In her newest blog, “Focus Your Attention: Reduce Distractions,”
“Take steps to ease external distractions like people chatting in the hallway, interruptions from co-workers, or traffic past your office or cubicle,” Stack says. “If nothing else, you can close your door (assuming you have one), take your laptop into an empty conference room, or establish signals to let your co-workers know when you’d prefer they not disturb you.”
Distractions can be as varied as individuals whose productivity is affected by them. Through we rely on them, constant electronic distractions – email, social networking sites, texting – can interfere with our focus and derail our goals if we’re not careful.
Allowing phone calls to roll over to voicemail, as well as turning off cell phones, email, and instant message notifications, are all necessary steps to successfully taking control of the big picture and accomplishing the tasks that must get done.
Sometimes, the worst distractions are internal and harder to turn off at will. Internal distractions represent some of the greatest obstacles to productivity. Learning to set aside the internal noise that distracts from accomplishing immediate tasks can be the most challenging part of mastering productivity skills, but it can be done.
“We don’t intend to waste time but inevitably do it with gossiping, socializing, procrastinating, and constantly checking email,” Stack says. “Ironically, some of the worst internal distractions come from efforts to ‘increase’
“Perfectionism, for example, often backfires, because trying to predict everything that could possibly go wrong means you never get started—and when you do get to work, you have a hard time letting go.’
Few internal distractions hurt productivity as much as multitasking, according to Stack. Trying to do too much at once divides attention, and one task actually gets in the way of the next. It’s easy to lose track when switching between tasks too often.
Single-tasking works better, according to Stack. Instead of juggling several tasks, she encourages readers to focus on one task at a time until a natural stopping point is reached, or the task is completed.
For more information, visit TheProductivityPro.com website, Email Laura@TheProductivityPro.com, or call 303-471-7401.
About Laura Stack:
Laura Stack is a time management and productivity expert who has been speaking and writing about human potential and peak performance since 1992. She has implemented employee productivity improvement programs at Wal-Mart, Cisco Systems, UBS, Aramark, and Bank of America. Stack presents keynotes and seminars internationally for leaders, entrepreneurs, salespeople, and professional services firms on improving output, lowering stress, and saving time in the workplace.
The president of The Productivity Pro®, Inc., a time management firm specializing in high-stress environments, Stack is the bestselling author of five books: “What to do When There’s Too Much to do” (2012); “SuperCompetent”