Recognizing and preventing distractions in the workplace


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Preventing distractions at work is crucial to productivity. The first step is recognizing what is causing the distractions. This slideshare then gives you tools and suggestions for you to take action against these distractions.

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Recognizing and preventing distractions in the workplace

  1. 1. Recognizing and preventing distractions in the office IT’S NOT JUST THE INTERNET!
  2. 2. an epic slideshare brought to you by
  3. 3. It‟s not how long you spend in the office… it‟s what you get done.
  4. 4. We recognized 4 principal areas of office distraction People Things Sights Environment
  5. 5. 1. People • Chatty co-worker/loud headphones • Constant questions • Loud phone voice • Family
  6. 6. 2. Things • Cluttered desk/computer/inbox • Internet • IM/SMS • Your chair
  7. 7. 3. Sights • Overstimulating/dull office • The view
  8. 8. 4. Environment • Heating/air conditioning • Lighting
  9. 9. Others? • Meetings • Digital file organization • Not taking breaks
  10. 10. How to deal with people Boundaries: choose spaces in the day when people are allowed to approach you – enforce this firmly and eventually people will learn. Set up a calendar where they can book your time. Make exceptions for questions that need answering immediately. Tools: • WorkTimer (track the time you need to get your work done) • Google Calendar (works online and offline)
  11. 11. Noise-eliminating headphones Here‟s a list of the best noise-cancelling headphones
  12. 12. Positive reinforcement: politely but firmly (and consistently) ask noisy people to take the conversation elsewhere/lower the phone voice – they will also eventually learn to do this independently.
  13. 13. How to deal with things Cluttered desk/inbox: choose an hour on Friday afternoon or Monday morning to dedicate to organizing your files (both real and virtual) and archiving unimportant email. Tools: • Mailbox (for smartphone) • Mailstrom (for desktop)
  14. 14. Internet: use an app that blocks you from accessing recreational sites during specified times Tools: StayFocusd (block website access)
  15. 15. IM/SMS: turn off notification noises and mark yourself as “busy” or “invisible”. If you have set up the previous steps correctly then there should be no reason to be on IM or SMS unless on a collaborative project or a remote team Tools: • AwayFind (for priority messages)
  16. 16. Chair: being uncomfortable is distracting and unhealthy. Here‟s a list of great chairs. Check with your superior, HR or company policy to see how to get a good chair for all those hours in front of the computer.
  17. 17. How to deal with sights Great/terrible view: If you have a particularly miserable view of the city, put up some yellow or orange blinds – the light coming through will feel like warm sunshine. You might want to do the same for an awesome view – it can be equally distracting!
  18. 18. Boring office: liven up a dull office space with low-maintenance big plants and a few posters Image credit
  19. 19. Sad desk: personalize your workspace without cluttering it or creating too much visual stimulation. Take some tips from Fast Company on what NOT to do. Have at least one thing around that makes you happy to see.
  20. 20. How to deal with the environment 22 – 25 Celsius (72 – 77 Fahrenheit) is optimal Let in fresh air a few times a day (weather depending!)
  21. 21. Image credit Replace flickering lights, lights that are too low or at angles that cause glare (here„s a guide to the hazards of poor lighting at work)
  22. 22. Meetings… For managers out there: invite people who need to contribute. Everyone else can get a memo.
  23. 23. Image credit Digital organization… Habits: label and store as you go; make document titles obvious Tools: Twoodo (task management and teamwork) LastPass (password management) Google Drive (file storage and collaborative editing)
  24. 24. A solution like Twoodo can simplify what you need to get done by eliminating the need for multiple tools like email, IM, notetaking and task lists.
  25. 25. Take breaks 90 minute stints are a good rule of thumb
  26. 26. The original article for this slideshare appeared on Lifehack
  27. 27. Got questions? Click on an icon!