Limiting distractions and increasing productivity in the workplace

Tips from successful individuals in co-working spaces

Written by Eden Baniel

2 years ago

When you work within a co-working space, where several people come together to work in the same area, you may be concerned about getting distracted by the business around you. Thankfully, the upside of co-working spaces is that they are filled with individuals who are motivated, productive, and innovative – not the type of people to distract or to become easily distracted. There are many things that these successful and motivated individuals do to limit distractions and increase their productivity. Here are their tips for you:

1. Write things down

This most likely has already happened to you before – you listen to a set of instructions, or you come up with an idea, and you rely on your verbal memory to assist you in following through. Then, the idea that was perfectly crystallized a minute ago starts to slip away – and now it’s nothing but a string of words in random order floating around in your mind. This is one of the most common ways of losing productivity within the office. Many have learned from experiences like these that they must write things down as soon as they hear or think of them. By keeping a small notebook handy or perhaps a document on your computer, you can stay focused on your task by storing it within an organized space.

2. Prioritize

When you’re overwhelmed with tasks coming from each direction, it’s important to make the priority of each task clear so you can complete them in a timely order. It’s easy to feel like you’re drowning in work when you have a million things to do and you’re not even sure where to begin. CEOs and top-ranked businessman can tell you that one of the most important things they’ve learned is prioritizing their tasks. Only once it becomes clear which task or project needs to be completed first can one go about actually completing them. In a co-working space, several individuals or teams can come together to work on specific tasks. Making the priority of tasks clear from the beginning is the best way to keep the focus and productivity rolling.

3. Collaborate

In co-working spaces, collaboration is not only common but encouraged. Utilizing certain group dynamics, expanding the range of thought-creation, and making connections is essential to productivity. While working on a project alone, it may be that at some point or another you simply hit a wall. Whether you’ve exhausted all the creative outlets in front of you, or you’ve become distracted by something else, you may find yourself beginning to lose steam. This is what makes collaboration so effective. Using multiple creative minds to come up with ideas and expand your range of thought can allow you to reach further and delve even deeper into your task. Furthermore, collaborating with your co-workers can keep you both energized and driven. If you begin to lose steam, your co-workers will be there to push you forward, keeping the conversation alive and the energy flowing. Therefore, having motivated and inspiring individuals around will keep you both focused and productive.

4. Put the phone away

One of the biggest distracting factors in the workplace is the cellphone. In this technologically-driven century, our phones start to feel like an extra limb – something we can’t live without. But, often, when we’re trying to be productive, the constant buzzes and rings that notify us of something that is going on outside of our workspace can keep us perpetually distracted. It’s important that we know when to say enough is enough. Experts from our co-working space indicate that one of the best ways to stay productive within work while still connected to the outside world is to set certain limitations. For instance, allow yourself one hour of complete and total productivity where your phone is away, followed by five minutes in which you can check your phone, return any texts or calls that are urgent, and then continue on with your work. Another option is to keep your phone on Do Not Disturb mode – so that any text messages or notifications coming through will be kept at bay. By setting certain limitations, you can ensure that distractions are minimal. Remember: work comes first.

5. Get your beauty sleep

Rest, rest, rest! All work and no sleep can make for an irritable, and easily distracted employee. Getting eight hours of sleep per night is crucial to a productive workday. The downsides to sleep deprivation are plentiful. Lack of sleep can impair attention, alertness, concentration, reasoning, and problems solving. If that wasn’t enough, not getting enough sleep can lead to memory problems. Certain sleep cycles play a role in consolidating memories. Without these, you may be less efficient the next day at work, forgetting tasks or other important information. In order to stay both alert and productive for a full work day, make sure you get enough sleep the night before.

6. Focus on the present

Every now and then, you may notice your mind start to wander. Whether you’re thinking about something that happened yesterday or what you’re going to eat for dinner later, try and steer your mind back to the here-and-now each time you notice yourself slip. Though it may be hard, it’s important to consciously steer your thoughts back to your present awareness because only there can you be your most efficient self. Thankfully, if your co-workers see you staring off into the distance mindlessly, they can snap you out of it. Sometimes all we need is another person to remind us to focus on what is right in front of us – all the rest can wait.

7. Mind your own space

Although co-working environments encourage collaboration and togetherness, they also give each individual their own space, where everyone can be their best and most productive selves. Minding your own space is as simple as making sure the area around you is conducive to productivity. If you’re the kind of person that can’t work in a cluttered area, then keep your space organized. If you’re the kind of person who can’t sit in one place for too long, then make your space a mobile one. Don’t be afraid to move to some of the shared spaces or free rooms until you find the spot you feel most comfortable in for the time being. Reflect on what makes you work best, and then create the space that will help you get there.

Your work is what you make of it. All the things that are needed to limit the distractions around you and allow you to work more productively are within your control. In a co-working space, you have all the tools needed to be efficient, all you need to do is try.



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