Why don’t we get things done? The number one cause of losing focus is being influenced by distractions. We are often distracted by personal issues or circumstances. A sick child, an argument with a spouse, planning an exciting holiday, organising a party. But the major culprit is office distractions.
Friend or foe? Yes, technology has assisted us in many ways to be more productive and effective in business, but smart phones, social media and the internet are named as the number one culprit in office distractions. We need to become far more disciplined with the time spent engaging with technology to ensure that productivity doesn’t suffer.
Linked to technology, emails are also cited as a major distraction in the workplace. Before you get to work, you have your little list of things to do and goals for the day. You start your day by checking and responding to emails, then get stuck into your first task for the day… only to get a response to the email you sent, or a notification of a new email in your inbox… and so you leave your task and respond to the email. Sound familiar? We keep taking ourselves out of the “zone” when we become slaves to emails.
It’s a known fact… there is no such thing as multitasking. When you multitask, you sabotage yourself to do a bad job of more than one thing. Multitasking is the result of giving in to distractions… if you are entirely focused on the job at hand, you will complete it sooner than if you try and do more than one thing at a time.
Corridor chats, gossip and colleagues popping in to catch up are high on the list of office distractions. It’s great to develop relationships, friendships and rapport with co-workers, but don’t allow chit chat to distract you from your responsibilities. Try to have regular breaks at the same time. Agree to meet at lunch for a catch up… schedule social time at the office into your diaries.
Big Shiny Objects
Many business owners and entrepreneurs are big picture visionaries. They are great at thinking about what’s possible, constantly moving the goal posts and thinking of the next best thing. All too often, these big shiny objects cause you to lose focus on the day to day goals, targets and objectives. It’s a fine art to strike the correct balance between focusing on the here and now, and thinking about the future.
Putting out fires
Productivity grinds to a halt when you are forced to deal with problems. Unhappy customers, doing the same job twice instead of doing it right the first time, dealing with office politics and disgruntled employees all distract you from positive, proactive tasks that get you closer to your targets and goals. Limit the number of fires you fight by putting in systems and processes and resolve them as quickly as possible, so you don’t fall behind on the tasks that matter.
Being aware of office distractions is the first step towards managing them.
If you are easily distracted, I can help you focus on growing your business and your profit. Contact me for a complimentary coaching session… but do it now… before you get distracted!