We’ve all done it. We have an important task or phone call to complete but get a notification or text. We intend to quickly check our Facebook or Instagram account and get back to work but an hour later we’ve accomplished nothing but a personality quiz and an online debate about the usefulness of Q-tips. It’s easy to be distracted by our phones, computers, televisions, family, friends, coworkers—just about anything.
Three out of four people in the workforce report feeling distracted while at work. A whopping 16 percent say they’re almost always distracted, with Millennials and Gen Z being the most distracted. Some of the problem comes from the places we work with most companies lacking private or quiet work areas for employees. Some come from employees themselves who are guilty of sending constant IMs, using company time to surf social media, or visiting other desks in search of a quick chat. 80 percent of workers cited coworkers and office noise as most distracting; and 60 percent said that an overabundance of meetings were an interruption to their concentration. That’s all before you take into consideration smartphone distractions, relationship distractions, and family struggles that keep us from focusing on the tasks at hand.
All of this distraction can affect a company’s bottom line. A study at UC Irvine reports that when people are distracted, they try to work faster to compensate for the missed time, causing more errors in their work, which costs their workplace money. It also causes more stress and frustration on the employee. This negative effect on our emotions takes a toll on our health. Stress is one of the leading causes of disease and obesity in our nation. Udemy for Business reports that 34 percent of employees dislike their jobs because of the distractions in the workplace, but most report they don’t discuss the problem with their supervisors despite the fact that productivity in the workplace goes up 75 percent when distractions are reduced. Employees report that motivation increases by 57 percent and 49 percent of employees are happier at work when distractions are minimized as much as possible.
There are a few simple tips you can begin try to experience clarity and focus to your life:
We can have clarity and focus if we take a few simple steps to change our lives. Aside from implementing the steps above, increased training in our workplaces to block out distractions and promote focus will help increase productivity and the emotional well-being of employees; because at the end of the day, focused and productive individuals live happier and healthier lives.
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