Working in a fully staffed office can be distracting at times. The constant chatter among co-workers, the occasional co-worker stopping by your cubical to chat, along with general office noises and distractions can keep you from staying on task and being productive.
While you may not be able to completely eliminate all of the distractions, you can do 3 things to help muffle and prevent the distractions from destroying your ability to work effectively.
1. Tune out the sounds
Careerealism recommends listening to music through earphones or using earplugs. While this may work for some people, if you are an employee who has to be on the phone with clients constantly, you may think it is not an option for you. However, you can use this strategy while also being on the phone. If you like the sound of white noise or music, leave one earphone in your ear while listening through the phone or phone headset in your other ear. If you do not like music or white noise, try doing the same thing with an earplug in one ear.
Another way to help you concentrate on the conversation you are having on the phone is to order a headset with two earphones. Many headsets come with only one earphone, leaving your other ear out in the open to absorb any noises in your office.
2. Let your co-workers know that you need focus time
It can be a huge distraction when co-workers stop by to chat on their way to the water cooler. One way you can help to remedy this distraction is by letting them know when you need to focus.
Try creating a small sign to hang outside of your cubical that says something like “No interruptions until 10AM” or whatever time you need in order to complete a task before taking a break. You may get some strange looks from your co-workers at first, but simply explain to them that you need to stay on task and be focused. Who knows, you may start a new trend once your co-workers notice how well it is working for you.
3. Keep track of how you spend your time
As Careerealism mentions, sometimes our distractions are created by ourselves. Distractions such as social media, personal email, text messages, or personal calls can be just as destructive to our productivity. You do not have to refrain from all of these things during the work day, but you should limit yourself to certain times during the day when you are checking social media, returning or accepting personal calls, etc.
What are some ways you eliminate or reduce distractions in the workplace? Share your tips in the comments below.