How to Eliminate Distractions at Work

Distractions can be a real problem in the modern workplace, especially if it’s in an open office environment. Without being able to do your work in a quiet, distraction free place, it can be difficult to gain the necessary focus to complete your tasks efficiently.

Three major common distractions at work are surrounding noises, disruptive coworkers, and social media. Each of these distractions can be eliminated easily through following some basic steps.

Surrounding noises like coworker conversations, electronic devices, intercom music, and other office sounds can prove to be a distraction for those that find they work best in quiet. A frequent solution to this is using headphones. This may be due to an improvement in working memory, as suggested in a study that treated monkeys with Mozart. Another way you can minimize the effect of workplace noises is by wearing noise reducing ear plugs.

Social media has become a major problem as a workplace distraction, especially since more and more work environments are embracing it as part of their office culture. There are a few things you can do though to make sure that you are not lingering longer than you need to on social media websites.

One way is to force yourself to practice more mindfulness about your social media usage by eliminating your auto logins so that you have to type in your username and password every time you use the website. If you have a lot of chatty friends and family on Facebook, rendering yourself as invisible in chat will work wonders on reducing their chatter during periods of intense focus.

Additionally, you can reduce the temptation to check your social media by removing or reducing the amount of notifications you receive for various events on your social media networks. Effective time management through setting self imposed deadlines will help keep you on task, while using fewer tabs in your browser can help keep you further aware of what websites you’re using — and reduce the amount of accidental clicks that lead you back to social media websites.

Coworkers also can make focusing on work difficult through providing distractions via interacting with you when you would prefer to be left alone. Again, headphones are a popular solution to this, as they instantly render you unavailable for conversations. Finally, it may help to just simply talk to your coworker directly (but gently) to let them know when it is and is not optimal to interrupt you.

Most distractions can be eliminated at work with a little ingenuity and determination. No one should have to suffer through a work environment that they find to be distracting. It is highly destructive to your level of productivity and success, which is why it is important to take eliminating workplace distractions seriously and with a sense of urgency. Through finding ways to confront or eliminate distractions, you will be well on your way to finishing your work ahead of schedule.

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