Are Constant Disruptions Keeping You From the Important Stuff?

Whether you’re interrupted by employees or upper management or a phone app is sending notifications, it seems impossible to get your important work done as a leader.

Dr. Gloria Mark, Professor of Informatics at the University of California, Irvine has found that it takes an average of 23 minutes for a person to fully regain his/her focus on a task after being distracted.

Here are a few suggestions that might help you and your employees stay focused while still having an “open door” for your team members:

[if !supportLists]· [endif]Culture - Have a healthy conversation in your workplace about these issues and come to agreement on things you can do as a team. Make it part of your culture that fits your organization. Consider creating a short-term task force to tackle this issue.

[if !supportLists]· [endif]People - Create a signal when each of you needs uninterrupted time. Go into an empty office, put a sign up on your door, send out a Slack message that you need to focus for an hour, or put on headphones.

[if !supportLists]· [endif]Email - Turn off the computer alert that lets you know when an email comes in. Schedule time throughout the day to check emails. Choose low productivity times to work your emails. Turn your emails into action, or delete them. If you’re afraid to delete them, set up a folder for “If I Ever Need This Information.”

[if !supportLists]· [endif]Phone - Consider no-phone meetings, turn off notifications during your work time, or use technology to help you out. Consider Forest, a free app that starts killing a virtual tree every time you pick up your phone. Or Time Guard, another free app that provides controls so you can get to certain apps and websites during specific times of the day.

Regardless of your tools and ideas to help eliminate distractions, don’t forget to come to agreement with your team so you’re all in it together. This is a big issue for companies in the U.S., costing companies a staggering $997 billion (with a b) a year!

If you have a few more minutes in your day, check out this podcast, Becoming Indistractable from How to Be Awesome at Your Job. I enjoyed hearing from Nir Eyal, author of Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products, with a new book coming out in 2019 called Indistractable.

More good information came from this article MindTools article, Minimizing Distractions

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