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Tip of the Week: Fight Workplace Distractions With These 3 Tips

What’s your reaction to your mobile device beeping at you? If you’re the kind of person that drops everything to see what it says, then you’re probably way more distracted at work than you should be. It’s a bad habit to look at your phone every minute or two, but with hard work, habits can be broken. Here are three actions you can take to minimize workplace distractions so you can be more productive.

Turn On “Airplane Mode”
The best way to eliminate distractions from your mobile device is to turn it off or get rid of it entirely. Of course, this is easier said than done, and you may not be able to do this if you still need to access important data on your device, like your contacts, calendar, and clock. Instead, try switching your phone to airplane mode. This will cut off your device from the Internet, along with the phone’s wireless network, all while leaving you with access to apps and data stored locally on the device. With no more phone notifications to bother you, you’ll be able to focus like never before. When you’ve completed the task at hand, simply turn off airplane mode and your phone will display all missed notifications, phone calls, and voicemails.

Bonus tip: Most of us use our phones as our alarm clock. You can use airplane mode to make sure that you’re not awakened by a notification or a phone call, while still having your alarm to wake you.

Use Headphones to Ward Off People
A person with headphones on is basically communicating to the world around them, “please don’t bother me.” Some people are respectful of this boundary and will only interrupt a sweet jam if it’s absolutely necessary. Yet, be warned, every office seems to have a dullard who can’t take the hint and they’ll still interrupt you with yet another hilarious cat video.

You can even locate music that’s created for the sole purpose of helping people focus, like Spotify’s “Focus playlist.” Remember, just because you have your headphones on, doesn’t mean that you have to listen to music. For example, if you’re not wired to work while listening to music, then you can just have your headphones on for the sake of telling people to bug off.

Schedule Times For Email Checking
Having your email inbox open all day so that you will notice every incoming message will derail your productivity. Instead, try keeping your email app closed throughout the work day, except for the times you have scheduled to check your email.

By only checking your email a few designated times each day (and perhaps your social media too), you’ll be able to easily focus on the message at hand, instead of having to glance at every new message that comes across the wire. In fact, you can even use an email autoresponder tool to notify people of the times that you check your email so they won’t expect an instant response. And if a person happens to really need to get a hold of you at that very instant, they could always just give you a call (that is, unless your phone is on airplane mode).

Following these three productivity tips will go a long way in weaning you off your device and turning out workplace distractions. Do you have any additional tips that help you focus better at work? Let us know in the comments!


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