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The worst workplace distractions aren't your phone, email, or social media

The 2 kinds of distractions

  • Sensory distractions (External): The things happening around us like colleagues talking, phones ringing, people moving around us, music playing, etc.
  • Emotional distractions (Internal). The thoughts that make our attention drift from what we’re doing. For example, remembering a phone call you need to return or thinking about an upcoming meeting.

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The worst workplace distractions aren't your phone, email, or social media

The worst workplace distractions aren't your phone, email, or social media

https://blog.rescuetime.com/the-fight-against-distraction/

blog.rescuetime.com

7

Key Ideas

William James

William James

“Wisdom is the art of knowing what to overlook.”

The 2 kinds of distractions

  • Sensory distractions (External): The things happening around us like colleagues talking, phones ringing, people moving around us, music playing, etc.
  • Emotional distractions (Internal). The thoughts that make our attention drift from what we’re doing. For example, remembering a phone call you need to return or thinking about an upcoming meeting.

Daniel Goleman

Daniel Goleman

“It’s not the chatter of people around us that is the most powerful distractor, but rather the chatter of our own minds.”

Main sources of internal distraction

  • Remote work or a lack of social interaction.
  • Multitasking.
  • Unpredictable work environments.

Emotional distractions are a symptom of our workplace culture

Lacking social interaction

Workplace isolation sends us to Twitter and Facebook. Or to check in on email and chat every 6 minutes to see if there’s a new message.

Solution: Creating a daily routine with time to connect with the people you work with and not just resorting to impersonal communication.

Multitasking

Living in a space of constant half-attention causes our brain to lose focus. 

Solution:  Adopt a work schedule designed around single-tasking. for that, learn to prioritize. Because distraction might actually be just confusion about what matters.

Unpredictable work environments

Our work environment rarely lends itself to focus. So get more comfortable with distractions. 

Our brains are brilliant at noticing anything that doesn’t match a pattern. We’re drawn to novelty, which makes a distraction—like a loud coworker or hearing a one-sided conversation—in an otherwise monotonous workday very hard to ignore.

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SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

William James
“My experience is what I agree to attend to.”
William James
Attention Management

It's is the practice of controlling distractions, being present in the moment, finding flow, and maximizing focus, so you can create a life of choice, around things that are important to you.

It is the ability to recognize when your attention is being stolen (or has the potential to be stolen) and to instead keep it focused on the activities you choose. 

Choosing What You Attend To

Attention management offers a deliberate approach that puts you back in control, by managing both external and internal factors.

Practicing attention management means fighting back against the distractions and creating opportunities throughout your day to support your priorities. 

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Kyle Cease

“Distractions are by-products of a problem. Something outside of you is pulling you away from yourself or a goal.”..."

Kyle Cease
Temptations and Interruptions

Distractions can be either:

  • Temptations: When we take a break from work to check social media
  • Interruptions: When we get annoyed or repeated emails disrupting our workflow.

While we can deal with these external problems, what can be more challenging is our internal urge to be distracted.

Covering Our Fears

Distractions are a way to mask what we are fearful of. Fear is a deception that comes from looking at something you’ve never done. It’s simply how your brain works — it believes anything could be death and everything you’ve already done has proven itself to be safe. Embracing fear makes it lose the grip on us.

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Daily interruptions

On average, we experience an interruption every 8 minutes or about 7 or 8 per hour. In an 8t-hour day, that is about 60 interruptions. The average interruption takes about 5 minutes, so that...

Myth of multitasking

We’re not actually multitasking; rather, we are switching rapidly between different activities.

Better concentration makes life easier and less stressful and we will be more productive. Practice concentration by finding things to do that specifically engage you for a period of time to the exclusion of everything else.

The ‘five more’ rule

... for learning to concentrate better:

Whenever you feel like quitting – just do five more – five more minutes, five more exercises, five more pages – which will extend your focus. 

The rule pushes you just beyond the point of frustration and helps build mental concentration.

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