Distractions in the workplace are something virtually everybody deals with. It’s, unfortunately, more appealing at the moment to let your mind wander than it is to zone in on a new task. Luckily, we have some tips on working past those distractions to add productivity to your workday.


Pretty obviously, our phones act as a distraction not only in our personal life but in our work life too. It can easily become a habit to check a text or two and before you know you are blindly reaching for your device multiple times throughout the day. Embarrassment quickly takes over when your manager walks around the corner and you’re drooling over your phone. So how do you break the habit? Fortunately for them, our bosses do not pay us to sit on our phones. Therefore, it really should not play a part in your workday whatsoever. Your phone should be on silent, kept safely in your bag where it cannot serve as such a distraction. If you find yourself having downtime, try asking your boss for a project. This will give you something else to focus on which ultimately also makes the day go by faster.


Yes, even your cool apple watch serves as a distraction during your workday, arguably more than your phone. The reason is, it’s strapped to your body. For the same reason, it’s hard to resist that piece of chocolate cake when you are on a diet, it’s hard to resist looking at your apple watch after every alert. It’s human nature to want to satisfy all texts and calls that come your way, but with advanced technology comes advanced responsibility which includes limiting access when necessary. Particularly when you are on the clock. If you find yourself easily distracted by your apple watch, try removing it from your body before entering your workplace. If you need to wear a watch, try replacing it with a digital watch while you’re at work. Some workplaces are even adapting to a no apple watch policy in their handbooks, so be sure to look that over thoroughly.


I’ll bet one or two people came to mind right off the bat. Some people are what we call, “social butterflies,” and they may have a tough time disabling that feature during the 9-5. A passing conversation here and there is more than acceptable, but when it goes beyond the 5-minute marker it teeters on the line of being too much. If you find your desk directly next to that person, maybe ask if you could change your location. Or simply don’t engage in the conversation. Try to remain focused on the task you have at hand, and they may politely take the hint that you are diligently working. It may also remind them to do the same.


That’s right, I said meetings. Like all good stories, there are two sides, and in this case, the employees are not entirely to blame. Have you ever heard the joke, “75% of meetings could be satisfied with an email?” Yeah, it’s not a joke. Studies show that on average employees lose about 31 hours per month in meetings. Meetings are extremely helpful within reason. You may want to monitor if there are certain employees who are in meetings who ultimately do not need to be there as I can imagine their productivity rapidly decreases when they’re not able to do their actual work.


Again, when you find yourself having downtime at work it is easy to let your mind wander and do some internet browsing. If you find yourself in this situation, get up from your desk, walk to the printer, grab a water, and regroup yourself. Sometimes taking a step away will give you the fresh perspective you need to jump on another task. You could also try reprioritizing your day. If you’re anything like us, you have an idea of what each day in your week will look like before it happens. Meaning you know you will spend “x” amount of time doing task A, “y” amount of time doing task B, and so on. Rule of thumb, spend 30 minutes on a task, and if you find yourself making zero progress, and sort of blindly staring at your screen, move on and come back to it later. Sometimes a change of pace can help kickstart your brain.

There are several other distractions that may arise throughout your workday, but these are the ones we come across most commonly (sometimes ourselves). Try to be diligent in recognizing when you may be forming bad habits and make the small changes necessary to fix them! If you find yourself completely uninterested in your job, it may be time for a change in which case we are here to help. Give us a call at (518) 275-4816 where we are happy to help find your perfect fit!