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Distraction at Work

Distraction at Work

Distraction at work has increased manifold. The reasons can be anything from shrinking office spaces, to open office culture that promotes 'visual noise' or even to push-notifications and instant messaging apps.

These distractions are leaving people more stressed out and also cause a loss in overall productivity.

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We keep checking email, instant messages in our smartphones or office PC, and even social media, whenever we get the urge or any new notification.

Allotting specific times to check your phone's messages and email, like in a two to three-hour intervals, can boost your productivity by 40%.

If there is too much distraction at your main office desk, opt for a third space to do your focus work, in the office, a cafe or even at home if possible.

Use some visual aid like a pair of headphones to signal to your colleagues that you'd rather not be disturbed during that time.

Urgent but not-so-important work is one of the leading causes of distraction, as the unanswered phone and unread email look like work but actually pull us away from real, deep work which could be productive.

Close all loops in a meeting, taking care of actionable points, further steps to be taken, responsibilities assigned and due date decided.

Newer versions of smartphones have a built-in Do Not Disturb feature that limits your phone buzzes to only the essential contacts.

You can also turn on the airplane mode feature to silence everything.

Don't use the Reply All feature, as it is less noisy to only email people who need to be informed.

If possible to implement, strip away the unnecessary approval layers, which are the cause of delays, paperwork, and poking.

Most of our email is replied on the spot and has incomplete information, which leads to a lot of back and forth dialogue.

To minimize this, reply at a suitable time when you can provide sufficient details, clear action items, due date or deadline if any, and maybe an alternative.

Turn off all your push notifications from your smartphone and only check for any new update at your own time, manually.

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