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How to Deal with Some of the Most Common Distractions at Work

By Andrej Kovacevic

August 2020 - It's fair to say that most of us head to work every day with the intention of spending a really productive and forward thinking eight hours or so. In reality, however, we know that this isn't always the case! Getting distracted is one the key complaints and worries that most employees have across all fields of work and business, and there are several reasons that this happens, from boredom to confusion to colleagues who tend to be energy vampires.

If you are somebody who is experiencing a problem with attention span and distracting behavior in the workplace, then you have come to the right place if you want to start addressing and changing those habits to be more productive. With that in mind, here are some of the best tips for how to deal with many of the most common distractions at work.

Schedule Breaks if You Have a Bad Attention Span

If your job involves lengthy periods of doing things like sitting at a desk in front of a computer screen, then it can be very easy for your attention to wander. Then the escapism of daydreaming kicks in. This can be combated with some simple activities, the most simple of which being scheduling breaks where you can step away from your screen for a few minutes to help bring your mind back to the present. This recharges your batteries for the next hour or so. Sometimes just a five minute break can be enough to set your mind back on your work tasks and taking those minutes away from your desk can help provide hours' worth of attention and motivation for the rest of the day.

Put Website Blockers on Your Work Computer

Sitting with a computer in front of you all day can be the gateway to a heap of temptation in the form of websites that are nothing to do with your job and tasks in hand. Social media, video sharing platforms, retail sites - all of these are way too easy to click on when you should be doing something else, but thankfully most browsers have come up with a way to stop this behavior and keep you on track. If you are tech savvy enough, you can set up a number of blockers that do not allow you to access certain websites that you know are a problem for you. For many people, this includes blocking things like Facebook, YouTube, Buzzfeed - all of those websites that are actively fighting to take your focus away from your work! If it is a big problem, get your tech department to add the filters/blockers.

Save Your Gossiping Sessions for Lunch Break

If your colleagues also happen to be good friends of yours, then there is always a temptation to fill the hours with inane chatter. Communication with co-workers is obviously important and encouraged but try to save your gossiping and off-topic chatting to your scheduled breaks and lunch time. If you can get everybody in your office on board with a collective effort to keep social interaction to the appropriate times, you will be pleasantly surprised by how much productivity increases in a short time.

Take a Walk to Reset Productivity

If you work in an environment where it is possible to get out for a few minutes every so often, a walk outside in a different setting can be massively helpful for resetting productivity and attention span. A change of scenery even for five minutes walking around the block can help to stimulate your mind and take you out of the fuzzy funk that you had gotten into staring at your computer screen. If you are clever about it, you can time this walk with another colleague so you can kill two birds with one stone by getting a productivity reset whilst also having a gossip that is no longer encouraged in the office!

Sometimes, dealing with distractions and energy vampires requires single mindedness but you will feel better for being more productive and happier in your work.

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