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3 Ways to Reclaim Productivity and Rebound from Work Distractions


Forty-five percent of employees are interrupted at work every 15 minutes. Over half report that they waste over an hour each workday on distractions. The modern workplace is riddled with distractions and interruptions, whether they be the chimes of text messages and emails, coworkers stopping in to share jokes or ask questions, or the latest tweet that requires an immediate response. How can workers reclaim their office time?

  • Carve out work periods. Julie Morgenstern, the author of “Never Check E-mail in the Morning,” swears by what she calls a “no-interruption” policy. She believes that instituting such a policy can cause a ripple effect within the office, inspiring everyone to follow suit. “Everyone is dealing with the same problem,” she told the Chicago Tribune. “You could ostensibly have a department meeting, a team meeting, a meeting with your boss and talk about how you need to balance responsiveness with individual work streams. Say, ‘Can we agree that generally speaking the mornings are for uninterrupted work, unless it’s a real emergency?'”
  • Retreat to a quiet zone. Offices are increasingly creating quiet zones — areas in the office dedicated to hard work. These spots help coworkers subtly send a message that they’re doing important work and can’t be interrupted.
  • Disable digital notifications. Sometimes we enable our own distraction by riddling our workspace with distracting digital notifications. Turn off these chimes, beeps, Growl pop-ups and emails from social media sites to help you stay focused.

What strategies do you use to rebound from work distractions?

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(Photo credit: Bark/Flickr)

Marissa Brassfield
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