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There is a battle brewing in your office for employee attention. The enemy – distraction.


Our workplaces are a littered land mine of distractions. It’s a wonder anyone can survive. Between open concept offices to technological interruptions, employees fight for their ability to pay attention, avoid distractions and say ‘no’ to demands for their attention. They feel overwhelmed, overstressed and overtired, spending countless energy being busy (we know that busy isn’t necessarily productive).


The stress distractions create challenges employee attention, having long-term consequences to the individual’s productivity and health as well as the company’s bottom line. Click To Tweet


So how do wage war on workplace distraction?


Consider the following aspects to determine where distractions can be destroyed – once and for all.


1. Office Structure: If you’ve hopped on the bandwagon of open-office workspaces. It’s time to consider a change. If that’s not feasible, allow employees to improvise by occasionally working from home or remote locations that will permit them quiet time to focus. Still not an option? Consider permitting noise-cancelling headphones for staff in high traffic areas.


2. Do Not Disturb: Utilize apps and technology to defeat technology disruptions. See my previous post for ideas to use on your own devices.


3. Prioritize: Leaders and employees should frequently review department and business priorities. Each time someone requests of your time to accomplish their needs, simply use those priorities as a filter to determine whether the extra work is necessary or can wait for another time.


4. Closed-Door Policy: Even if you don’t actually have a door, schedule time on your calendar each day to accomplish tasks and projects. Turn off your email and phone. Hang a sign on your door telling others to “Come back later – brilliance is brewing.”


5. Clear the Clutter: Use the last 15 minutes of each workweek to tidy up, clear the clutter and prepare for a successful week. A clear space makes a clear mind and prevents distractions throughout the week.


6. Promote Breaks: Encourage employees to take periodic breaks from their work. Discourage them from eating at their desks as well. Promote taking time off for vacation, rest and recovery.


7. Maximize Your Best Time of Day: Everyone has a time of day they focus and concentrate best. Consider loading your toughest, most creative-thinking tasks during that time frame. Mine is early day, so I don’t schedule meetings during that time. When is yours?


8. 80/20 Rule: Stop trying to be perfect. Our attention is challenged, stress is increased and anxiety skyrockets when we are aiming for perfection. Let it go!


Need more ideas to maximize your focus and defeat workplace distractions? Check out my other blogs at or contact us here. We can help you make the most of each workday by paying attention to what matters most.

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