Don't Let Distractions Affect Your Productivity
By Donna Stark
Although it’s been a long time since I have had an office job and shared a cubicle, I can vividly remember that the only real distraction I had to deal with was my friend Phil, on the other side of the wall, proudly telling us all about his weekend escapades or trying to impress us with his sad, pitiful jokes. I have been out of that “office type” atmosphere for many years now, but I can only imagine that the amount of distractions people have to face today has increased from one silly guy on the other side of the wall to an unmanageable amount of social media-induced disruptions.
Keep Your Focus
As work has transformed over the years, the type of distractions that come at us has also changed right alongside it. No longer are we limited to hearing poor jokes over the cubicle wall. Now we have smartphones, and with that comes all the distractions of bells ringing, crickets chirping, and music playing. You know, a different notification sound for every single piece of information that comes flowing through that little device in your hand. In fact, I never would have known how much useless information I needed to get through the day if I hadn’t actually gotten a cell phone. I’m kind of kidding here, but I’m not kidding about the number of distractions we face, so if this is hitting a little too close to home, here are some suggestions on how to get through the day and boost your productivity as well.
- Schedule your day – One can argue which is better … big tasks first, small ones last or small tasks first, big ones later? This is where you are going to have to decide what works best for you personally. No matter what direction your personality takes you, just be sure to acknowledge your strengths and weaknesses and then work them into your day’s schedule.
- Take advantage of today’s tools – There is an app for everything, so take advantage of all the modern technology that is offered. Your phone carries a wealth of information and the apps it provides help to keep you on task, to ease your workload, to remind you when to eat. The possibilities are endless.
- Use headphones – There is nothing more clear than the message of “do not disturb” when you are wearing headphones. They are also a perfect choice to drown out the noise of those working or talking around you.
An Honest Day’s Work
At the end of the day, your goal is to maintain a little bit of control when confronted with all of the distractions. Keep your focus on your work, schedule a separate time to scroll through social media, or put your phone on mute. By doing whatever it takes to separate yourself from those daily disruptions, you will find it a lot easier to stay on task, and hopefully your boss will notice too!
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