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Techniques for Reducing Distractions During Your Workday

September 18, 2021

By Linda Olejniczak, courtesy of SBAM Approved Partner ASE

How do we teach ourselves and our employees to reduce distractions that break their focus and drain their brains?  It’s tough to weed through the distractions of email, unnecessary meetings, and notifications.  Here are some tactics to use to stay focused and be productive.

Determine your most productive time that you can control.  Turn off notifications and distractions during this time. Put your head down and plow through some work uninterrupted.

While we are on the subject…turn off notifications.  This includes your phone and laptop.  Set up times to check your phone but try and reduce the going rate of 85 times a day – the average number of times that most people check their phone.

Reject the “always connected” mentality.  Instead use the 7-to-7 rule.  Create times when you are not connected, for example, before 7am and after 7pm.

Unplug. Try and step away from distractions to plan your day, a critical meeting, or conversation.  Take a moment to focus on the priority at hand.

Write each single task on a post-it-note.  When you finish the task, throw away the note. By the end of the day your trash can will show you how well you have focused for that day.  If it makes more sense to you, start with writing down the three most important tasks that need to be accomplished by the end of the day, week, etc. Find a method that works for you.

Write down the length of time you need to complete your tasks or can dedicate to them on that day. This will help you create time management skills and complete your work more efficiently.

Communicate more effectively by simplifying the message.  When writing a communication, focus on the single most important thing that you want the recipient to know.

Check emails every hour or three hours instead of every 15 minutes.

Engage in wellness activates that improve focus and productivity:

  • Meditation
  • Yoga
  • Walks
  • Create a quiet environment
  • Get a good night’s sleep
  • Stay hydrated

Distractions can be overwhelming.  These tactics will help you re-focus, stay focused, and boost your productivity.

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