How to effectively deal with distractions in the workplace
Are you struggling with distractions in the workplace? Poor concentration has a negative impact on your performance, which decreases your chances of advancing your career. If your inability to focus is leaving you feeling stressed and you’re finding your current work environment a challenge, look for a new job opportunity on Job Mail today.
Types of distractions in the workplace
Different types of workplaces are accompanied by different types of distractions. It’s also important to note that one distraction could leave you feeling unfocused while something else might cause your co-workers to lose concentration. Distractions can include a noisy office or an interfering boss. High levels of stress and an unpleasant office temperature can also make it difficult to pay attention. Make a list of the distractions in your workplace so that you can develop customised strategies to deal with them.
Here are some suggestions to help manage your distractions:
From chatting colleagues to ringing telephones, there are plenty of potential auditory distractions in offices. You can consider talking to your colleagues to check whether they’re also struggling to concentrate because of the noise. If this is the case, you can brainstorm ideas together on how to create a quieter work environment and eliminate these distractions in the workplace. You may want to raise the issue in a professional manner at your next work meeting or speak to your colleagues in a more informal setting during your lunch break. While this strategy doesn’t work for everyone, some people find it helpful to use headphones to listen to music so that they don’t hear the office noise. You can even find music that has been developed to help you to concentrate and soundtracks that are designed to keep you calm.
While you can’t be unavailable all the time, set time aside to focus on your work without any interruptions. This strategy is particularly useful if you’re working on a deadline. Switch your cell phone to silent and turn off your email notifications. You may even consider putting a ‘do not disturb sign’ on your door if you have your own office. If you work in a shared office, you may want to explain to your colleagues that you would like to focus on your work for a few hours without any interruptions. You could even consider blocking off a section of time each day when everyone knows that you don’t want to be disturbed unless it’s for an urgent matter. It’s always a good idea to disconnect from social media and other personal communication channels when you’re at work.
Plan your work day
With so much to do and so little time, it’s easy to waste time jumping from one task to another without a proper strategy. An overwhelming number of tasks is one of those distractions in the workplace many are faced with. Start by making a to-do list with all the things you are responsible for. Next, prioritise which items on your list are the most important. Determine how many of these tasks you can cover in one day so that you can have a clear picture of what you need to get done. This strategy gives you clear goals that can help you to stay focused and motivated.
High levels of stress make it difficult to concentrate, which leads to more stress. Taking proper care of yourself has a positive impact on your quality of life as well as your professional performance. Self-care is often one of the first things that we sacrifice when we’re under pressure. However, it’s actually one of the key factors to increasing our efficiency and performance. Take a break from your work to go for a short walk to relieve stress and increase the oxygen flow to your brain. You could also sign up for a yoga class after work or start the morning off with a short meditation. Eating healthy food is also important for your physical and emotional well-being.
With our busy lifestyles, it can be difficult to find time to recharge. Make a list of things that you enjoy and set some time aside each week to do them, reading a book, going for a run or playing a game of tennis are all activities that you may want to consider. Going for tea with a friend or taking a swim are other activities that may leave you feeling relaxed. While taking time out during busy periods may seem self-indulgent, it should be considered a vital part of your weekly schedule.
Consult with a mental health professional
Are you suffering from ADD or ADHD? While attention deficit disorder is often addressed at schools, adults can struggle with ADD too. If you feel that you may have symptoms of ADD, consult with a mental health professional or doctor to get the support you need. Depression and other mental health conditions can also make it difficult to concentrate at work. Many South Africa have faced traumatic events, which makes it’s important to speak to a counsellor or psychologist to help you manage these experiences. Depression and trauma can make it difficult to cope with daily tasks in your professional and personal life. If you can’t afford to pay for a mental health professional yourself, check if your medical aid will cover it or if your company offers this service to their employees.
Now that we’ve given you some inspiration, you can start to develop your own strategies to eliminate distractions in the workplace. When you’re able to focus on your work, you can deliver an efficient performance that gives you a sense of accomplishment. If your current job doesn’t give you the satisfaction, growth, and balance you need, you can look for new career opportunities on Job Mail.