They say that if you love your job, you’ll never work a day in your life. Maybe you have an awesome job that you enjoying doing everyday, but, every so often (or, very often) find yourself getting distracted and off track. This can be stressful, annoying, and can make you very unproductive. Let’s talk about the top workplace distractions and how you can combat them to be the most productive everyday!
At the Office
Working in a large office space can be tricky, in terms of finding peace and quiet and creating an environment for yourself in which you can work productively. Between meetings that drag on, and your coworkers who are constantly showing up to your desk to chit chat, it can sometimes feel like you’re never able to get anything done. Read along as we talk about the top office distractions and give you tips on how to end or prevent them.
Chit Chat With Co-Workers
Do you have chatty coworkers who seem to constantly invite themselves to take a seat at your desk to gossip about their weekends, their husbands, or other coworkers? Or, maybe YOU are the overly chatty coworker. Either way, too much chit chat during the work day can be a major distraction. If you have coworkers who are distracting you, kindly let them know that you have a lot of work to get done during the day and offer to catch up with them over lunch ordrinks after work. If you are the chatty coworker, make an effort to stop yourself every time you feel the urge to go chat with others. If you have something you MUST talk about, write it down so you don’t forget it, and bring it up at a less busy time so that you don’t get yourself and others off track.
You open your inbox to send one email, end up sorting through all your new messages, and before you know it, 40 minutes have passed. We’ve all been there and done that. Email can be a major distraction. Set aside specific times throughout the day that are dedicated to reading new messages and sending out replies. At all other times, if you open your mailbox to send an email, do just that. Send your email and go back to your other tasks. Save the rest of the messages until your next designated email check time.
It’s no secret that office meetings can drag on. Often times you may even find yourself wondering why you are at a meeting because maybe it really doesn’t pertain much to you. Unfortunately, there is not often much you can do in terms of avoiding them. If your boss wants you there, you’ve really got to go. What you can do though, is consider bringing some work with you. Many times, meetings don’t start on time, so, make use of the time you are sitting and waiting by typing up some work, checking emails, or discussing other work projects with coworkers who may also be at the meetings.
Possibly the biggest work distraction of the 21st century! We have four words for you. PUT THE PHONE DOWN. Save your texts and social media scrolling for your lunch break. Fight the urge to check your phone throughout the day. Obviously, if an emergency comes up, that is one thing, but, sporadically checking your phone throughout the day is wasting a lot more time than you think. Plus, do you really want your boss to notice you constantly on your phone? Keep your phone in your purse or in a desk drawer to prevent the temptation.
Everyone has their ideal work environment. Maybe your ideal work environment is somewhere quiet and peaceful, and maybe your office is loud and distracting. Between noisy conversations and the guy next store who always talks on speakerphone, it can be hard to stay focused on your work. If you have a door to your office, keep it shut. If you are in a cubicle, consider arranging it so that your are sitting in a corner, rather than by the open side. Also consider working with headphones in. Don’t listen to distracting music though, find something low key and peaceful. There are many online productivity music soundtracks you can use. Don’t hesitate to ask coworkers to take their conversations elsewhere if they are in front of your work space talking loudly! Just be friendly about it.
Lucky enough to work from home? You get to avoid the typical office distractions, but when you get right down to it, there may be even more distractions at home! Do any of these ring a bell?
Just like in the office, at home, texting and social media can be a huge distraction. Actually, it may be even more of an issue at home because you don’t have a boss watching over you and keeping your phone usage at bay. It is especially important to put your phone away and get your work done. Set times of the day in which you can check your phone, but other than that, stay on task.
One of the best things about working from home is that you probably don’t have a set time schedule. One of the worst things about working from home is also that you probably don’t have a set time schedule. Sleeping in may sound nice, but if you constantly get a late start on your work, you’re really hurting your productivity. Get in the habit of waking up early, eating an energizing breakfast, and getting to work!
Your work time should be your work time. Don’t get caught up in running to the store ‘real quick’ or doing chores around the house. Think of your work time at home the same as it would be in an office. Stick to your work, and solely that. Your errands and chores can be done afterwards.
Children can be a huge work distraction, especially if they are too young to really take care of themselves. Obviously you don’t want to neglect your children all day, but hey, you’ve got to get work done! Consider arranging play dates with other children and rotating the houses the play dates take place at. On days when the kids are at a friends house, make the most of this free time! On days when your children are home, plan ahead so that you have activities they can do without you, perhaps simple crafts, reading, watching movies, etc. Also consider signing your kids up for classes and activities that you can drop them off at for a bit, which gives you a chance to catch up on work.
Unproductive Work Environment
Sometimes working from home is great because you’re at HOME! Sometimes, it can be not so great though. Being too comfortable in your work environment can lead to a lack of productivity. You’ve got your TV, your kitchen, and lots of other distractions at home. Rather than working from the kitchen table or sprawled out in bed, consider setting up a more traditional home office work space that might help you be more productive.