Workplace Productivity: 5 Ways to Avoid Workplace Distractions

Workplace Productivity: 5 Ways to Avoid Workplace Distractions

September 23, 2022 0

Are you struggling with workplace distractions? Consequently, do you see you are easily distracted by others, chats, your workspace, or email alerts? 

It can be challenging to focus when working, with ringing phones, a backlog of emails that won’t stop coming in, and the temptation to send a quick text or check social media. There are plenty of things to divert your attention from the vital things as technology has advanced, apart from social media and things like Netflix.

At work, we’re getting more and more sidetracked. According to a McKinsey study, about 80% of the interruptions that the average employee receives each day range from 50 to 60 and are insignificant. The office should be a calm place where you can focus on your work, but in practice, it’s more like a minefield of distractions.

This is how a typical day at work can play out for you. As soon as you sit down at your workstation, a team member requests that you answer an urgent call from a client. Another scenario is when a new team member arrives and asks for assistance as you begin to plan your project. You resume your journey after 30 minutes, but the building manager has stopped by with an update on new security protocols. It is now 11:50. To actually get some work done, you choose to eat lunch at your desk when everyone else is away.

5 Ways to Avoid Workplace Distractions

Small distractions can be harmless. However, frequent interruptions can hamper your productivity at work. In this article, we’ve outlined five ways to avoid workplace distractions. 

5 Ways to Avoid Workplace Distractions
Workplace distractions reduce your productivity

Make your workplace better

One of the key elements affecting your productivity is your workplace space. A motivating environment might substantially improve your attitude and productivity to work. It matters that the atmosphere is right for a place where you do spend a large portion of your day.

Visual distraction is one of the main reasons why people find it difficult to concentrate on the actual activity at hand. Additionally, something as unimportant as paperwork on your desk might distract you from work. You can become distracted by coworkers moving about the office or even by receiving too many notifications. Maintaining organization in your workplace is the best approach to start combating this. Keep your desk as clear of clutter as possible and just keep what is necessary.

If you are easily distracted by coworkers, a smaller area or an open workplace layout might be a problem.  Place folders or other obstructions to stop you from viewing your colleague’s desktop. To minimize staring at passing individuals, you can alternatively decide to sit facing a wall.

Start With A To-Do List

Even though we live in a highly technologically advanced era, the conventional to-do list hasn’t gone out of style.  According to studies, having a written plan of action makes you more productive and less burdensome on your brain.

You can avoid being derailed by distractions by writing out the tasks you need to achieve each day. The most crucial task you need to complete at the beginning of each workweek should come first, followed by the minor tasks. 

You definitely won’t complete everything on your list every day, but if you start off with a clear understanding of what you actually need to accomplish, you’ll start looking for methods to delegate or remove less important, distracting tasks from your list. For example, you submit a proposal to a new client as your top priority. Then you have a meeting with your manager.  You may decide to postpone the meeting until the following day when you have more time or assign the task to another member of your team.

Asynchronous communication is a good idea

It’s actually acceptable to think, “I’ll get to this when it suits me,” when you receive an email.

Asynchronous communication benefits people by expanding the amount of time you have to respond to a request. In addition, it gives you more uninterrupted time to concentrate. Making decisions in real-time when on a phone conversation or video chat is different than doing so while speaking via email, where you have more time to consider your feedback. 

Go on a break

During the course of the workday, you might often forget to take brief breaks. They enable you to cut down on distractions and can improve the overall quality of your job productivity. To give your mind a break from working on your tasks, think about taking a brief break every hour.

 You can stretch, eat a snack, take a walk, read a few pages of a book, or listen to music. Setting a timer can help you keep track of your break so that when it goes off, you’ve finished what you were doing and are ready to return to work.

Batch Check Everything

A day’s worth of “just briefly checking” anything can result in a 40% decrease in productivity, and it can take us 23 minutes to get back into the flow state following task switching.

YOu should bulk check email, instant chats, social media, and even SMS messages at certain periods rather than doing it randomly throughout the day.

If you have trouble controlling yourself, you can pause your inbox after you’ve checked it and only unpause it when you’re ready to use it. You can also restrict access to particular websites and applications during predetermined times using Blocksite and the Freedom app.


While interruptions are unavoidable, that doesn’t mean you have to be unprepared to deal with them. Eliminating distractions requires making the decision to focus on important work first. This requires a lot of self-control and endurance. It is crucial for you to take these tips one step at a time because distractions will always exist.

However, keep in mind that work is only a small portion of your day and life. Additionally, your work-life balance will be greater the more effectively you separate your personal and professional lives.

Kindly check out other articles on SME360 to help improve your business.

Rejoice Obike
Rejoice Obike
Rejoice Obike
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