How to distract workplace distractions

Sandeep Kashyap
4 min readJan 25, 2018

‘Distractions, distractions everywhere. How can I get more work done?’

This seems to be the latest hit in the ‘office-culture’ genre. And it has already become a rage among employees. Distractions are everywhere. From the coffee-machine to smartphones, chatty employees and new open work environments, distractions are around every corner at the workplace.

No matter how zen you are, it’s hard to keep your focus when the workplace is full of distractions. According to a study, one-third American employees are distracted at work for up to three hours a day. This adds up to 60 hours of dawdling a month. Distractions are, indeed, the biggest enemy of employees at the workplace.

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Noisy workplace, social-media surfing, pointless meetings are everyday distractions that cause loss of valuable hours in the workplace. If you tend to fall victims to the on-job-distractions, worry not, here are some insightful tips that can help you combat distractions and focus better on work.

Schedule your day

The first and the most important thing that can help you focus better is to plan your day well in advance. Brian Tracy once said that 1 minute of planning saves 10 minutes in action. It’s true. When you are already prepared for what to do next, the chances of getting distracted are cut down to zero.

Personally, I like to plan my day jotting down all my to-do’s in ProofHub Notes that helps me to stay focused on tasks, whether it’s a meeting, a deadline or reminder to drink water after every hour.

Keep calm and take one thing at a time

The more things we take up, the lesser we accomplish. We all fall prey to the urge to attempt numerous things. What we often forget is that the quickest way to do many things is to do one thing at a time. Rushing into multiple things will do more harm than good.

When we toggle between various tasks all at once, it ruins our productivity and we make more mistakes. Multitasking is a myth and trying to do it only splits our focus.

Use the Pomodoro technique

The Pomodoro technique is a simple practice that can help you cut down distractions, focus better and get things done in short bursts. It works like this, you get a break of 5 minutes after working for 25 minutes with full concentration. Moreover, you don’t have to worry about how boring your work is as you only need to focus for 25 minutes.

The Pomodoro technique is a great way to get through your tasks with frequent breaks. This has proven to be very effective to fight distractions at the workplace.

Learn to say NO to colleagues and friends

If you work in an office, you might have dealt with employees who love to chat every time someone passes by their desk. That 2 minute ‘customary small talk’ often gets extended to 15 minutes or more. The best way to avoid this is to stay away from key areas where he/she lurks around like coffee-machine, printer etc.

And if that co-worker drops by at your desk every now and then you can say something along the lines of, “Sarah, I’d love to chat, but I’m in the middle of something important. Can we catch up later?” Do this a couple of times and Sarah will eventually get the message.

Train your brain to focus

Sometimes, distractions aren’t external. Our monkey mind which loves to jump from one thought to another can be the biggest distraction for us. No matter how much you block external stimuli, your own brain can be your biggest enemy at times.

However, cliche’ it may sound, you can try meditation or other breathing techniques that can help you retain focus longer and better. Always remember, if there is no enemy within, the enemy outside can do us no harm. If you put more effort and commitment, you will be able to maintain your focus and keep distractions out of your life.

It’s strange and interesting how one small distraction has the power to ruin your hours of hard work. A distraction at the wrong time can derail the progress of tasks in hand. So, it is important for us to build an ecosystem that can help to minimize distractions at the workplace. It is impossible to do big things if you are distracted by smaller ones.

Start taking action to minimize distractions as much as you can. Once, you learn how to do it, you will see your productivity reaching new heights. I would love to know your thoughts on this article and how you guys deal with distractions at your workplace.

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Sandeep Kashyap is the Founder of ProofHub — a leading project management and collaboration software. A passionate leader, Sandeep is always on the lookout for innovative ideas about filling the communication gap between groups, teams and companies. He is also a featured writer on LinkedIn and a contributing author at YourStory. You can connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

Also follow our company page @ProofHub to get the recent updates about our tool, published articles, motivational quotes & presentations.


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Sandeep Kashyap

Internet Entrepreneur, CEO of SDP Labs and Founder of ProofHub