Nothing is more frustrating than when you're trying to meet an impending deadline and a distraction occurs, be it an unexpected visit from a customer or a sudden text message.
Researchers at Michigan State University have revealed that an interruption as little as three seconds can double the amount of time it takes to complete a task. Additionally, the chance of errors is doubled in an interrupted employee compared to those of an undistracted worker.
Follow these tips to help stay on track and avoid distractions:
- Keep track of your time. If you feel there’s just not enough time in your workday to accomplish all your tasks, consider how you’re spending your time and use it wisely. If you notice that you’re spending too long getting stuck on one task, try putting it aside and working on something else. You may find that coming back later with fresh eyes makes the original task seem easier!
- Take advantage of technology. There are hundreds of smart phone applications and browser plug-ins for almost any platform that will help you to manage your time better and limit digital distractions. Try to find one that fits your lifestyle and work schedule.
- Drown out office noise. If you’re in a noisy office environment, get yourself a set of good noise-cancelling headphones to either muffle outside noise, or pump some good motivational music into your head. Not only will this help with a distracting environment, but people will also get the message that you are heavily invested in completing your work.
- Don’t get caught in the web. Whether you open a new tab to check the weather or catch up on social media, there’s a good chance it can wait. If you’re struggling with distractions, try to save the personal browsing for when you’re at home or on a break.
- Avoid checking your phone. A single text or social media notification from a friend or significant other can throw you off your game. If you find it hard to put down the phone, try turning it off while you’re in the office and make it a habit to only check on breaks.
- Don’t be the distractor. Could you be a factor in another employee’s inability to get their work done? Make sure you follow your own rules for minimizing distractions at your place of business.
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