Distractions at work waste a lot of time, whether you’re a manager or an employee. It’s clear that there are many distractions these days, and if you want to achieve your goals, you need to be disciplined. The arrival of mobile phones and easy access to information worries many people. Some best practices for don’t waste any more time.
The 2024 Economist Impact study by Dropbox highlights the fact that 42% of workers recognize more than an hour without interruption. In France, 30% of employees have the same problem. Digitization multiplies distractions: virtual meetings, constant notifications that prevent concentration. Additionally, they feel constant pressure to respond to messages immediately. In France, an increase in productivity could increase the value produced per person by 43%. It would represent $167 billion in potential economic growth.
You must be feeling the waste of time. If relaxing for a few minutes during the day is not bad in itself, rather the opposite. There are a few habits to adopt to avoid passing of “I work a little and rest” has “I rest a little and work”. A recent GoTo study by LogMeIn on “ Technology at work: French workers are the most dispersed in Europe » clearly shows us the factors that disturb the French the most
Limit internet usage
If you can’t be behind each of your employees and check what they’re doing, both for moral reasons and also for atmospheric reasons, it might be helpful to do it for you first. The study shows that we would log in 1-4 times a day to search for personal information… And not necessarily essential searches, as we would first tend to use social networks (60%) to visit clothing sales sites. (38%) or of course watch videos online (34%).
The loss of time would also be huge as we would take 33 small breaks in five working days. If we can say that we are doing it for professional reasons, it is not because we would visit the website 10 times a week for non-professional reasons. Moreover, the typology of visited sites leaves no doubt: news (59%), social networks (49%) and… sports sites (28%). And there is no secret:restraint remains the best technique.
Mute your phone or silence it!
It’s tempting to keep your phone close so you don’t miss a call from a customer you’re expecting. However, it is more than common to be interrupted by a text message from a loved one or friend and reply to it. However, being interrupted while completing a task seriously hurts your productivity, especially if you are in a task that requires a lot of concentration. If you’re doing this type of task, turn off your phone or stop checking messages until it’s done. There are very few emergencies that require you to pick up the phone immediately.
Stop checking email
This can be very difficult because you can also expect important emails from your customers, but you will also have to discipline yourself to only open your email inbox 2-3 times a day. What would your client do if you were in the meeting? He would probably wait for you to answer him. Be aware that in a third of cases (34%) it will be a personal email that will disturb you. Get into good habits and ignore your email inbox.
Pay attention to the volume of conversations
According to the same study, 65% of employees would be disturbed by loud conversations. To avoid distractions, you can invite employees who are too happy or chatty to continue the conversation elsewhere. You’re not the only one who might be bothered by this, especially if you’ve opted for a Open space. If two people are wasting your entire company’s time, you can quickly see a backlog piling up. Do not hesitate to create pleasant spaces so that those who need to rest can do so without disturbing others.
Opt for remote work
If you or your colleagues have trouble concentrating at work, maybe you should also think about it remote work. The result of the study is quite astounding as it shows a 20% reduction in text messages, a 21% reduction in face-to-face meetings and even a 35% reduction in non-professional contacts with colleagues. It seems that in the end, sometimes it’s better to work from home to avoid the personal stuff. Do not forget to create ideal working conditions and limit access to your worst enemy: television or even not opening an episode of your favorite series to relax, and this would lead to another.
To avoid distractions, the famous to-do list remains a MUST. It allows you to have precise schedules for completing tasks (although you shouldn’t hesitate to add extra periods). You will be able to alternate between periods of high concentration and periods of relaxation. It’s not about staying focused all day: it’s simply not possible, and even if you don’t feel it, your productivity will decrease throughout the day.
Opt for helmets
If your space remains noisy and it distracts you, it is common in some professions to use headphones that isolate you from the sound, such as journalists. You will no longer be disturbed by ringing phones and other elements that can affect your concentration. Feel free to ask your various colleagues if they would like one. Maybe you have more than one who just expected it from you.
Beware of collaboration tools
While they help convey information well, they can also quickly become a source of wasted time and distraction as everyone gets the message. It’s about increasing productivity, not the other way around. Avoid wasting time by not multiplying tools that will distract you a little more.