Eliminate distractions and be more productive!

  • May 13, 2020
  • by Ola Rybacka
  • No comments

Let’s play a game – do you remember the last time you were entirely focused on your responsibilities for a longer time? I wouldn’t be surprised if you didn’t, cause I’m also not good at it. Luckily, we’re not the only people who have to deal with this kind of difficulties, because a study shows that the brain is getting distracted every 11-12 minutes. What a relief knowing that as human beings, we aren’t designed for staying focused all the time, doesn’t it? Unfortunately, this approach is a trap, because nothing should legitimize our laziness, especially when it comes to being distracted at work. And we all know how hard is to eliminate distractions at all…

Eliminate distractions and be more productive!

What distracts us the most?

When it comes to the most popular distractions, the first place goes to smartphones, of course. Just because they’re handy and usually online all the time, they’re tempting us, lying on the desk. Not to mention the preinstalled social media apps we’re logged in to, sending us the notifications every update or each time someone messages us. According to the research conducted by the global tech care company Asurion, Americans check their phones on average 96 times a day – sounds quite shocking, doesn’t it?

PS. Want to know how much time you usually spend on your phone? Install TimeCamp for iOS/Android and get the answer! 

But let’s continue!

The second place goes to meetings! For many of us, it isn’t unexpected, although there are also some fans of office chit-chats. But let’s face it, even if they mean to be the deep work-related conversations, they usually end talking about nothing. Of course, it’s really hard dealing with our assignments all the 8-hour workday, but once the meeting starts, it often turns into a neverending story, especially when the discussion strays from the main subject. However, enjoying coffee in a good company is desirable for a healthy team atmosphere, but when it lengthens till the lunch break, we should call it a slack. 

The last place on the podium goes to multitasking. Many said much about it, mostly in a negative manner.  Owns its lousy name of productivity destroyer because we’re used to thinking we can deal with many responsibilities at once and still keep a high-efficiency level.  Hearing “Yeah, Mrs. Smith does her job so well, she usually does three things at once, and she’s still successful” sounds appealing, but nobody knows how much self-denial it requires to finish the work and deliver the highest results. Instead of focusing on one responsibility, we used to think that doing multiple things at once saves us time. Again, our brains are not capable of splitting attention. The false assumption often generates the avalanche of mistakes that require even more time to fix them. 

Unfortunately, it’s not the end of the list

To distinguish the other distractions that affect our focus badly are: messy desk, disorganized to-do list, and… our teammates. The first two are understandable – only a little bit of clutter can encourage our minds to be more creative, the more cluttered our environment is, the less focused we are. But the third one? Surprisingly, as I mentioned in the “meetings” section, there’s a thin line between a deep work-related conversation and tittle-tattle. Once they keep asking you for help or explanation, you’re getting distracted, and it’s tough to get back on the course. 

To sum it all up, these are the worst distractions:

  • smartphones and social media, 
  • meetings, 
  • multitasking, 
  • clutter, 
  • disorganized to-do list, 
  • teammates.

Still, sounds not-so-bad? But imagine you would regain the time lost on these unproductive activities.

When it comes to money, precisely speaking, to the expenses, the loss is almost instantly noticeable, so we immediately start looking for the cause to eliminate it. But when the precious hours are gone, it’s much harder to notice it, unless the to-dos are piling up and you don’t know what to start with. That results in being distracted all the time; frustration grows and becomes almost tangible. Trust me; nobody likes this feeling. 

Luckily, we know how to fix it painlessly! 

How can TimeCamp help you eliminate distractors and time stealers?

As a time tracker, TimeCamp is also considered as productivity software. It tracks your computer activities and time spent on working on them and then turns it into clear, comprehensive reports that provide valuable data for your improvement. It just helps you draw conclusions when you’re distracted the most and what causes this state. 

Be aware of how do you spend time online

TimeCamp’s desktop app works in the background, so you won’t even notice the small widget in the right corner of your desktop (if you work on Windows) or on the menu bar (if you’re a Mac user). It also launches automatically when the computer starts and stops tracking time once you shut it down. Simple as that and one distraction less! 

Well,  it can be a trap – once it works in the background, it’s easy to forget about it and start browsing websites or using apps that are not work-related. Being aware it works makes you more focused on your assignments because you know it tracks all your computer activities. What is more, knowing that somebody else can your reports warns you before accessing, e.g., your social media accounts. 

Hint: If you’re in a massive need for staying online, just schedule the breaks (a reasonable number, of course!) and then check your smartphone. Until these times, just lay the phone somewhere behind the eyesight (in the drawer or the pocket, but at first, mute the notifications or just turn the wifi/data transfer off). 

Categorize which activities you consider as distractions, neutral or productive

The Computer Time Dashboard in TimeCamp provides useful data for how we perform every day. Besides the summary, top activities, and project view, it also has the Top Categories section. Digging more into the Computer Time section in the menu bar above, you can access the “Categories” view, where you can change their level. There are three levels to choose from: productive, distracting, or neutral. Just select the proper one, and from a drop-down list, select the value of productivity.

Analyze your results from time to time and try to eliminate those activities that distract you the most

Accessing the data and just staring at them is only half of the success. The second, maybe even more important is to analyze what the reports say, acknowledge the results, and draw conclusions for what needs to be done to improve the effectiveness. Knowing how much time you waste every day and even more – finding out what are the causes of that waste will help you eliminate the distractions and become more productive. But remember, don’t push yourself to change the habits immediately – better do it step by step, slowly, achieving the next levels of staying focused and getting things done. Haste makes waste! 

But to not be groundless, let us show you the numbers!

Using TimeCamp at work helps you save 30 minutes each day. And it’s proven!

Some time ago we carried out the research on how tracking time for work-related activities can affect the productivity of our employees. The results were quite impressive because it helped them save more than half an hour per day. Sure, for some it can be only 30 minutes, but forasmuch as most of us dream about adding extra hours to the day, it’s satisfying. Time spent on production, using office tools, and other productive activities increased by 11-36%, while unproductive activities decreased by 79% (25 minutes less!). As you can see, tracking time just makes us more focused on what we’re working on and helps us eliminate distractions because we know the app works so that our performance must be on the highest level.

PS. Do you know any other ways on how to eliminate distractions? Share them in the comments section!


We’d be more than happy if you were interested in giving TimeCamp a try! Book a demo with our expert or simply test it out by yourself – sign up for a free 14-day trial here!

 

Ola Rybacka

Social Media Manager at TimeCamp, copywriter, content designer. Loves books and jazz/rock/celtic music. Ph.D. and speech therapy student. Find her on Twitter: @Pidzuchna

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *