Digital Distractions : Defeat them before getting Defeated

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?

Yes.

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.

Conclusion 

“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.

 

3 Path Breaking Steps to Create an Invincible Workforce

Just like any other HR professional or Business leader, I conduct Google search on the following questions frequently.

How do we achieve optimal Organisational performance through employees? What can we do to retain our best employees and help them get even better? How do we help employees cope up stress and prevent burn-out?

Measure performance periodically. Give regular feedback. Engage Employees. Provide State of the Art facilities. Reward high performance. Conduct events. Conduct Team Building Activities.

These are the most frequently given answers to these questions. These measures have been in fashion for the last few generations and applied by almost all Organisations. Well, have we reached peak performance levels from Employees? Is the potential of human body and brain being realised fully?

The answer is NO.

While these answers are not completely wrong, they have helped Organisations go only so far. These measures have been applied by a majority of Organisations and have been effective in shaping employee behaviours at a surface level. What then do we do to go beyond just scratching the surface?

Following are a few measures that Organisations can put in place to tap the Potential of their employees to the maximum extent.

Create FLOW: Several studies have established that FLOW is a state in which Human Beings deliver peak performance. The greatest achievements in Sports, Literature, Science, Art and every other field that we can think of have been results of this experience that specific individuals or teams have created or experienced.

Why not bring this to work? Experts and Experiments proved that FLOW can be created by creating conducive conditions in the Person, the Work and the Workplace. It is up to Business Leaders and HR Leaders to familiarise themselves with FLOW, educate their employees and then go for it all out. The results are not incremental but exponential improvement.

FLOW is an immersive and exciting experience during which individuals forget time and space. They have their creative juices flowing and the results that are achieved while one experiences FLOW are astonishing.  The icing on the cake is, working in the state of FLOW enhances instead of diminishing energy. There are experts and Organisations that can help in creating FLOW. Seek help.

Create Authentic Happiness: Business Leaders and their Management Gurus so far have been scratching on the surface and employing borderline manipulative techniques to involve Employees in business and ‘Engage’ them through various management programs. While these are moderately helpful, they have been making more money and creating business opportunities to the so-called Gurus rather than their clients.

Look beyond these run-of-the-mill programs for real transformational concepts. Help employees look at work and Life from holistic perspective. Put your heart into helping them build authentic happiness by training them on the latest life hacks. Teach them to build authentic relationships at work rather than teaching them just interpersonal skills. Teach them to look at work from a life mission perspective rather than as a survival tool. Conduct programs to help them look at life from a prism of happiness rather than mere day-to-day material gains.

Guess what, you do not need to work in helping employees cope up with stress and burn-out. It gets taken care of automatically.

Create a culture of Total Well-being: Nothing effects human behaviour like culture. Use the power of culture to create an Organisation of absolutely super-healthy employees. While keeping healthy is predominantly an individual’s responsibility, Organisations that help their employees keep themselves healthy are reaping better benefits. Conservative estimates peg the ROI on employee health investments at USD 1.5 per every dollar spent. If Organisations can go beyond half-hearted measures and create a compelling program and show enough persistence, it can make a lot of difference.

After all, an enthusiastic employee enjoying good health when put in FLOW state, can do wonders for himself/herself and the Organisation as well. And why would such an employee ever want to quit your Organisation.

These steps enrich their lives and your Organisation equally through building lasting employee happiness. The mantra is Think New. Think Break-Through. Think Authentic Employee Happiness.