Limiting Your Distractions in the New Year
Distraction – let’s face it…many of us struggle with this one. It’s something that limits our productivity, creates unhealthy behaviors, and can lead to a loss in our business. From multitasking to internet surfing to office interruptions to scrolling social media, distractions can stop us from being our best in the workplace. Luckily, there are ways you can manage or avoid distractions to SAVE you time, effort, and energy in 2023.
Before we get into it, we are asking you to take a moment to identify which distractions impede your productivity the most! Each person is unique and identifying what you struggle with will help you learn to manage those interferences. A good start is to start logging distractions as they pop up, as well as how much time each distraction cost you. From there, you can start working on making healthy and productive changes.
Not sure which distractions to look out for? Here are 3 top offenders:
Truth time. This one hits home for me so let’s see if you are convicted as well.
Multitasking is often viewed as a valued skill and some people can successfully balance multiple projects at once, yet our brains are limited in how much information we can observe, absorb, and successfully process. The rapid switching between tasks can actually be a deterrent for our brains, and leads to one objective not being fully accomplished or properly accomplished before moving to the next. Time blocking is a great way to make sure the projects that require more intentional, focused time are accomplished before our brains make that switch to the next item. Making lists can also help ensure we don’t miss a task that needs our attention, and prioritizing that list allows us to do the most critical to-dos early in our work day or when we have the most focus and energy.
2. Social Media Use and Internet Browsing
The internet is possibly the greatest invention ever so it’s completely conceivable that our brains crave that instant information, even when we’re working. While there are several studies that show social media use can cause anxiety and depression, we’ll stick to why it’s not healthy at work. Even if you absolutely LOVE what you do, most people would probably rather be poolside with a cool drink in hand than at work. That’s why social media use at work is so distracting. We see the best experiences of others, and potentially even covet that experience – especially when we’re stuck in an office. The reality is that the person posting that poolside margarita picture will likely be going back to work in a few days. It is going to take some self-control….try your best to avoid the endless scroll hole on social media. The same concept also applies to internet browsing. If you’re bored at work, apply yourself to some stretch assignments, or re-evaluate how to make your day its most productive!
Physical clutter can be a distraction because it surrounds our space and encroaches on our focus. Yet, a messy desk and unorganized paperwork are not the only distractions. We all know someone who has about a hundred desktop icons on their computer home screen. This is also clutter! Our brains cannot process things very well when we are surrounded by clutter. To tackle this issue, try organizing one thing at a time. Condense those desktop files into categories over the span of several days. Go through your mountain of paperwork at certain day and time each week so it doesn’t flow over into the next week. These are a few examples that can make a huge difference in starting and finishing your workday in a productive.
While there are a plethora of distractions you should try to avoid in the workplace, starting with these top three examples can set you on the right path this year. Becoming aware of your distractions, being intentional about recognizing when they slow down or stop your productivity, and making incremental changes to tackle the negative impact will allow you to be more focused, productive, and fulfilled.
Wishing you a less distracted and more productive 2023,