1. Shut Down Distractions.
According to USA Today, nearly 50 percent of American employees say that they work for only 15 minutes before becoming distracted, and that 20 something year-olds are the most likely to be distracted at the workplace. This can be directly linked to the modern age of e-mail dependency, social media hysteria, and both generations Y and Z’s refusals to put down their smartphones. All these personal digital age workplace distractions will only stop interrupting us if we take drastic measures – We need to knuckle down and go cold turkey by turning digital distractions off at work.
Some might say, “But what if something terrible happens at home and I miss it?” No boss is going to fire someone for getting a landline call at work for a “real” emergency. Work offline if the internet is not required. Remove that temptation to check out what your friends are posting on Facebook, or take a quick peak at that mountain of email that is mostly just spam anyway. Turn off that cell phone, and rejoice in no longer having to answer those outside calls that truly could have waited. Workplace distractions are nearly always man made. They can also be easily made to go away with just the push of a button, unlike that distracting coworker that never leaves you alone.
2. Keep it Clean.
Clean it up! Keep it clean, and one will find a whole new world that has been swept clear of numerous built up distractions. The only thing one usually needs to work efficiently at their desk, is their PC or laptop, a working file, and a safely enclosed drink in order to have a productive work zone. Take time to organize, categorize, and label proper destination spots for all of those daily papers that add up. IE: Reminders, contact information, files, etc., and keep them off the top of your desk and where they belong. This will ensure that the time consuming distraction and aggravation of clutter will be permanently removed from your daily working routine.
Everyone should take some time out for the important pertinent little details at their workspace; this will help ensure it stays smooth flowing and productive. Just like if someone was trying to find something in a cluttered, dirty house, a cluttered, dirty desk is just as difficult to try and accomplish something with. All those seemingly helpful notes everywhere – That snack packet from yesterday that is taking up valuable real-estate on the desk – Those multiple photos of people’s families, their vacations, their dogs; all add up to potential distractions that make people lose focus at work.
3. Micro – break.
Studies have shown that micro-breaks help calm anxiety, and that they enhance one’s problem solving skills. Micro-breaks are little 1 to 3 minute breaks that are taken at least every hour. Micro-breaks are much more effective than taking a few long breaks every several hours. Using one’s brain all day without letting it rest properly allows the brain to grow weary, causing a person to lose focus. This continues to worsen until the brain gets the rest it needs. The longer that rest is prolonged, the longer time it will need to recover.
That old nose-to-the-grindstone mentality of the work gets done first, and then we take a break, has actually been proven to hinder one’s abilities to work properly, rather than increase productivity in the workplace. Break up the monotony of office work; take little mini-breaks after or during a productive work session. They allow the brain to rest, regroup, and start fresh again. This allows one to be focused and on-track with the task at hand when they come back. The practice of taking mini-breaks helps to combat brain fatigue, which is like hitting a mental brick wall when trying to concentrate on a long or complicated project.
Of course, there are many other different variations of distractions around the office. They are bound to pop up eventually. Turn off the e-mails, remove the temptation of social media or game sites on the internet, halt personal calls, tone up the work-desk with a quick cleaning, so that it’s actually conducive to work, and take a few minutes of time out in order to give the brain that short break it needs to function properly. These simple tips will all add up to a less distracting, enjoyable, and noticeably more productive working environment.