People wanting to integrate a more productive and fulfilling work schedule into their daily lives have long been searching for ways to reduce the influence of common distractions. What are the most well-known distractions, though, and more importantly, how can we counter them as efficiently as possible?
Sources of Distraction
Although outside noises, family visits and other “regular” and often unavoidable interruptions can account for many types of distractions, recent research shows that the most prevalent distractions these days come from electronic and mobile gadgets.
Leaving on your TV, computer, phone or tablet can often account for interruptions that may set you back more than an hour on your schedule.
Also, one particular study has proven that you can waste up to 20 minutes while working just by answering a simple phone call, and industry studies clearly indicate how employees are regularly interrupted about once every 15-20 minutes by calls or social media notifications.
Tips on How to Effectively Deal with Distractions
Although distractions of every type have literally become a part of our daily life, and some might say that they are unavoidable, studies have shown that some coping and avoidance methods geared to help you deal with certain types of distractions have proven to be quite effective in improving productivity, both at the workplace and when it comes to household chores or home projects.
Based on the details regarding the above mentioned distractions, here is a small set of guidelines on how to prepare for a productive work session and keep it productive in spite of all distractions:
- First of all, before sitting down to start work, make sure your phone and any other mobile devices, as well as your social media pages or any other electronic means of communication are turned off.
- Begin by organizing your tasks into a clear step-by-step process that you can refer to whenever you get interrupted.
- When organizing your workflow, set similar tasks closer together. That way, you won’t have to interrupt your work in order to get acquainted with new types of tasks that often.
- You can use some relaxing (yet invigorating) music to block out unwanted sounds such as outside traffic noises.
- Avoid interrupting the workflow for trivial tasks by taking care of all of them before sitting down at your desk.
- If you’re working from home and you need to keep close track of your phone calls and messages, ask family member to manage them for a couple of hours while you’re taking care of your project.
The Bottom Line
Of course, coping with distractions can be a very valuable skill. However, an even better method of eliminating distractions from your day-to-day lives completely is to simply choose a work area that’s already calm and peaceful and a timeframe when disturbing noises or unexpected interruptions are less likely to be a problem.
Also, people who have taken the time to research the impact of distractions on a busy work schedule and managed to follow some of the tips presented here have found that they not only gained an extra couple of hours to account for their productivity, but have also been able to finish their work with far more diminished levels of stress or anxiety.