Did you know that an average employee changes tasks every three minutes?
Worse, it takes up to 30 minutes to resume the original task after switching. Typically, this rapid task change is attributed to something considered “minor distractions.”
What are these little distractions?
Small distractions are a text message, an email, or a chat notification from a coworker, a mention on Twitter, a notification from LinkedIn, a phone call from a friend, a home repair. All of this is maximized when working remotely. There are 3 types of distractions that you must learn to differentiate and handle:
When you are working remotely, part of your family will assume that seeing you at home all day really means that you are available all the time. And this behavior is normal, if you think about it in hindsight, you spend more time at work than with your own family. They may think that it is an extended Sunday.
What can we do about family distractions?
Make an agreement with your family where you specify what your working hours and your rest hours are, because yes, you should take time to rest and take it as seriously as working hours, get away from all the distractions that may appear at home, and if you can’t do it, find a place in your house where you can put up a physical barrier, a place with a door, where you can isolate yourself from distractions and simulate your usual workspace.
If it is your first time working remotely, you are making a transition from supervision to trust, you no longer have your boss watching you all the time and this is a benefit, but also a responsibility, a new level of distractions, there are those who think they can work while they have Netflix on all day, or others cannot be at home without checking their social networks every 5 minutes.
What can we do about personal distractions?
Your team trusts that you continue to do your job as well as if you were in the office, your job now is to keep that confidence intact, there are apps to facilitate this activity, for example, Forest App that helps you stay focused during continuous 25-minute periods, It also blocks other applications and social networks that take away your focus from what you should be doing. There are many applications of this type, but this one, in particular, turns your productivity into reforestation!
In remote work it’s more important than ever to plan the work that you are going to execute, as we said before, this is about trust and to strengthen that trust you will need to justify the things you are working on. But in real life the plans never happen as planned, there are always urgent things that you have to solve before the important ones, the plan is going to break a bit, because of the urgent things that will appear along the way.
What can we do about work distractions?
According to productivity expert David Allen, the best practice is to follow the 2-minute rule, if a task can be done in two minutes or less, it should be done immediately. By following this method, you will prevent your to-do list from quickly filling up with a bunch of small tasks.
What if a small job interruption gets in the way of your planning? just wait until the 25 minutes are up to reply. If it’s urgent, politely ask, “Hey, could you wait a minute? I’m almost done with this, I have a very tight deadline.” People are generally okay with this as long as you don’t keep them waiting.
Learn to differentiate each type of interruption, discover the way that works best for you to solve it, and become a master of productivity, if you do it your family will appreciate it, your leisure time will be rewarded and your team will be satisfied with your work. If you know of another way to deal with these interruptions, let us know in the comments.