Distractions often keep people from having productive and satisfying days at work. One study, the result of interviews, revealed that most people admit to losing 2 to 3 hours a day, thanks to distractions. Worse yet, another study indicated that no one really starts work until May each year, because the earlier months are lost due to a lack of focus and distractions.
Too often we let a distraction stop what we are doing. We lose time on the task then. Also, getting started up again takes extra time, just to get back to where you were. Some interruptions are legitimate, like a quick consultation with the boss. Others, though, are nowhere near as important as the abandoned task. What can be done about the most common distractions?
When you consider that any time taken off task is a break, you’ll realize how many “breaks” people take. Unless you drink nothing at your desk, there will always be a few bathroom breaks throughout the day. Other breaks? A phone call. A private email. A cigarette. A snack or a soda. These are all ways that work is interrupted.
How can this distraction be avoided? Plan your breaks. Give yourself a solid two hours on task and then take a 15-minute breather. Get those distractions all taken care of during that time. By scheduling your distractions, you’ll have better focus and get more done.
Chatting with Co-Workers
This habit is hard to break. On their way to somewhere else, people will stop at your desk for a few minutes. Perhaps they’ve brought a snippet of the latest gossip. Or maybe they want to ask for your opinion of so-and-so’s latest hairdo. No matter the topic, this chat has broken your concentration. Plus, there may be more than one person who frequents your desk.
How can this distraction be avoided? If you have a door, close it. If not, when a person comes by, make a gesture with the palm of your hand and ask if you can talk some time later. Say you are in the thick of something. By discouraging chit-chat, you’ll have better focus and get more done.
Surfing the Net
Perhaps you are looking at an article for work on the Internet. After you’ve skimmed it, you may check out something else, quite unrelated. How is the stock market doing today? Are there any coupons worth printing out for the local grocery store? Is that ‘66 Mustang convertible still for sale?
How can this distraction be avoided? Supervise yourself. You are not being paid to do personal research. Resist the urge to check on this or that. Remind yourself of matters at work that are more pressing. Check things out during a scheduled break. By avoiding this temptation, you’ll have better focus and get more done.
Managing the Kids
Now this is a tough one. Because of the pandemic, many are working from home. If your children know you are in the house, even if someone else is watching over them, you’re bound to be interrupted. It’s quite a challenge to manage their needs and your work requirements.
How can this distraction be avoided? Perhaps you have a relative who can take the reins during your work day. Maybe you and your partner can take turns with the kids, so that you each can get some work completed. Or it might be that you’ll need to do some work in the evenings after everyone else is sound asleep. By getting help with the children, you’ll have better focus and get more done.
Reading Email or Texts
Unless your computer or your phone is muted, you know when someone is reaching out. That tell-tale sound makes your focus slip, and your curiosity may win out. Most of these messages are not time-critical, but somehow our mind tricks us into thinking so. People are not expecting an immediate response or result. Going back and forth from task to message and back again gives you a sense of frenzied busyness.
How can this distraction be avoided? Use that mute option on both your computer and your phone. Set aside time later to catch up on that prattle. Check your email or voice mail only once or twice a day. Take your computer offline, and allow messages to accumulate to be read later. By delaying your responses, you’ll have better focus and get more done.
Sharpening the Focus
When it comes to revenue, interruptions can be costly. You want business to go on as usual without distractions. That may very well be humanly impossible. So what can you do? Use an app that covers for you when you are indisposed. Online Sales Pro (OSP) is just what you need!
This Customer Resource Management (CRM) tool works when you are not. OSP keeps you in touch with your leads and your customers. Someone signs up to learn more? Let OSP send out an immediate response. OSP will then send you a push notification that you’ve got a new lead, and you can plan when you will reach out to that person.
Online Sales Pro helps your business continue even if you may be distracted. Sign up with OSP so that you can take a well-deserved break. Use this web and mobile app to respond to others when you are not available. By doing that, you can make contact when the time is right for you. Let OSP manage your business, so you can better manage your day.