Succeeding in the workplace, regardless if it is a small home office or a corner office in a skyscraper, requires being able to overcome certain challenges that can trip up even the most seasoned entrepreneur. Here are six of the most common distractions you will encounter and how they can be avoided with relative ease.
The Cluttered Inbox
There are few things more time consuming than an overflowing inbox. It can be a true time suck sorting through everything, especially if you are expecting an important message and it gets lost in the digital tidal wave. Here are a few productivity hacks you can do to make keeping your inbox nice and tidy.
- Separate Personal and Business Email Accounts
- Start New Accounts to Minimize Spam
- Designate Types of Correspondence for Instant Messaging or Social Media
- Institute “White Lists” for Important Recipients
Chit-Chat without Purpose
We all have that one coworker that never seems to shut up (I’ve been guilty of this). Thanks to modern technology it is more difficult than ever to escape the inane babbling. Here are some ways you can excuse yourself from the small talk and concentrate on becoming a success.
- Set “No Chit Chat” Hours
- Ask that Non-Business Communication be Restricted to Social Media
- Ask to Have New Working Spaces Assigned
- Consult with Management if it Impacts Performance
- Ask for Privacy and Ignore Invitations to Chat
- Wear Earphones Whenever Possible
Loud Computers and Televisions
What helps one group of people concentrate ruins the productivity of another group. Many people find having music or television programs on in the background helps focus the mind, though if this is an issue there are some solutions.
- Wear Noise Cancelling Headphones
- Request Noise Creators Switch to Headphones
- Ask to Work from Home
- Move Workspace Somewhere Quieter (if Possible)
A particular concern if you work from home, children can pose a considerable impediment upon getting your work done. Here are some ways you can mitigate the risk your offspring present to getting your work done before the deadline.
- Hire a Babysitter
- Use a Designated “Kid Free” Work Space or Room
- Plan Meetings While Children are Away
- Schedule Normal Working Hours to Separate “Home Work” and “Home Life”
Too Many Meetings
Keeping everyone on the same page is essential for productivity, though too many meetings only serve to take away time from busy employees. Here are some ways you can eliminate this strain on your productivity without losing the benefits a well timed meeting provides.
- Use Project Management Software to Keep Track of Progress
- Leverage Chat Rooms for Team Communications
- Segregate Teams to Task Oriented Groups and Address Accordingly
- Limit Meetings to Task Changes or Productivity Issues
Too Many Office Visitors!
A workplace is meant to focus on creating products or services that earn the company money. Having non-essential visitors can negatively impact your ability to tackle your to-do list. Here are some ways you can minimize the risk that visitors pose to your business flow.
- Restrict Access to Visitor Areas
- Require Visitors to Have Management Approval
- Limit Number of Visitors Per Employee Per Week
- Limit Hours Employees Can Have Visitors
Now, visitors go beyond friends and family. Delivery people, lawyers, and total strangers that needs to talk with the employee all can be expected to drop by sooner or later. Just make certain that there are strong expectations for minimizing the number of visitors and hope for the best. Talk to management or human resources if a particular employee always brings people in, since they are distracting you from achieving the goals of your business.
These are just a few of the ways you can improve your workplace productivity.