While there are a lot of things that contribute to productivity problems in the workplace, interruptions are by far the biggest issue. Statistics show that most American workers deal with up to fifty different interruptions over the course of their work day. It’s estimated that up to 70% of those same disturbances actually don’t have anything to do with work. That said, it only stands to reason that by reducing the number of distractions you deal with while you’re at the office, you can instantly become a much more productive person. Start with these tips!
Lay down the law with other people.
It doesn’t matter if you work in a traditional office or work for yourself at home. The lay of the land is the same. Other people are always around and are some of the biggest culprits when it comes to wasting your time and interrupting you when you’re trying to get things done. Co-workers want to shoot the breeze and waste time talking about the latest episode of True Blood. Family members and even children tend to call or otherwise interrupt because they need or want something.
Become more productive by letting other people know you mean business when it comes to getting things done and becoming more productive. If you have a deadline to meet, say so. If need be, ask to be left alone to work during certain hours so that you can do the things you need to do.
Use technology to build a bubble.
Most modern professionals have an entire arsenal of tools at their disposal when it comes to reclaiming their personal space. Start looking for ways to use yours to minimize distractions and interruptions. Consider creating an auto-responder for your e-mail that tells people you’re currently unavailable. Set your instant message status to “away”. If you like, create a custom status that explains you’re working on something important and tells people when you’ll be available to chat again.
You might also consider setting aside specific blocks of time each day during which you accept business calls or make yourself available for meetings in the first place. Use integrated calendars to block out patches of time during which you’re unavailable and then use that time to work on important projects or other things that call for quiet productive time.
Unplug altogether, if possible.
If you’re in a line of work that makes it possible to unplug yourself from the web at large during your work time, then you might want to consider doing so. You’re far less likely to be distracted by your personal e-mail, your Facebook feed, or your Twitter friends if you aren’t constantly receiving notifications that you’ll naturally want to check out. Unplug the internet altogether if you can. At the very least, turn notifications off when it comes to personal accounts.
Consider turning your SmartPhone off as well or at least setting it to silent. If you like, you can schedule specific time milestones at which you’re “allowed” to briefly check your messages. At the end of the day, being more productive really is about making a few small changes like these. Try it for yourself today!
About the Author: Johnny Flewellen is an active Investor who believes in letting his money work harder for him than he does for it.