Reduce Distractions, Increase Productivity

The average office worker has just 11 minutes to work on a task before being interrupted, and it can take over 20 minutes to get back on task once an interruption occurs.  Does this describe your typical day at work? With the endless text messages, emails, app notifications, noisy coworkers, and various unannounced meetings that tend to pop up through the day, it can seem as if completing your daily agenda is an impossible task. Though some distractions at work may be unavoidable, there are several strategies to help eliminate unnecessary interruptions and get back on track.

One great trick to avoid unnecessary social calls from coworkers or eliminate noisy distractions is to wear headphones.  Headphones can signal to others that you are concentrating on your task, and can help eliminate feeling the need to acknowledge everyone who passes by your desk.  This can be a great tool for offices with cubicle, since these workers tend to be interrupted even more than workers with an office door.

Since our cell phones tend to be one of the greatest distractions throughout the day, another strategy to avoid interruption is to set your apps and other notifications to Do Not Disturb during the work day.  Hearing your phone ping every other minute does nothing to help productivity. Although most of us need to be accessible by phone throughout the day, it may still be necessary to screen phone calls in order to get important tasks done on schedule.  Set aside a time in your day to return phone calls, but focus on one task at time.

Another way to increase productivity throughout your office is not to interrupt others.  Send an email to coworkers when you have something to discuss so a convenient time can be arranged.  Setting a good example may demonstrate to others your preference to set meetings ahead of time rather than just stopping by your desk unannounced.

Some distractions are unavoidable, and some distractions we create ourselves, but small changes in our habits can make big impacts on our overall productivity.  Using these tips may help eliminate the frustration of constant interruptions and make your day feel more accomplished!


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