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How to stop distractions at work

distractions at work

The working environment is a mix of distractions that may seem professional, but really do get in the way and cause you to lose your working motivation. As a PA some are unavoidable such as talking to your boss, while others are little parts of your day where you should concentrate on your work but instead you end up wasting time. Vincenzo Ferrara, PA Life’s staff writer, reveals how you can avoid some of these distractions.

The standard working office is a haven for procrastinators and those that like to take the long-winded approach to work. On a Monday morning or a Friday afternoon, we understand that you will most likely try and waste as much time as possible doing the smallest of tasks. But when you want to concentrate and get the job done, here are five PA Life tips to make sure you stop getting distracted at work:

Speak to people don’t email
This may seem a bit counterproductive in the grand scheme of things, but when you go and speak to someone instead of emailing them, if they are in the same office as you, you will communicate your ideas a lot quicker and fuller than if you send a chain of emails. 30 seconds of face-to-face speak over an idea equates to roughly four emails, which will take a lot longer than 30 seconds to read, write and respond.

Turn off social media notifications
We spend up to 41 per cent of our time at work checking our personal social media. The main reason for this is because of the constant stream of notifications and pop-ups, making us check who has tagged us in what.

If you really want to get your head down and get the work done, you need to go cold turkey on the social apps.

Over multi-tasking
The old saying ‘Jack of all trades, master of none’ seems relevant in this case. As a PA you will be required to multi-task and perform many different duties at once. However, don’t spread yourself too thin on too many tasks. Most of the time it is better to take each task one at a time and complete them to the best of your ability, rather than distracting yourself over several tasks and only completing each one at a fraction of what you can really do.

42 per cent of employees feel that work meetings take away from their productivity and are basically a huge waste of time. We’ve discussed it before at PA Life; most companies now have too many meetings about meetings to discuss the individual idea or topic that’s at hand. Although having business meetings are inevitable, if you manage to cut down the chit-chat and only arrange meetings when they are absolutely necessary, you’ll find a lot more time in your day.

Coffee breaks, smoking breaks and checking your phone
In the average day, you will have around five trips to get yourself or a colleague a drink; on average smokers take around 40 minutes of their working day outside having a smoke, and you’ll on average check your phone once every ten minutes.

Combined, a lot of this is just a huge waste of time and distracting you from getting your work done. Instead of multiple trips to get a drink and stay hydrated, buy a reusable bottle which can be refilled with water or a hot drink to stop you constantly leaving your desk.

When and where possible, turn your phone notifications off, leave the volume up and put your phone out of site. Out of sight – out of mind, if you cannot see your phone or feel the vibrations, you are a lot less likely to check it. If you leave the volume up, you won’t miss your important calls but won’t be as distracted as you were before.

If you have any other ideas about how to cut out the distractions and stay focused at work, email: