Every time you sit down to work there are many possible distractions that can keep you from focusing. You have to deal with incoming phone calls and emails; plus, there is always the temptation to spend too much time on social media or entertainment sites.
Coworkers can also be distracting with social conversations with you or with others. Even if you enjoy chatting, it definitely slows down productivity.
In a home office, you also have to include distractions from spouse, children, pets, and all the household duties you need to complete.
If you really want to use your time productively, you must create a distraction-free environment so that you can focus on your work and complete your daily tasks.
When distractions are limited, you can work more efficiently and actually finish work ahead of schedule – giving you more free time to relax and enjoy yourself.
Tips for removing distractions for a more productive workplace:
Disconnect Your Electronic Leash
Cell phones have become constant companions for most people. But, always watching for a call or a text lessens your productivity. For some jobs, being on the alert for messages is required, but generally speaking, checking for calls and texts three or four times throughout the day should be adequate. Limiting the number of times you check messages will help you stay focused on tasks that must be done in a timely manner.
Use To-Do Lists
When you find yourself torn between personal and work responsibilities, a “to-do” list can be very helpful. If an idea for a personal task pops into your head in the middle of a work project, you can quickly add it to your “to-do” list and quickly bring your focus back to the task at hand.
A few seconds to write down a reminder is much better than completely switching gears to a different task and then, trying to switch back.
Set Clear Boundaries and Enforce Them
This is particularly important when you work at home (but also important in the office). Setting boundaries with coworkers, family, and friends who interrupt your work can be challenging. Decide on the types of boundaries you need that will allow you to have blocks of uninterrupted time to help you completely focus on what you need to do.
Then, set the boundaries. It will probably require a polite conversation with individuals to let them know about the time you have blocked off for work and express how much you would appreciate their honoring that time. Also, let them know that you will be happy to talk to them earlier or later. It may take a while, but eventually people will adapt and you will have fewer interruptions.
Install a Social Media Blocking App
It is easy to waste hours of time on social media if you are not careful. Again – for some jobs social media such as Facebook and Twitter are essential to the work, but not for most jobs.
It would be smart to consider using an app such as StayFocused or Mail Timer on Gmail that help limit the time you spend on email and social media. The app will let you choose how much or how little time you want to allow for these activities.
These are fairly simple steps you can take to eliminate distractions, but they work if you are willing to take them. Good luck!