distractions at work

How to avoid distractions at work

Mark Trego
Jan 26, 2018

How do you avoid distractions at work?

If you think back to school days where there wasn’t a phone or a laptop in front of you at every second, you can actually remember what it was like to focus on one task and be present in one room. Those days are long gone and, if you take a look at your own habits throughout the day at work, you can tell the hours tend to blur and it’s hard to remember what you even got done. Our new propensity to “multitask” and be available 24/7 has taken away our ability to engage in deep work. In fact, it’s so bad the average amount of time actually spent really working at an office is 2 hours and 53 minutes.

Realistically, we could get more than a whole week’s worth of work done in just two work days if we became less distracted and more productive. So how do we do that?

Here’s a few tips that can help you break the chains of distraction at work and perform your best:

 1) Don’t be available at all times 

We know, this is counter intuitive to every piece of tech you use in your office but it’s one of the biggest problems holding you back from productivity. Notifications will wreak havoc on your attention span while working. Just one notification takes on average 23 minutes of your time to get refocused on what we were working on. Can you image what a few of those a day will do? Eliminate them all together. Instead, plan to check your email and messages after finishing tasks; sort of like a reward. Knowing there is a time to check coming up will help you feel less pressure and, normally, nothing needs to be answered immediately anyway. One tip for email is to have an auto email set to let people know when they email you that you will be checking email twice a day so they know what to expect from you and the pressure is off you to respond immediately.

Don’t be available all the time to avoid distractions at work

2) To avoid distractions at work don’t waste time on lost logins:

One of the biggest problems with the amount of websites and tools we use in office is that we have to login and stay connected on all of them in order to stay on top of what’s going on. There are little fixes that can end up saving you a ton of time. The less time you spend poking around files and emails for information, the better. Have one central Dropbox or Drive files with all logins for your personal accounts and one for all your team to share for communal accounts. You wouldn’t believe how much time a little change like this can save.

3) Centralize information to avoid distractions at work

Along the lines of the point above, too many platforms, tools, websites, and logins are productivity killers. Try your best to centralize all the information you need to work. Google Drive and shared folders are a great way to minimize where your information for certain teams and projects are stored. More importantly, try to centralize communication. Avoid working through email, chat, texts, calls, etc. all together. This is distracting, forces you to be checking everything all day, and leads to miscommunication. Hibox is a great way to centralize all communication and information sharing while eliminating email all together for in office communication. It’s group chat, task management, file sharing, and video conferencing all-in-one so your whole team can work together in one “digital workspace” with just one login.

Centralize to avoid distraction at work

4) To avoid distractions at work block out what’s taking your time

Productivity takes honesty! Honesty with yourself about where your time is going. Figure out where you’re wasting the majority of your time as soon as possible. Try using Toggl just for day to figure out which sites you spend most of your time on. Not only will it help you identify distractions but you’ll be able to see how much certain tasks take to better plan your day. Once you know where your time is slipping away using a site blocker like StayFocusd to keep you off those sites so you can go from 3 to 8 hours of productive work a day. You can also use the task timer in Hibox to track work and see how long you are spending on tasks. Sometimes having a goal and a timer ticking can really help put pressure on you to stay focused and improve.

These changes may be small but their impact can be huge, so take them seriously for just a week and see what it does for your productivity. It’s all about incremental changes to habits and routine to create long lasting change. For an all-in-one team productivity tool for a more focused, less distracted office, try Hibox for free with your team today.

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