Staying focused in a busy work environment can be difficult, with ringing phones, an overflowing inbox of emails – not to mention the lure of a quick text or checking social media. So if you find yourself getting easily distracted by colleagues, conversations, your desk environment or email alerts, check out our top five tips to help minimise these distractions and stay focused.
1. Break large tasks down
Large tasks can sometimes appear overwhelming which can then lead to welcome interruptions and reduced productivity. Splitting projects into smaller tasks that require less time can make the end goal feel more achievable. Smaller tasks are generally easier to tackle – ensuring you’re more likely to stay on track to getting the larger task completed.
2. Block online distractions
Find yourself checking social media or your favourite blogs? Consider investing in a distraction-free apps that are now available, such as Anti-Social or Stay Focused which can block you from specified sites for allocated periods of time. Also turn off notifications so they aren’t pushed through and as easily visible to your devices.
Whilst small distractions may seem harmless (what is two minutes out of work day?) frequent interruptions can reduce your productivity and impact the quality of your work
3. Work with productive colleagues
It seems obvious but if surround yourself with the most productive people in the workplace it's highly likely you will also be more productive. If you sit next to or work alongside someone who works diligently, it will inspire you to do the same and reduce the chance of being unnecessarily interrupted.
4. Set boundaries with colleagues that distract you
If you find yourself working alongside someone who gets distracted easily, set some boundaries with them so they are conscious of when you need to concentrate on a task that you need to work on. You can politely tell someone you need to work on a specific task without hurting their feelings. Just advise them of your timeframe in response to their question or what the request might be.
5. Make time to take a break
Regular breaks are important to give your brain a rest and recharge your batteries. Include social time in your diary each day where you re-energise and motivate yourself for the next task on your list. Consider going to the gym, taking a walk in the local park or spending some time in the sunshine for some vitamin D.