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How to Handle Too Much Distraction at Work



How to Handle Too Much Distraction at Work

Your ability to focus isn’t always related to your cognitive abilities or your personality. Sometimes, there are so many outside factors involved that it will be nearly impossible for you to stay focused on the task at hand. These distractions come in many forms and formats. Most commonly, they’re noise-related but there are some visual, tactile and distractions that are related to other senses, as well. Fortunately, there are a lot of techniques that you can use in order to handle these distractions with much greater success. Here are eight of them that are guaranteed to provide you with some outstanding immediate results.


1. Working in intervals

The first thing you need to understand is the fact that working in a digital environment tends to be distracting because anything that you’re interested in maybe just a click away. However, what if you knew that the break is only 5, 10 or 15 minutes away? Would you be more willing to wait for it in order to check out that one thing that you want to see on YouTube or Facebook? However, what if you had a 5 minutes long break every 25 minutes? This is exactly what an interval working system like the Pomodoro technique can provide you with. This is an efficient method of self-discipline for you to try out.


2. Buy noise-canceling headphones

Another method to help yourself be less distracted is to invest in quality peripherals – primarily headphones. With the quality noise-cancelling headset, you’ll be deaf to the outside world and be able to completely focus on the task at hand. The reason why this is such a great idea is due to the fact that you can get your peace without having to depend on people and occurrences around you. Once you’re ready to get back to reality, all you need to do is take them off.


3. Hiring professionals

In a scenario where you’re the office manager or a person designing a high-end home office, you’ll want to take steps to make the entire office quieter, so that you can put additional emphasis on productivity. In order to achieve this, what you need to do is invest in finding someone capable of handling workplace acoustics to the highest of standards. This is done in a simple and efficient manner and it doesn’t have to drastically impact the layout of your office. Even if there is a change, it’s usually a welcome one.


4. Decluttering your desk

A mess is one of the most distracting things there are and the worst part lies in the fact that it usually isn’t too far away from you. In fact, for the majority of people, there’s a major pile of items on their desk, distracting them and making their life unbearable. The worst part about this distraction is the knowledge just how easy it would be to get rid of this mess and be able to focus on the task at hand, once again. So, start working towards creating a cleaner work environment, as soon as possible and don’t allow things to revert back to the way they were.


5. Having “the talk” with your coworkers

Sometimes, your coworkers will be so pushy that it will be impossible for you to focus on work. Even with the noise-canceling headphones, there’s nothing to prevent them from walking across the room and poking you in the shoulder so that you take them off. This is why you need to have “the talk” with them. You don’t have to be rude but it’s incredibly important that you make yourself clear. No matter how important the thing that they want to discuss unless it is work-related, it will have to wait for the break.


6. Get an alternative phone

One trend that a lot of people are considering is the idea of ditching their smartphone and reverting to a more traditional form of cell phone, at least for work. You see, a phone that you can use only in a case of an emergency, the one that you can’t use to monitor social networks or play video games on can be an invaluable work asset. The best thing about this phone is that it is incredibly cheap, which is why the idea of owning two phones won’t cause a problem with your budget.


7. Multitasking can backfire

You also need to bear in mind the fact that multitasking may backfire. In the past, there was a belief that multitaskers were more productive because they could handle two or more tasks at the same time. What wasn’t considered here is the efficiency of handling each task, the likelihood of making errors and just how exhausting this can be for your mental state, as a whole. In other words, multitasking may be quite bad for your mental health. For this reason alone, it’s probably for the best if you were to stick to one task at a time. 


8. Do all you have to in advance

Working while sleepy, hungry or when you have to go to the bathroom will make you incredibly distracted. In fact, you’ll be so focused on the urge that you’re currently feeling that you won’t be able to do anything else. This is something innate in human nature, due to the fact that hunger and thirst always take priority over abstract tasks like performance on a project (even a major one). Therefore, in order to handle this in the best way possible, try to do all of these things before going to work or during the break.


In conclusion

As you can see, by taking the necessary steps of precaution and adopting the right mindset, you’ll have much better odds at successfully averting distractions at work. Keep in mind, however, that it’s impossible to make a workplace that is 100 percent distraction-free. Still, as long as you can keep these distractions to an acceptable level, this shouldn’t be that much of an issue. As long as you can work effectively, this is a self-sustaining system that you can feel happy about.