How to stay focused at work even though the world is distracting distraction
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How to stay focused at work even though the world is distracting

6 Jul 2018

The world can pull your attention in a lot of different directions, and that can make it difficult to get things done. How do you avoid distraction?

There are so many different forms of distraction that people have to contend with. The internet and social media, for example, can both have an irresistible pull that can enable disastrous levels of procrastination.

Good spells of weather that are more common in summer can also fan the flames in the pre-existing urge within all of us to be out in nature, as opposed to at our desk, often leaving us preoccupied with a yearning to be anywhere other than in front of a screen.

Even our work itself can make it difficult to focus. There’s a constant backbeat of email alerts and Slack notifications that will pull your focus away from what you’re doing (rest assured, it is pulling your focus – multitasking is a bit of a myth, and something that HuffPost founder Arianna Huffington argues should instead be called “task switching”).

It is said that as many as 2.1 hours per day are lost in the office due to distraction. On average, people can only go 11 minutes before getting distracted mid-task and it takes 25 minutes after distraction to return to a task.

So, what can be done? Well, for one, organising your desk could be a big help. Hours upon hours of the working week are lost searching for information buried somewhere under old takeout boxes and printed-off emails.

Methods such as the Pomodoro technique – which advocates that you work in short bursts followed by a break, and rinse and repeat the cycle throughout the day – can help because they allow you to work in a way that doesn’t necessitate a near-impossible constant stream of focus.

Taking some time out to give your inbox a (likely much-needed) declutter can also help you scrape back time you previously spent sifting around your pile of digital missives for the one salient piece of information.

For more tips on how to focus at work in a distracting world, check out the infographic below, brought to you by On Stride.


Infographic: On Stride

Eva Short
By Eva Short

Eva Short was a journalist at Silicon Republic, specialising in the areas of tech, data privacy, business, cybersecurity, AI, automation and future of work, among others.

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