Distractions on the job can limit your productivity and hamper your overall job performance. Even though eliminating all distractions can be difficult depending on your work environment, you’ll still want to do everything possible to limit the factors that cause you to divert your attention from important job duties. Here are some of the best ways to lessen your distractions on the job.
Organize Your Daily Goals Carefully
By planning your schedule carefully and setting your daily goals in an organized fashion, you’ll be able to proceed through your day with a clearer mindset. Being disorganized with your schedule can create distractions that affect your job performance.
A long to-do list can seem overwhelming and make focusing on each task more difficult. Entrepreneur.com suggests setting three main objectives every day and focus the most on accomplishing these three objectives to maintain a clearer mindset.
Keep Internet Searches Limited to Job Duties
Some employers have filters on their business networks that block certain websites that aren’t job-related, but you may need to do some self-censoring if these measures aren’t in order at your workplace. Even though you might think that you’re only going to go on your office computer’s internet briefly to check your personal emails or social media pages, you might still become distracted by information that you see and may spend more time on these sites than you realize.
Even spending just a few minutes a day on these personal sites could amount to a lot of lost production over time. If you need to check these sites, it’s best to do so only on your designated break times.
Turn Off Your Phone
Your mobile phone can also cause unwanted distractions if it rings often or notifies you with sounds regularly to let you know that you have new emails or other messages. It’s best to keep your mobile phone off the entire time that you’re working and only turn it on while at lunch or taking other breaks.
The only time that it might be acceptable to keep your phone on while you’re working is if you’re expecting a call from a doctor or someone else who has some urgent news.
Wear a Headset
Wearing the right type of headset throughout the day can keep your mind focused on the job better and will allow you to tune out distractions easier. In addition to tuning out distracting background noise, a headset can be used to take calls so that you won’t have to use your hands to hold a receiver.
Some headsets are wireless and work with Bluetooth technology to give you greater freedom to move. Some Plantronics headset devices and similar products also make it easy for you to keep one ear free so that you can listen to anyone in your office who may be trying to get your attention.
Instruct Others Not to Disrupt You
This can sometimes be difficult depending on the specifics of your job, but you can try asking coworkers not to distract you during certain periods of the day. You can do this verbally or by sending interoffice emails that ask for your coworkers’ cooperation.
Adding a message to your voicemail stating that you’ll be unavailable during certain points of the day can also help limit distractions. Another idea is to put a “do not disturb” sign on your office door or on your cubicle, and this can be especially helpful if you work from a home office and don’t want to be disturbed by family members.
Keep Your Work Area Clean
Even though your company might have hired professional cleaners to handle the main cleaning tasks, you’ll still want to make additional efforts to keep your work area clean. Trash, boxes, and unneeded papers that clutter your work area can make performing job tasks more difficult. You’ll also likely have more difficulty finding important items if they’re intermingled in all your clutter.
Any items that you don’t need at the time should be stowed in desk drawers, file cabinets, or other storage areas. If your trashcan and recycling bin aren’t emptied daily by cleaning staff, you should do so yourself to maintain a clean work area.
You’ll likely notice a big difference in how much you accomplish on the job when you minimize distractions. Eliminating as many distractions as possible can be good for your job performance as well as your stress level.