At work, distractions are inevitable. Consider your smartphone, for instance. It can take up to 20 minutes to get your attention back after checking your Twitter feed or your email. Over the course of a day, this can really kill your productivity.
Although the internet and cell phones are two of the largest productivity drainers, they are not the only ones. Productivity is hampered by office rumors, chatty coworkers, and frequent excursions to the restroom or kitchen.
On the other side, ineffective internal procedures like ill-planned meetings make employees more susceptible to diversionary tactics like multitasking.
Take a look at our top 15 workplace distractions:
Any workplace, particularly in open offices, where many people are working can generate a lot of noise. Whether it is interacting with each other or talking on phones, the sound level can be difficult to ignore.
When a person carries a smartphone in the workplace, the buzzes, beeps, and notifications can also be very distracting.
People frequently multitask by making calls while working on spreadsheets and reading while writing. While the essential staff meeting is going on, folks are ordering lunch. Studies have shown that people consistently overestimate their ability to multitask.
In an open office where many people are working, anyone can interrupt you while you are concentrating on your work, which is quite common.
If you are working at a messy desk, then your productivity gets reduced due to clutter and works against you.
Due to work pressure, if you miss your lunch and then you may feel hungry which can cause your mind to wander.
The most prevalent type of mental illness in the U.S. are anxiety disorders, which also have an impact on productivity in the workplace.
- Attention span
Because of our dependence on smartphones, a Canadian study found modern humans now had shorter attention spans than goldfish.
We keep our inbox open all day, and when a new email arrives, we immediately open it taking our focus away from what we were working on. This can be a big time waster as it takes a while to get back on track.
One of the most frequently mentioned offenders regarding job distractions is Slack. However, this application has many notification setting options to alleviate this issue.
- Decision fatigue
When you have to make too many judgments quickly, it causes decision fatigue in your brain.
Meetings are infamous for wasting time because we often spend too much time talking about the task, rather than doing it.
- Social media
Checking social media is truly becoming a habit. When you read through Facebook, for example, your brain releases chemicals that have effects on your brain quite similar to those of opioids like heroin.
- Lack of delegation
Failure to correctly assign responsibilities prevents workers from fully concentrating on tasks that they are best suited to doing. This can undermine a team and adversely affect overall performance on the job.
- Poor motivation
Lack of motivation can undermine a worker’s devotion to their job and overall productivity.
You can see more work distractions here in this post. Although distractions are a fact of life, there are many solutions and strategies that lessen their impact. The trick is to get rid of as many distractions and remove as many temptations as you can. This is a far better strategy than fighting your own biology every day.