If you are interrupted while working, it takes an average of 23 minutes and 15 seconds to be productive again.
According to a recent study, there are about four interruptions for every hour of work. That's the equivalent of being interrupted every fifteen minutes of work.
Every 15 minutes you work at peak efficiency, you need another 23 minutes and 15 seconds to get back to sub-optimal work.
I don't know your situation, but this equation seems to be working very badly for me. I don't have as much time to be productive again, and I think you're about the same.
The Secret to Continuous Productivity
Let me explain a little bit about what I said above: a recent study aimed to identify the factors that have the greatest impact on the quality of a programmer's work.
What is the end result?
While the study measured a number of metrics including experience, time spent on a single project, and more, the single factor that had the biggest impact on the quality of work was that programmers who were efficient, productive, and get work done well were the ones who eliminated distractions .
Granted, we're not all programmers. But I think this result actually applies to any job that requires high concentration and creativity.
Assessing the damage: calculating the cost of office distractions
Although it's impossible to completely eliminate the distraction, we can find some ways to reduce it to a more reasonable level (without affecting productivity). But first, it's very important that you understand the harm caused by interference.
For the next three days, write a journal of all the distractions (distractors) you encounter every day. Remember, one of the main distractors may be yourself.
After all, how often do you check email, reply to text messages, or browse Facebook midway through a project?
Want to try it?
You need to pay attention to the following information:
Time: Date the disruption occurred?
Disruptor: Who caused this disturbance?
Describe the disturbance event: What were you doing when you were disturbed? What exactly is bothering you?
Time wasted: How much time do you waste when you are distracted? (Remember: this does not include the 23 minutes it takes to regain maximum productivity after a disruption.)
Effectiveness: Is the distraction effective? (After all: not all distractions can be avoided, some are necessary. But in many cases, none of them are necessary.)
Urgency: Even if the distraction is useful, how urgent is it? If it's not urgent, can it wait until after you finish the project?
There are four steps you can take to reduce distractions in your work environment.
Want to know the number one source of distractions at work? Look at yourself in the mirror
Of course, people may be tempted to Latest Mailing Database attribute distraction problems to external causes (perhaps justified), but often the biggest enemy is ourselves. I've touched on some of the root causes of the problem before, but let's take a look at what our own distractions do:
Check the mailbox;
Let colleagues go to the office when they pass by;
Get coffee every fifteen minutes.
If the above phenomenon recurs to you, then I suggest that you find a corresponding solution for your procrastination. Here are some tips that may help you reduce distractions at work:
Don't smell "outside the window" : If you're constantly distracted by email messages, Slack messages, text messages, or social media, turn off push notifications. In fact, most of us don't need to be informed in real-time of all the changes in our lives. The best thing to do is to mute your phone, disconnect your computer from WiFi, and put on a pair of noise-cancelling headphones (at least if you're working on a project that's high in content and prone to distraction).
Focus on the goal : Often, if we have no passion for the project we are working on, then we are prone to distractions. While some projects may not excite you, you need to focus on completing the end goal or what the task will help you achieve in order to find the motivation to complete the project.
Forget about multitasking : Some people like to brag about their ability to multitask, but the truth is... there's no such thing as multitasking. What you're actually doing is switching quickly from one project to another, constantly interfering with your own work, which ultimately affects the final product of both projects.