this habit, many workers lose 24 minutes a day getting coffee, and it reduces productivity.
Solution: stick to a schedule.
Drink coffee before the work day: sipping coffee doesn’t take so much time unless you do it with your colleagues. Talking on various topics makes the process longer, so if you want to drink it, do you before the start of your work day.
Use alternative sources of caffeine: coffee is not the only one energy crunch you can use. There are many products that contain caffeine that can boost your energy. For example, replace coffee with chocolate.
Although you may believe that coffee helps you get more things done, it makes you work less efficiently as you waste a lot of time on this habit. Thus, try to get rid of it, and you’ll be surprised at the effect.
If you believe that doing several tasks at a time is a way to stay productive, we have bad news for you then. Just imagine: only 2% of people are good at multitasking. Task switching requires shifting attention between various tasks, and you spend much time on setting focus on the work. It takes both time and effort and the quality of your work suffers. Practicing multitasking can lead to burn out, so it’s another distraction at work.
Solution: focus on one task at a time.
Prioritize: start working on tasks depending on the urgency of them. If you know how to prioritize tasks efficiently, you can complete them faster.
Learn to say ‘no’: many people don’t know how to refuse to help someone as they believe it may offend the person. However, if you don’t switch between your duties and helping other colleagues, you improve the job performance. Thus, learn to say ‘no’ when is needed.
Delegate tasks: if you can delegate tasks to your colleagues, that’s great. It’s an important key to maximizing your productivity as you stop doing things. Keep focused on completing difficult tasks, and you will improve the productivity.
Everybody has tried multitasking at least once in a lifetime. Before you make it a routine, think about consequences it may lead to. After all, increasing productivity skills is a surefire way to get more things done even if you have a strict order of completing them.
- Social Media
How many times a day do you check your social media accounts? 10? 20? 50? There is a sharp increase in social media use as the average person spends nearly two hours a day.
A study proves that social media is having a negative impact on workplace productivity as 13% of the total efficiency is lost while using these platforms for private communication.
Solution: set social media limits.
Block social networking sites: although some companies control and block access to social media platforms, it’s better to stop using these sites on your own if you want to establish yourself as a dedicated worker. Stop texting during the work day: it’s considered as a productivity drain as employers stop working in order to reply to text messages.
Switch off pop-up notifications: we often allow our gadgets to send pop-up notifications to stay tuned for recent news. However, knowing who has put you LIKE on Instagram doesn’t help you work better, so stop checking your gadget every time a notification appears.
It takes a lot of effort to stop using social media, but try to control yourself if you want to become more productive at work.
- Noisy Colleagues
Unless you’re a freelancer, the most annoying distraction at work is noisy colleagues. And the reason for it is that you can’t control people around you. However, you need to understand how to deal with noisy coworkers in order not to decrease your productivity (and get irritated).
Solution: block noises.
Let everyone know: although you need to get along with colleagues, there is nothing bad in explaining them your views on noises. For example, you can suggest them to organize business meetings or use online chats to communicate without distracting other colleagues. Listen to music with headphones: while listening to music can make you more productive, headphones block noises.
Work out of the office: modern technologies allow people to work from any place that has the connection to the Internet. If you can work out of the office, and your colleagues are too noisy to stand, give it a try!
Teamwork is great, but noisy colleagues won’t make your work efficient. Thus, block this distraction without a doubt.
For a variety of reasons, all workers delay or postpone doing something at work from time to time. At the same time, 20% of people are chronic procrastinators.
Procrastinating at work has a negative impact on your time-management skills and, therefore, it’s hard to meet deadlines. Moreover, it’s a sign that you’re wasting your time even without knowing that. Thus, stop being a procrastinator is a key task if you want to work more productively.
Solution: take regular breaks and increase motivation.
Find a work-life balance: we often start procrastinating when we’re burning out. If you want to avoid it, find a balance in your life and never work day in and day out. Take breaks and days off if needed, and enjoy the life for full.
Practice time-management techniques: it’s scientifically proven that staying focused all day long is impossible. Different theories offer various techniques on how to optimize your productivity: the rule of 52 and 17, the Pomodoro technique,
Boost brain power.
Stimulating brain functions is a proven way to stay focused and avoid procrastination. No matter what you choose, whether eating nuts, doing the math, or going in for sports, boosting brain power is a surefire way to become more productive. Although it’s nearly impossible to stop procrastinating at all, there are some ways to reduce the risks of it.
The Bottom Line
Once you know the main distractions at work, it’s easier to stay productive as you know how to deal with these factors. After all, working effectively helps to find and keep a work-life balance.
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