How to Avoid Office Distractions

March 2, 2015

How to Avoid Office Distractions

A bit of distraction in the office can really help to make the day more interesting – and at times, more productive. But we all know that too much distraction can be very off-putting when we’re pressing for that 5pm deadline. So if you’re finding yourself getting too distracted, then these 5 tips might just help you (and your colleagues) to avoid office distractions and have a really productive day:

1. Take Regular Breaks

The longer we work for without a break, the more vulnerable we become to distractions. But the limit on how long we can work before getting distracted is different for different people – you, for example, may find that you can go a full 2 hours without your concentration breaking; for me, on the other hand, I find that I work the best in 30-minute bursts. The average amount of time tends to be around 90 minutes, however – so if you don’t know your own personal threshold, why not try taking a 5 minute break every 90 minutes and then adjust as you become used to what suits you best?

2. Change Setting

Sometimes, distractions are location-based. If you find that your surroundings are particularly noisy – maybe it’s a co-worker’s birthday, or perhaps the builders are in – then move desks. Go sit with the receptionist for a while, or maybe even do a bit of work from your car. If you work in HR and use HR software that’s optimised for mobile devices then you can literally work from anywhere you have an internet connection!

3. Block The Noise Out

If you don’t own a decent pair of headphones or earphones, then go ahead and get some – not everybody can work with music on, but if you can, then you should. Surely a bit of James Blunt is enough to help anybody concentrate (or maybe that’s just me).

4.  Ask Politely
If most of your distractions come from others around you, then maybe you should tackle the root cause of your inability to concentrate. It only takes a gentle reminder, and if you’re polite about asking your co-workers to respect your need for a little bit of concentration time every now and again, you should find that they respect your request.

5. Allocate Time Slots

If you have a lot to do and find that you often get distracted because it all seems like way too much to handle, then take 30 minutes or so at the beginning of your day to make a big list of everything you need to get done. Give each item your best estimate on how long it will take you, and then assign a specific time slot for each.

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