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When you sit down to do your work for the day, there are many possible distractions that can keep you from focusing. In the office you may have to deal with cell phones and emails coming in as well as the temptation to spend too much time on social media or entertainment sites.
You also have coworkers that may provide distractions with social conversations. Even when you enjoy chatting, it can slow down productivity. In a home office the distractions can also include distractions from children, pets, and the list of household duties you need to complete.
If you want to get the most out of your work time, it helps to create an environment that’s free from distractions so that you can focus and complete your daily responsibilities. You’ll find that when you limit distractions, you’re more efficient and actually have more free time to enjoy.
Here are a few ways you can remove distractions for a more productive workplace:
Silence Your Cell Phone Ringer. Cell phones have become constant companions for most people. But always being on the alert for a call or text can interrupt your productivity. Depending on what you do, you may not be able to ignore those calls and texts for long.
However, if you can at least limit the number of times you check messages each day, you’ll gain some time to focus on work tasks.
Use A Social Media Blocking App. Social media such as Facebook and Twitter are essential for many businesses. Unfortunately you can get sucked into spending hours of wasted time on these sites if you’re not very careful.
There are several apps such as StayFocused or Mail Timer on Gmail that help limit the amount of time you spend on email and social media. You can decide how much or how little time you want to allow for these activities.
Keep To-Do Lists. If you sometimes feel scattered and torn between personal chores and work projects, it’s a good idea to keep a list. When you’re in the middle of a work project and get struck with an idea for a personal task, you can just add it to the list and go back to work.
This is better than stopping what you’re doing and completely changing gears. When you’re finished with the work task, you can decide when to begin the personal task.
Set Boundaries. One of the hardest things to do is to set boundaries with coworkers, family, and friends who interrupt your work. You may need to have a polite conversation letting people know that you’ve blocked off a specific time for work and that you’ll be happy to talk to them later. Eventually you’ll have fewer distractions from well-meaning people who tend to distract you.