How to deal with office distractions and stay focused
Are office distractions having a negative impact on your productivity? Don’t despair! There are strategies you can use to stay productive at work. While there are benefits to an open plan office, this type of work environment can make it difficult to stay focused. From increased background noise to interruptions from colleagues, the distractions can seem endless.
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1. Set boundaries
Do work colleagues keep interrupting you? Learn how to politely set boundaries so that your colleagues understand you don’t want to be interrupted when you’re trying to complete a task. If they want to discuss a work-related issue that’s not urgent, you can let them know that you’ll be there to help them as soon as you’ve completed your current task. It’s important to prioritise your tasks at work so that you know which ones to focus on first. Clear boundaries teach your colleagues how to treat you.
2. Invest in headphones
Noise is usually a big problem for many people. You can address this issue by investing in headphones. If you need complete silence to work, try noise-cancelling headphones. Another option is to buy regular headphones and put on your favourite word playlist. Ambient sound or relaxation music is a great option if you’re feeling stressed. Not only will you block out the background noise of the office, but you’ll also get your stress levels down. It’s a win-win situation all around. When you’re wearing headphones, people are also less likely to interrupt you for casual conversations.
3. Remove digital distractions
While noise and interruptions from colleagues are high up on the list of office distractions, digital communication tools can also have a negative impact on your productivity. When it comes to delivering an efficient performance, spending time on your mobile phone or social media can cost you big time. Avoid placing your mobile phone on your desk as it diverts your attention from the task at hand even if it’s not ringing. Switch off any notifications you receive from your digital communication tools to avoid unnecessary disruptions.
4. Be considerate
Your behaviour at work contributes to the office culture you work in. If you constantly disrupt your colleagues, they’re more likely to interrupt you when you’re working on a deadline. When you’re respectful and consider how your behaviour affects your colleagues, it demonstrates how you want to be treated by others. Don’t take personal calls at your desk as your conversation can be disruptive to your co-workers. Conversations with your colleagues can also serve as a distraction. Also try not to eat at your desk, as it disturbs the people who are working nearby.
Now that you know how to cope with office distractions, you can boost your productivity at work. When you’re more productive, you’ll enjoy greater career success.
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