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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How To Keep Your Cool When It Hits The Fan

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When times are good, people tend to behave better. Not to make sweeping generalizations but the better off the circumstances someone is in, as in things are easy going and life is on the up and up, the better they act. We’re nicer, friendlier and more apt to work harder. However, once trouble rears its ugly head, these niceties tend to fly out the window in a scramble to stay on top. Call it the Lord of the
Flies
syndrome but humans tend to tear each other apart during stressful situations. How can you keep your cool at work when things start to go against you?

First and foremost, try and distance yourself from the problem. Identify what you’re up against. Is a particular client or customer giving you a hard time? Try and understand why. Depending on where you work this may be easier said than done. If you are face to face with a person it’s a bit harder to keep your cool compared to the safe distance of email where you can gather your thoughts. Understanding their actions is better than reacting to them since it lets you strike at the root of the problem rather than the symptoms.

Is a co-worker giving you crap about this or that, making snide comments or complaining about you behind your back? Don’t let the problem simmer in the back of your mind, eating away at you and causing undue stress. Confront the individual about their actions. Try and have some other employees present who can back you up if a supervisor needs to get involved.

Are layoffs looming on the horizon and making you go nuts with worry? Step back for a minute and evaluate your performance. If you’ve been following along with this website you should be in good shape. However, the key is to maintain distance between the problems of the workplace and your own personal life. Don’t let the bad vibes of work disrupt your patterns.

The reason behind all of these suggestions is that stress happens in the workplace. It’s unavoidable. Dealing with the stress, handling it and moving past it allows you to function better as a worker. In time, demonstrating an ability to step back from a problem and to objectively deal with it will pay off. Your boss will notice. Hopefully. Your co-workers will likely hone in on your positive energy. First and foremost, however, you’ll be able to save your sanity when things get rough at work. Shrug it off and don’t sweat the small stuff.

How are things for you down at the office? Can you keep cool under pressure? Leave a comment below.

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