One of the hardest parts of a launcher’s day-to-day work is fighting off distractions. You’re probably mindful of the classic offenders: smartphones, social media, email, etc. But there are plenty of small things that actually steal big amounts of time and focus from you.
Here are ten sneaky things that steal your focus:
Your smartphone isn’t included on this list because we’re all well aware of how distracting it can be. But your smartwatch? Yes, it can be equally distracting. While you might not browse social media or get sucked into BuzzFeed quizzes on your watch, you probably have a habit of glancing down at it more than you realize. Chances are, you look at it in meetings, while talking to others and—the worst offender—while other people are speaking to you.
2. Meeting invites
You’re in the middle of head-down, focused work and a meeting invite rolls in. What’s it for? When is it? Who is invited? Are they providing lunch? Before you know it, you’re completely distracted and derailed from your work.
3. Water or coffee breaks
You deserve to stay as hydrated and caffeinated as your heart desires while at work. But does the short journey to the breakroom have you stopping at people’s desks to say hello or engaging in a breakroom discussion about your fantasy football picks? Don’t get us wrong, we believe in breaks. Breaks are necessary for producing your best work, but excessive breaks can be stealing more time than you’re aware.
There’s so much on our to-do lists that we end up trying to work on everything, while really getting nowhere fast. Pick one task and laser-focus on it instead.
5. Office temperature
Offices have a reputation for always being cold. No matter the season, dress for the temperature of your office. You’re probably more distracted than you think when you have to stop and put on a sweater or take a lap around the office to warm up.
6. Instant messenger
No matter how many distractions you try and eliminate, you can’t control people constantly reaching out to you on your workplace communication system. Don’t be afraid to put yourself in “away” or “do not disturb” mode.
7. A messy desktop
Does your desktop look like someone stuck 100 little postage stamps on your monitor? If your digital files are unorganized, you probably spend more time than you realize looking for things. Unlike organizing an inbox, organizing files actually is a surprisingly quick task. Give yourself the 10-15 minutes to put everything where it needs to be for easy access.
8. Your background music
Studies show that working with music playing can increase productivity, but it really depends on what kind of music. If you find yourself singing along or getting distracted by looking up who the artist is, then it might not be the best playlist for you.
This is for all of our remote workers who set up their laptops in a coffee shop or coworking space. We bet you don’t even think you do this, but we promise that you do. It’s human nature to be interested in the conversations going on around you. If you’re easily distracted, try some headphones and (effective) background music or a white noise app.
10. Not scheduling time for personal work
We all have busy lives outside of our jobs, and sometimes personal tasks slowly (and unintentionally) infiltrate our work life. You know how it goes…midway through finishing a report, you remember that this weekend is your dad’s birthday. Now, the report is in limbo while you scour what gift you can Amazon Prime him in time. Try scheduling 30 minutes each day to just work on personal tasks.
What would you add to the list?