How do you deal with distractions in the workplace?

how to deal with distractions in the workplace

Udemy for Business surveyed US workers in 2018 about distractions in the workplace. More than half (54%)  said that their performance is not as well as it should be because of workplace distractions. Half of them think that they are significantly less productive. The top two distractors mentioned were chatty coworkers and office noise. They also indicated that open office layout and digital distractions are affecting the ability to focus.

Even if you don’t work on an office setting distractions are affecting your productivity too. Here are some tips to avoid them.

How to avoid distractions in the workplace

  • Know when your focus and creativity levels are higher and plan to do your most difficult tasks during that period. Block that time in your calendar and notify everybody that you are not available unless it is an emergency. 
  • If you are a morning person, try to come earlier to the office and take advantage of the quiet space. If you are a night owl, you can stay later to tackle those tasks.
  • When you need to focus on an important task while everybody else is present, set some rules. Let everybody know in a polite way that you need some “Do not Disturb” time.
  • Create the perfect environment, avoiding distractions. Turn off all notifications, chats, and social media. 
  • Set specific periods to interact with business emails and social media.
  • Keep your work area clean and organize to avoid visual distractions.

More tips to manage distractions

Regardless of how hard you try, somebody or something will distract you. There are a few more things that you can do. For example, learn how to manage distractions like emails and office noise. Also, turn off the emails notification and use blocks of time to work with them. Use headphones to cancel the noise, or have a sign to tell people that you would like to not be disturbed during that time.

Also, remember that having a good night’s sleep and healthy eating habits will help you to have the energy to concentrate. Find your own trick, and keep the focus!

Is managing your email inbox driving you crazy?

You can manage your emails inbox effectively, use 5S.
Manage your emails effectively

How do you manage your email inbox? Do you know that the average office worker spends 13 hours per week on emails alone? A typical business professional sends and receives 122 emails daily. With those numbers, there is no doubt why you feel like managing your inbox is all you do.

How to manage your email inbox

To avoid going crazy about your emails, apply housekeeping and organization to your inbox.

Like every time you want to use 5S, start sorting out the messages you don’t need. Browse your email on the lookout for promotions and subscriptions. Sometimes you subscribe to a digital newsletter or give away your email address to obtain some information. You are not interested in keeping the subscription anymore but never unsubscribe from it. Go ahead and unsubscribe now, do not touch that email more than once! Do the same thing with promotions that you don’t want to receive anymore. Identify spam emails and put them in the spam folder immediately.

Set in order and clean your inbox

While you browse for emails, make a list of those that you receive periodically and need to keep. Think about customers, suppliers, invoices, and your team. To set in the order, you have to prioritize and categorize your messages. Create categories like my team, finances, insurance, customers, and suppliers. You do not have to go through all your emails, but make sure you include your most frequent contacts.

To shine or clean your inbox, archive or delete emails as you go. Make a routine to read your emails during certain times of the day. Reading emails every five minutes is a productivity killer. For example, I read emails in the morning as part of my routine to create or revise my agenda. Later, before lunchtime, I check again and then before going home. Be open about your process, ensure that your key people know it. This way, if they need your attention, they will text or call.

Standardize how you manage your email inbox

Now is time to standardize your email inbox. Use the contact list you build to create and assign categories to your contacts. With Outlook and Gmail, you can create color-coded categories or filters based on certain criteria. Also, you can assign priorities. For example, invoices have high priority, but digital newspapers are a low priority. Change your email settings, so incoming emails go straight to the appropriate folder or have the right label.

To ensure your inbox is under control, create rules to sustain the tidy state. Daily, as you check your emails, decide what you need to do with the information received. Create tasks or events using the message and then archive or delete. Establish a frequency to revise your emails looking for contacts that need to be categorized or are not relevant anymore. 

Your email inbox does not have to drive you crazy. Stop the insanity and 5S your inbox!