How to Deal with Distractions at Work?
If you find it hard to go on with your work in the office because of so many distractions that come your way, do not lose hope. The best advice to follow is not to totally avoid the distractions because that is next to impossible but to deal with them with iron willpower. For some, avoiding distractions may work.
Distractions at work are a part of a worker’s life and he should learn to accept that. He should develop the right skills of how to successfully deal with distractions like adaptability, flexibility and the ability to adjust in any given situation for his own good or he can go insane everyday of his life. There are a lot of distractions from every corner wherever he might be doing his work. In an office environment, these are the primary nuisances:
• Poor lighting – office space has no windows, the worker suffers from glares on his computer monitor and absence of natural lighting
• Poor ventilation – worker can smell smoke coming from cigarettes or chemical fumes that can be dangerous to ones health
• Poor office space layout – the inconvenience of reaching out for supplies and having a very cluttered workspace
• Crowded workspace – this is also a case of poor office layout where people are so close to each other that there is no more space for movements and the privacy of each one suffers
• Noise – if all of the above mentioned are a carbon copy of what your office environment is like then be prepared for a lot of unnecessary noises from phones, printers, scanners, photocopiers and over-the-desk, non-stop chatting of other workers
The same is true if you are a freelancer and striking to earn a living without leaving the premises of your comfort zone – your home. The nuisances can be a combination of these:
• Loved ones such as children, spouses, relatives or even
• Household chores
• Internet, television and PlayStation
Whether you are working in an office or at home does not really matter but how you manage and come-up with effective strategies to best deal with the distractions is the way to go to be successful in your work endeavors. Here are some effective lists of to-dos for office workers and freelancers.
I. Office setting
• Make an inventory of all the noises around you and list down possible solutions to eliminate the distractions. This may include moving all the noisy machines near your desk, constructing physical barriers such as insulation covers and implementing rules on how to keep the noise low. The key to this arrangement is to notify the right person and offer the solutions you think might help.
• If you experience poor ventilation, again the right way to do it is inform the person in charge but never do it without doing your homework. Ask around or conduct a survey of the staff with regards to how they feel about smoking and try to craft rules that would benefit most of the staff like a “no smoking policy.”
• Arrange your office workspace in such a way that you do not block traffic in your area but establish partitions to reduce people hanging out on your desk while working and importantly put the supplies you frequently needed near you so that you do not have to stand up to get them.
• To resolve poor lighting, it is best to notify the right person and ask if they can install fluorescents in your workspace. It may cost a little but good lighting heightens morale and productivity that it outweighs the costs of additional lights installed.
• For long term benefits, request for some assertiveness training from your HR or training department. In this way you will be trained how to identify your needs and provide alternative solutions to help improve your workspace.
• Have your breaks. Most workers neglect their break times and often continue working while eating at the same time on their desk. Take time to stand up, do some exercises, and eat some fruits and drink water to relieve your tensions and avoid irritation in the little nuisances that still may come your way.
II. Work-at-home setting
• Run. If you cannot ignore the distractions at home, the best way to do is to run away from them and find your working spot in a public library, coffee shop or a partner’s house. These are good alternatives because of the coziness of the spaces and hi-speed internet connection you will get from these spots.
• Hide. In the case of not wanting to leave home because most of the things you need are there, why not establish an office space at your house like in a spare room, part of your garage, laundry area or a big closet anywhere that you think is free from distractions.
• Fight. This is something very hard to do with all the nuisances in your house. But if you implement rules and regulations for your loved ones this can smoothen the process of your work. Try to be as professional as you can be within your house during your work time so that they get the signal.
Like stress and other work-related traps, distractions are much a part of a working environment whether the set-up is in an office or at home. The ability to deal with them and work with your situation as a worker will test your stamina and determination to continue what you do best. Your adaptability, adjustability and flexibility will help you survive and shine in your work field.