.  Distractions don’t just take away the time that you spend on them.  They also take the time necessary to get back into the swing of work and rob you of your concentration and momentum.


If you work in an office and you find the hubbub of the workplace distracting, take whatever steps are possible to remove yourself from it.  Wear earbuds and listen to pleasant music that doesn’t take any concentration.  Maybe white noise, such as a tape of an ocean tide or birds singing, would do the trick for you.  See if you can leave your desk for periods of time to work in an alternative workspace in order to separate yourself from people needing your attention.  The alternative workspace could be a conference room in your office, a coffee shop around the corner, or some other suitable place.


The phone and e-mail can be very disruptive.  In many jobs, you don’t have a choice.  You have to answer them immediately.  But if you can turn the phone off and log off of your e-mail client for portions of the day, do so!


Avoid multi-tasking.  Many people do it, thinking they get more done that way.  It isn’t true.  Multi-tasking interrupts your thinking and increases the likelihood that you will make mistakes.  The best way to be productive is to focus on one thing at a time.


Create checklists for projects that you need to take care of periodically.  Checklists are essential to ensure that you don’t overlook anything when you handle a project.  Having to go back and re-do something that wasn’t done at the right time can be very distracting.  More than that, though, a checklist gives you a document that you can review to see where improvements to your work flow can be made.  By streamlining routine work, you can become more productive and reduce the likelihood of making mistakes.



Tame Your Distractions


One of the most crucial practices you need to adopt in order to be as productive as possible is to tame your distractions.  In addition to distractions that arise from the workplace, there are distractions that you bring with you.  If you are someone with a busy life, you may find that your mind races with things to remember to do at home.  If that is the case, simply jot them down to get them off your mind.  Then you can get back to work.


If you don’t eat right, drink enough water, or sleep enough, you can get foggy-brained.  That’s a completely avoidable drain on your productivity.  So take care of your basic physical needs to keep your productivity up.


Distractions can have a substantial negative impact on your productivity.  Depending on your workplace and type of work, some of them may be unavoidable.  But your efforts to control the controllable distractions will help you increase your productivity.