Are You Spending Too Much Time Focused On Your Co-Workers?

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A workplace, much like any social setting, is a place full of distractions. Never mind the appeal of the Internet and its continual siren song emanating from your desk top thanks to the wonders of high speed connections. One of the biggest distractions you can encounter at your place of work is your fellow employees. It’s a given that you’re eyes are going to be drawn to someone making noise over at their desk or getting up to go somewhere. However, these simple distractions can add up to some significant cuts in your productivity.

In small doses, these distractions may not seem like much. For instance, say you want to get up and just chat with a friendly co-worker for a few minutes about last night’s episode of whatever. The trip to the break room may seem inconsequential but then start factoring in all the other times you drop what you’re doing to chit chat or grab a sip from the water fountain.

If it sounds nitpicky to you it’s supposed to. These little distractions are harmless. However, to your employer they are far worse than just minor detours. They are serious time sinks that draw your attention away from the task at hand, getting down to business.

So, what can be done in a situation like this to keep you on the straight and narrow that lets you stay in the good graces of your boss? The best way is to remove all sorts of social distractions from your mind. It can be hard if you’re used to chatting with your buddy from the cubicle located kitty-corner from you, but it’s something you need to give a try.

The best approach is to save up everything you need to say for lunch breaks and other designated break times. Afraid you’ll forget something? Write it down. Need a reminder not to get up from your desk for a pointless lap around the office? Put a rubber band around your wrist and snap it every time you get up from your desk. It sounds draconian but it actually works to keep you on track.

Ultimately, you’re going to have to separate your personal friendships at work from your responsibilities as an employee. A boss isn’t going to hound you continuously, unless you really got stuck with a tool. However, he or she is going to notice if you spend more time getting coffee or hanging at the water cooler than you should be. Pretend your job depends on you staying on task. It might actually be the thing that lets you keep your job during layoffs.

Any trouble staying focused or on task? Too distracted by co-workers? Sound off in the comment section.

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