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6 Ways to Reduce Distractions at Work

Renee Culver Mar 28, 2013 (updated Mar 21, 2014)
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Time flies when you're distracted!
Time flies when you
Even the most productive worker has to battle work-day distractions, but for people who have ADHD, those minutes lost to non work-related tasks can add up to hours wasted. If you find that you're ending each work day with a longer "to-do" list than you started with, you may need help cutting out distractions.
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Turn off alerts
Turn off alerts
E-mail is a tool that can improve communication, but it can also woo you away from more important tasks. Turning off the sound on your computer or even turning off your email client for certain parts of the day can help keep you from constantly checking your inbox.
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Set a timer for distractions
Set a timer for distractions
Most people set aside certain hours to work, but if your day already has more distraction than productivity, you may need to be strict about timing your distractions. Try giving yourself ten-minute periods every hour for the activities that usually take up most of your time. If you can't read your favorite blog, chat on the phone, or play an online game during that time, then it has to wait until you get home.
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Be anti-social
Be anti-social
Social networking is a tool, but it often uses us instead of the other way around. Unless you use it exclusively for business purposes, make the use of Facebook, Twitter and other sites something you do only on your off-work time or during your prescribed "distraction" periods.
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Schedule a meeting of one
Schedule a meeting of one
Big projects that require a lot of thought can be hard to handle if your co-workers are often dropping by to talk. See if you can schedule a small conference room, or tell your boss you'll be shutting your door for a few hours in order to have distraction-free time.
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Get face-to-face
Get face-to-face
Instead of sending e-mails, consider taking a walk around the building and catching co-workers in their offices in order to get your questions answered. It's good to move away from your desk a few times a day, and it'll help you avoid sending and receiving a flurry of unnecessary e-mail.
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Pick three
Pick three
Most uf us have more things to complete than time to complete them, which is why it's important to identify your most important tasks. Take a few minutes first thing every morning and prioritize your work schedule. Identify your three most important tasks, and try to get those done first. Then, no matter how distracted you get, you'll feel better knowing you also accomplished some important items.