Yes, read the title again. It is that simple. And no, we are not talking about your parent calling you for dinner or something like that, but FIRSTLY – Your Notifications! Notifications are a serious problem, and the relentless barrage of emails and instant messages is a massive productivity killer that many teams struggle to solve.

The solution is simple: switch off alerts during work hours and use availability statuses in tools like Slack or Status Hero to let everyone know who is available and prevent interruptions.

But let’s go step by step…

It is:

  • Social media
  • Your Colleagues
  • Your Thoughts

Stop With The Social Media Chaos

First of all – social media addiction is a real thing but try snoozing your notifications at least 2 hours per day for starters (if you are addicted). If not, make sure you hit the do not disturb button for the time of your active worksprint.

You won’t be able to get distracted by any social networking sites you have open on your desktop computer until you close them. When it’s time to enter the Zoom meeting, all social or other non-study related media should be turned off, and your sole focus should be on your team or work.

It’s all too easy to unlock your smartphone and start scrolling through social media applications when you’re not literally sitting in front of your colleagues in a meeting. It might be difficult to turn off alerts for all of your applications, so how about restricting your phone usage?

Many applications exist that can help you restrict and track your smartphone use.

Giving yourself permission to use social media may seem counterintuitive, but it’s actually a great way to maintain discipline. Use a calendar or planner to schedule a period during the day that you will allow yourself to go on social media, as well as how long you will allow yourself to do so. This is a trial and error method, so choose the times that work best for you – as long as they don’t conflict with your work!

Your Colleagues Should Know When Not to Talk to You

Use Chat more than personal communication. If someone wants to interrupt you, don’t abandon what you’re doing.

Don’t let them derail your train of thought because you’re the master of your own time. Try to keep driving, no matter how difficult it is. Imply that people will stand by your desk for as long as you need to finish what you’re working on. Your body language will cause them to reconsider the significance of the disruption, and they will learn not to disturb you in the future. Encourage them to get straight to the point, and if possible, schedule a time for you and them to talk about it.

If they ask you to finish a piece of work, tell them to put it on a to-do list for you and that you’ll get to it once you’ve completed this one. When they keep interrupting your job, it’s time to take command and outline the discussion from the beginning. You’ll be able to assign the time you’ve set aside for the interruption this way. If they go past that, they would be aware that they are interfering with your work time.

If that doesn’t work and the disruption has thrown you off, take a few moments to jot down a few key points you’ll need to cover when you return to your work, so you’ll know what to do next when you get back in the zone.

man and woman sitting at the table and talking while looking at a laptop
source: StartupStockPhotos

Limiting the reasons for workplace interruptions will help to foster a safe and efficient work environment.

Allowing your coworkers to know what you’re working on and that you’d like some time to complete it can only be beneficial to everyone. It could also inspire others to be more careful of their precious work time.

A conversation or a company-wide letter will accomplish this, ensuring that everyone is aware of what is needed in the most respectful of words. There’s no way they didn’t get the message!

It’s worth the interruption if it’s just a quick piece of information about the project you’re working on. When working, a vital piece of information may be beneficial to your mission.

Make it a rule in your office to rate communication;

An interruption is necessary if the situation is critical.
If it’s something that needs to be done tomorrow or later in the week, add it to your to-do list or send it as a chat.
If they’re starting a conversation about last night’s game, tell them it can wait until lunch.

Your Thought Are Slowing You Down

While everyone overthinks situations every now and then, some people are constantly bombarded with thoughts. All day, every day, chronic overthinkers rehash conversations from the day before, second-guess every decision they make, and foresee catastrophic outcomes.

Overthinkers conjure up disastrous images as well as words when they think too hard about something. Their minds play out like a movie, with them imagining their car skidding off the road or replaying traumatic experiences over and over.

You can’t get anything done if you think too hard. It also has a negative impact on your mood.

Overthinking can become so ingrained in you that you don’t even realize you’re doing it. Begin to pay attention to how you think in order to become conscious of the problem.

Recognize that replaying experiences in your mind or stressing about something you can’t change isn’t effective. Only when one’s thoughts contribute to constructive action is one’s thinking useful.

Everyone has problems, don’t dwell on them!

It’s not helpful to dwell on your problems; instead, it’s beneficial to search for solutions. Think if you can avoid the problem if it’s something you have any power over, or set a challenge for yourself to come up with five possible solutions if it’s something you have no control over.

Consider the tactics you should use to deal with something you have no control over, such as a natural disaster. Concentrate on the aspects you have power over, such as your attitude and effort.