11 Major Productivity Disruptions and How to Overcome Them

What is the biggest distraction you face on a daily basis and how can you avoid or overcome it so you can stay productive?

Colleagues in the workplace

These answers are provided by the Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invitation-only organization made up of the world’s most successful young entrepreneurs. YEC members represent nearly every industry, generate billions of dollars in revenue annually and have created tens of thousands of jobs. More information at yec.co.

1. Fear and anxiety

When you worry about something, it really distracts you. If something is clearly bothering me, I will do so if I can move it to my immediate tasks. If that doesn’t work, I take a notebook and write down what exactly is bothering me, what my action plan is and what the possible solutions are. This way I can write down my concerns and form a plan. This keeps me out of the way and helps me concentrate.

– Jason Khoo, Zupo

2. The telephone

My phone is without a doubt my biggest distraction. Every time I hear or feel it go off, I instinctively take it out of my pocket. I was able to solve this problem by putting my phone on silent at the start of the day and locking it on my desk. It may sound extreme, but this method has boosted my productivity and allows me to stay focused all day long.

– Chris Christoff, MonsterInsights

3. Secondary tasks

Secondary tasks are a distraction. I used to be busy with activities until the day was over, but I always seemed to be catching up. Then I discovered that I wasn’t consistently doing the three most important activities in my business. So now I start my day by listing five important things I need to accomplish and start with the three most important of the five. I am much more productive as a result.

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– Samuel Thimothy, OneIMS

Using social media at work

4. Our instant society

The biggest distraction is the ‘instant society’ we live in. We are expected to be quickly and easily available via social media, text messages, instant chat apps, etc., leaving no time for deep work. It’s crucial that you carve out plenty of work time, and creating a system to let your coworkers know when you’re busy is essential. Create your own work boundaries for focus.

– Erin Blaskie, Fellow.app

5. TikTok and Instagram

Tiktok and Instagram are my biggest distractions. With all these amazing content creators and entertaining viral videos, I just can’t stop watching! I maintain my productivity by simply setting time blocks. For example, I specifically set aside 30 minutes to post my own content. Then I set aside another 15 minutes to engage with my audience again. Finally, another 15 minutes are available to consume other creators’ content.

– Fritz Colcol, ABN Circle

6. Multitasking

As an entrepreneur and business leader, I am pulled in several directions at once every day. This means I’m often juggling multiple tasks at once, which leads to my worst “distraction”: multitasking. To combat this, I block out work times in my calendar and focus only on those specific things (e.g. meetings, work, phone calls, emails, training, lunch, etc.).

– Thomas Griffin, OptinMonster

7. Emails

Emails are the biggest distraction there is. It can seem like there are so many important blog posts to read, offers to take advantage of, or events to attend. It is very important to have a strict window for checking emails and not to open your email app outside of that time. A “quick check” can turn into an adventure down the rabbit hole. Instead, focus on your actual tasks and save your emails for later.

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– Syed Balkhi, WPBeginner

8. Work chat channels

I found myself getting distracted by our work chat channel several times a day. Several times a day I am asked to comment on a statement or question. I had to free up part of my day to respond to people on our Slack channel. Going back and forth every time someone tagged me in a question or comment made me struggle to get things done.

– John Brackett, Smash Balloon LLC

Worker wearing headphones and accessing audio content

9. Background noise

Background noise can be a productivity killer for me. It can affect my focus and concentration. If I can’t get away from the source of the noise, I try putting on noise-cancelling headphones or earbuds, or sometimes I turn on a noise generator app for some pink or brown noise, which helps me focus on the task at hand .

– Josh Kohlbach, Wholesale Suite

10. Hunger and thirst

Being hungry or thirsty is a distraction for me. Preparing my daily meals takes a lot of time. Whether I order food or make it myself, preparing food causes me to feel stuck and affects my productivity. That’s why I prepare the meals a day in advance and make sure I have enough food for the next day. I also leave water cups around my house or office to remind myself to hydrate and avoid feeling thirsty all the time.

– Daisy Jing, Banish

11. Household chores

It’s hard to ignore everything that needs to be done around the house when you work from home. Maybe it’s a leaky pipe or walking the dogs, but these things take up time that could be spent working. I think it’s important to remember that those tasks are just as important as your work tasks. If you view them with equal importance, it will be easier to balance the two and stay productive.

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– Jared Atchison, WPForms

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