4 Distractions That Waste Employees’ Time and How to Overcome Them


Distractions are a bane to productivity. Even the smallest things such as checking your email can cause you to take longer to finish a task while decreasing the quality of your work.


If you haven’t already addressed this issue, get to it. Otherwise, the tension may spill over and affect your relationships with your manager and colleagues. Not sure where to start? Here are four common distractions at work and how to snuff them out.


  1. Hyper-Connectivity


The always-online culture has its benefits, but helping your productivity isn’t on that list. Instead, it creates pressure to keep checking in for the latest news and posts throughout the day, which disrupts everything from your time management to personal relationships.


This isn’t an easy habit to break. Start by checking how much time you spend on your most-used apps and set a goal to reduce that number. When you need to focus on a task, don’t hesitate to disconnect entirely. Taking a break does wonders for both your task management and overall well-being.


  1. Background Noise


Our work environment plays a key part in our productivity. For example, did you know that high noise levels can affect your job performance? Common sources of noise include phones ringing, machines running, doors opening and closing, people talking, and more.


If you’re finding it hard to get used to background noise, consider soundproofing your workplace. Alternatively, wear noise-canceling headphones at work to reduce the ambient chatter.


  1. Cluttered Workspace


A cluttered workspace is another low-key productivity killer. Other than siphoning the brainpower you need to focus on your tasks, excess clutter will waste your time by making you look for things you need all the time.


The solution is simple enough: get organized. Get rid of things you don’t need, put your books and notebooks on a shelf, file documents away, and keep the essential items within reach. Consider getting an organization app such as Timeful or Todoist to get your virtual workspace in order as well.


  1. Email Breaks


As mentioned above, checking emails can take up a surprising chunk of your workday. This is the first thing most workers do at the start of their day, and they keep checking it between six and 20 times a day on average. This can feel like work, but more often than not, it only prevents us from getting to more meaningful tasks.


Again, self-discipline is key. Stick to checking your emails twice a day at predetermined times and turn off your email notifications. The only reason to make an exception is if you’re expecting an important email.