Sometimes, you just get distracted. You’ve tried everything, but you’re still surfing the web instead of getting next quarter’s projections under control. You’ve tried installing extensions to block social websites, time blocking, but whatever you do, you’re still not getting anything done.
When conventional techniques fail, it’s time to try unconventional options. They just might give you what you need to kick start your concentration. Here are five alternative techniques to break the cycle of distraction in the workplace.
Stop Trying to Control the Uncontrollable! – Ever tried hard to control something? The more you try, the less it works. A big cause of stress is trying to control things that you can’t. Are you using distractions to avoid dealing with stress? Try and practice letting go. It might be just what you need to get back to work.
Take Breaks Throughout The Day – When you’re distracted it might not feel right to take a break, after all you need to make up for the work you’ve been avoiding. According to a Baylor University study, 95 employees who work primarily on computers documented their breaks. Researchers found that whenever they stepped away from the screen, the reported less emotional exhaustion and increased job satisfaction.
Be Distracted – Seems counterintuitive, but enhanced creativity often comes when we’re distracted. Being creative can help you to focus and get excited about what you’re doing. If you suspect distraction is holding you back, not fighting it can sometimes break down the wall!
Understand Your Triggers – If you don’t know the root cause of your distractions, you might want to look inside and try to understand your triggers. Next time you’re wasting time online, stop and think about what you’re hiding from. Only when you understand why, can you address the problem.
Engage in Craft-Adjacent Play – Sometimes starting the day with mental calisthenics before jumping into the fray can help. Aaron Britt, Content Brand Manager at Herman Miller does 20 minutes of anagrams with his team as a warm-up each morning. This purposeful play uses the same mental skills and resources his team uses in their work.
Next time you find yourself distracted at work and conventional techniques just don’t work, try these alternative options. They just might be what you need to get back to work!