What’s keeping you from being at your productive best? The most common distractions on the job are using personal phones for texting, online searches and social media. According to a Gallup poll, more than 50% of U.S. smartphone owners admit to checking their phones at work a few times an hour.
Another typical time-waster involves coworkers dropping by frequently to chat and the background noise they create. Another big culprit: unnecessary meetings.
Key to working better is avoiding interruptions,most of which are under your control just by being aware of them. While people are part of working, they can also break the focus and momentum of your work tasks. If you can, set aside specific no-interruption periods and post them via email, or escape to a quiet area to work undisturbed.
Quit burning time online. The more information you have pouring in — email, news stories, social media — the more you may feel like you’re doing something. But in reality, you’re losing focus and working less. Switch off your phone and, when possible, skip checking email during valuable work time.
To meet or not? Always weigh the options before calling a meeting. If it’s just information sharing, you’re probably better off emailing it. But if brainstorming or an in-depth discussion is needed, an in-person meeting might be best.
One positive interruption— take a 30-second personal pause. Standing up, stretching or deep breathing can instantly recharge your productivity, especially when you’re working at a computer.
While working well depends on your specific job and work environment, watch for ways that you and your coworkers can avoid interruptions and work smarter — maybe suggest a contest?