Stop the Distractions in their Tracks

Stop the Distractions in their Tracks

Were you in the middle of something as you started to read this? Are we the cause of your distraction? The average workplace is filled with distractions. Everyone is sidetracked from time to time, so try some of these tricks to stay on track.  

Smartphones – It’s so tempting to check your smartphone during your shift. Whether it be a phone call,  text message or even social media, when you see or hear that notification, you immediately feel the need to reply or react. If you miss a call, you’ll probably be distracted thinking about who’s call you’ve missed, and what they were trying to tell you. Say you give in and answer a text, congratulations you are now pinging responses back and forth. Either way by the time you look up you realize that could you’ve wasted a lot of time.

Avoid smartphone distractions before they happen, consider turning your device off or on ‘do not disturb’ while you’re at work. You could also pop it in a desk drawer, or your bag where you will be less inclined to check it as often as you would with it in reach.

Emails – When you have email notifications on, you feel compelled to check your inbox immediately after that little notification pops up at the bottom of your screen, it doesn’t really matter that you are in the middle of something else. The answer to your problem may be to go to your email settings and switch off push notifications or alert sounds. This will free you up to only check your inbox when you are available to read emails without being distracted while working on something more important.

Gossip – It’s can be hard to not get sucked into the latest gossip, especially when the sound of any type of non-work related conversation sounds so appealing. However, workplace gossip can be detrimental to not only your work productivity but it’s horrible for your work environment as well. Leave the gossiping outside of work. If Chatty Cathy keeps pulling you back in be direct and honest with a statement like, “I’m really trying to avoid conversations like this, do you mind if we change the subject?”

Social Networks – In this day and age we are all connected to at least one type of social media profile. Whether it’s Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or LinkedIn these platforms can be super distracting for various reasons. Social media has become a place where you can get sucked in for hours, wasting indefinite amounts of time while seeking an escape from daily life.

Avoid the urge to check your social accounts by keeping your phone off or out of arm’s reach. You can also invest in website blockers for your laptop and desktop to help you block any tempting websites or social networks that you know will distract you.

Noise – For me, this is the kicker! An open office design has its pros & cons. One of its downfalls is that the noise created in your workspace whether it’s the sound of the printer, coworkers talking about a project or someone eating a crunchy snack, will undoubtedly distract you.

To avoid being distracted by noises I wear headphones while I work, preferably noise-canceling.  Whether you play music or not, wearing headphones or just earplugs can help you focus & remain on task.

Multitasking – We all think we can multitask …  But can you really? Don’t lie! You know that you routinely check email while talking to a coworker, or order lunch while still in a meeting, or even listen to a podcast while researching a client. We’ve all tried to make it work and most of us have probably failed.

The truth is, our brains aren’t really made for multitasking. You can avoid wasting time by sticking to one thing at a time. When you have completed a task, then you can move on to the next. Don’t allow yourself to multitask because ultimately you’ll end up with less done in the long run.

Hunger – How many times have you sat at your desk, stomach growling, counting down the minutes until your lunch break? You may not realize it but hunger is a huge distraction to your work and can really impact your efficiency.

Eliminate workplace hunger & increase productivity by storing a couple snacks at your desk. Plus, you’ll end up saving time since you aren’t leaving your desk in search of snacks throughout the day. Also, remember to eat a healthy and nutritious breakfast in the morning, to hold you over until lunch.

Congrats! Reading this article just distracted you for a while … but it wasn’t completely counterproductive! At least you picked up a few tips on how to eliminate distractions in the future.

Career Personnel is a recruiting and staffing agency located in Longview focusing on full-time employment for industrial, clerical, oilfield service and CDL drivers.  Keep up with Career Personnel online at, and make sure to check us out on FacebookTwitter, and LinkedIn.


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