A slew of factors can impact your productivity at work. For example, whether you find the task engaging can play a role. Similarly, your experience with the activity may influence how quickly you can finish.
At times, your ability to make changes to enhance your productivity quickly is limited. However, there is one approach that you can always use: limiting distractions.
If you are wondering why you should always eliminate distractions first and how to go about it, here’s what you need to know.
Need to be More Productive at Work?
Why Limiting Distractions First is the Right Move
To put it simply, distractions harm your ability to focus. For instance, when a notification catches your eye, you might lose your place in a document or the thought that you were working through. If you give your attention to the activity the notification triggers, you are setting what you were working on aside. Then, if you come back to it, you have to spend time remembering where you left off and what you need to do next.
Overall, that entire process is cumbersome and time-consuming. And, it can happen dozens of times a day, often without you fully noticing what’s taking place.
By limiting distractions, you reduce the likelihood that the scenario above (or one like it) will occur. You increase your ability to concentrate on the task at hand, increasing the odds that you can focus until it’s completed. This makes you more efficient and, in turn, more productive. You’ll be able to do more in less time, all because your thought processes aren’t interrupted.
How to Reduce or Eliminate Distractions at Work
Reducing or eliminating potential distractions is a fairly straightforward process. You just need to identify possible sources of interruptions and prevent them from interfering.
Begin by turning off as many notifications as possible on your computer, smartphone, or any other device. Silence the sounds and turn off the popups. That way, you won’t have any unnecessary auditory or visual distractions. Once you reach a logical stopping point in your work, you can always review your notification sources to see if anything came in.
If possible, also silence your desk phone, if you have one. Send all calls directly to voicemail and physically cover any screens or notification lights on the device. The goal is to keep anything from drawing your focus, so don’t be afraid to physically hide certain aspects of the phone.
Then, find opportunities to block out ambient distractions. If allowed, consider wearing headphones while you work. When choosing music, go with instrumentals, as the lack of lyrics reduces the odds that you’ll be distracted by the song. Alternatively, use white noise or nature sounds.
Consider placing a sign on your desk to notify passersby that you aren’t available. It can say something as simple as “no interruptions please” or “heads-down work in progress.” That way, a coworker isn’t likely to pull your attention away just for a chat.
Ultimately, eliminating distractions can boost your productivity. Consider using some or all of the techniques above and see how much of a difference they can make.