Wolff: Beating distractions to be productive

​“Hey. Psstt … Hey YOU! Come check it out; there’s a funny video of a cat chasing a laser pointer,” said the dreaded internet.

As a society, we have greatly benefited from technological advances, however, the internet and cell phones can also be some of the worst distractions when you are trying to get work done. A study published on Forbes.com in 2015 showed 89 percent of employees claim to waste time at work. Getting distracted at the workplace takes away from the productivity of the employees and the business. Here are a few tips in order to curb time management and be more productive.

First, keep your phone out of sight and out of mind at work. Put it away, leave it in your car, keep it in your purse or briefcase, whatever makes you feel comfortable, but do not have it within reach. It is hard to ignore your phone if it is sitting on your desk, especially if you have messages coming through every five seconds and notifications from your favorite games. It is hard to have willpower. If you were on a strict diet, you wouldn’t dangle a piece of chocolate cake in front of your own face, would you? The same goes for cell phones. Don’t put that temptation right next to you. Everyone can go a few hours without playing on their cellular devices, even millennials who are so addicted to their phones. Use the time you have before and after work, and on any breaks to check your messages and play your games, but keep it hidden while you are on the clock.

Next, the internet. The internet gives us easy access to information and allows us to stay current with everything going on around the world. It is incredibly helpful at work and most jobs don’t go without accessibility to the World Wide Web. The issue with the internet, unlike your cell, it’s not so easy to hide. You need to be able to research and use the internet for work, but the hard part is using it responsibly. For example, if you open Facebook once to “take a look” then it’ll stay open all day and you will constantly re-check it. Don’t log on to your social media accounts, because then you will be sucked in all day and be less productive. If that is too hard to achieve on your own, there are resources to help you stay away. There are dozens of websites that will permanently or temporarily block sites from your computer. Sites like Leechblock, StayFocused, Concentrate, and RescueTime, will allow you to hide certain websites from yourself with ease. Utilize these resources, especially because most of them are free.

By being able to stay off your phone and off unneeded websites at work, you become a more productive employee. You will find yourself creating better work and getting more tasks accomplished if you are able to avoid distractions. We are all human and distractions are natural, so if you somehow find yourself being sucked into the vortex we call the internet, just log off. It takes one click on an “X” button to put yourself back on track!

Emma Wolff

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