Have you ever started working on a task and just after a few minutes you started going through the notifications on your phone?
Or you were sitting at the dinner table with your family but you were busy thinking about what notifications would have popped up in your phone or how many people would have seen the Instagram story you posted an hour back?
If you have faced anything like this, you’re part of a secret club known as Endless Distractions. (Don’t worry, you aren’t alone there)
It’s the same case with your everyday routine at work.
According to a survey by Udemy, 3 in 4 people feel that they’re distracted when they’re on the job, with 16% going on to state that they almost always feel distracted.
Is there a solution to this pandemic of distraction?
Thankfully, there are four such solutions, straight from the brilliant mind of Robin Sharma, the bestselling author of The 5 AM Club: Own Your Morning, Elevate Your Life.
Let’s have a look at them.
Build a tight bubble of total focus – Enable FLOW
The ding of a new email. The constant chatter of your co-workers. The buzz of your Instagram notification. The meeting you don’t even know why you have to attend.
All this takes away those few and precious productivity hours at work.
According to a report titled “Digital distraction and workplace safety”, employees spend about 2.5 hours daily accessing digital content that is not related to their profession.
But that itself is just half of the problem.
The other is that after being distracted, it takes almost 25 minutes to get back on track.
So each time your employees use their phones, they are leaving attention residue on their phones.
A part of them is still thinking about the rollercoaster ride they saw on an Instagram post and how fun it’d be to experience that on their vacation.
This makes it even harder to focus on the actual work and get into the optimal performance zone called ‘FLOW’
What can you do to change this?
- Encourage them to leave their phones in their drawer. Set an example by doing so yourself. Educate them on why it is so important.
- Fix an hour or two every day in the morning when employees can work in total focus and get into the flow. No using phones, no meetings, no co-worker chats. Just give them this time to themselves and see for yourself the rise in productivity.
- Try to minimize work mails. Have a strict policy not to send work emails in the morning so that the few productive hours in the morning are actually spent doing real work.
No phone conversations
How would you feel if you are out on lunch with your friend and for the entire time, he is busy on his phone, scrolling and texting and what not?
You’d feel disrespected, right?
The most valuable thing you can give to another person, be it your colleague or manager, is your undivided attention.
So as an entrepreneur show that to your employees. When you’re in a meeting with them, put your phone on silent. If you get a call, pick up that call and tell them that you’d call them back later. Let your employees know that you value their time.
Encourage the ‘no phone conversations’ culture by educating your employees about it.
This not only makes everyone in the workplace a better person but also teaches them how to live in the moment, how to be present where they are.
This automatically leads to increased focus at work.
Construct your own Menlo park
We have all heard of Thomas Edison and how good he was at invention. By the time of his death, he had to his name about 1093 patents.
What was the secret behind all these inventions?
The two-word secret was – Menlo park.
It was a laboratory situated on the top of a hill. Edison and his team would go there and spend weeks and weeks working on things without any kind of distraction. Sometimes, they would even work round the clock because they were so immersed in their work.
While the goal is not to work 24*7, the goal is to create the same kind of environment like the one Edison found in Menlo park and as a result increase focus and productivity.
There are several ways to do this:
- Allow employees uninterrupted work hours. Let them have do-not-disturb placards available so they can put that up on their desk as a sign that they’re working on something important.
- Have a clean office and desk. Don’t let papers pile away. If your work desk looks like a storm has struck it, you’ll feel the same way.
- If possible, allot a work-from-home day for those employees that feel productive working from home. Schedule these days in such a way that there is always someone from the team in the office who can handle everything.
Join the 5 am club
Waking up early has a lot of advantages from procrastinating less, staying healthy, increasing happiness to having greater chances of success.
There are many reasons why.
When you learn to fight your excuses first thing in the morning by not snoozing off the alarm because ‘you slept late yesterday’ or ‘you have a stressful day today’, you start on a high note.
You take control of things rather than letting them control you. This helps cultivate a winner’s mindset.
Not only that, you have more uninterrupted/quiet time in the morning to get work done. Add doing a workout, eating a healthy breakfast and meditating and you’re really setting up your life, not just your day to achieve great things.
You can turn this to your advantage by having a yoga session for your employees early in the morning or coming up with innovative ideas like Zumba workouts. This will not only help them wake up early but it will get them to bond with each other as well and increase employee happiness.
The people who join such sessions can then act as an example for the rest of your workforce. Give them a month and then let them write these experiences and the change they are seeing in themselves on a piece of paper. Stick them on the workplace happiness bulletin board and let inspiration seep into your workplace.
“The successful warrior is the average man, with laser-like focus.” – Bruce Lee
The greatest leaders of the world, the most successful companies of the world and the strongest warriors of the world face the same distractions we do.
They weren’t born with an innate ability to ignore these distractions.
They cultivated it and it might have taken them months to do so but when they did, they turned on the superpower of achievement, greatness and a sense of doing something meaningful.
It is time for you to unlock that superpower with these four simple tips.