Work Distractions That Affect Your Productivity

| 3 min read
work distractions

Your level of productivity at work can be determined by the kind of distractions you have and how you respond to them. A distraction is anything that takes you away from what you are supposed to be doing. These things can be external or internal influences that impact your ability to attain your deliverables and set targets.

Most times, we don’t even take note of these little things. Imagine working on a task and right in the middle of that task, you receive an invitation to an e-meeting. You can either accept it and it disrupts the task you were working on or you can reschedule. Which would you choose? Let us see what these work distractions are and how you can manage them.


A blessing, as well as a curse – Smartphones being non-existent in our daily lives, would impact us negatively in several ways. The blessings they come with also can mean you are less productive and a general way to manage this is to shut off your notifications, ignore the lights when they flash because the truth is that these messages can always wait.

You can also research apps that block social media from your device during your work hours and stick to using them only during breaks. This takes a lot of discipline but you can do it.


Fatigue would leave you unfocused, tired and sleepy, which renders you unable to perform at your best. This arises from working overtime, keeping late nights, sleeping less or other activities that lead to overstretching yourself physically and mentally.

Endeavour to rest, sleep, exercise and reduce your overtime at work. Research shows that employees who work over 55 hours per week have their productivity diminish in the long run.


Noise as a workplace distraction might be within the confines of your office or remote work location. You can mentally block off the noise but it is more efficient to listen to non-lyrical music. You can listen to white noise or classical piano compositions; they have a calming effect and can help you focus better.

Clutter and Multitasking

Having your office space cluttered can be distracting and also brands you as a disorganised person. Be keen on keeping an arranged desk and office space, focus your energy on tasks according to how they have been prioritised and avoid multitasking.

Being involved in too many tasks at the same time usually leads to a situation where you might not complete any of the tasks you originally set out to accomplish.

Meetings Are Work Distractions

Have you ever been invited for a meeting and you left it wondering, isn’t this decision something that your team could have arrived at via an email? Yes, they are important obligations but most times, you can politely decline attending or asking they be moved to another time if the impact on your productivity negatively.

Don’t attend meetings just for the sake of it. If they do not fit into your schedule, politely ask for them to be rescheduled.

Office Chit-Chat

Those little conversations with your coworkers, when not controlled, can affect you negatively. Keep your office chit-chat low. These could also come from in-office communication apps like Hangouts, Slack and Skype to name a few.

Final Thoughts on Work Distractions

How work distractions affect you will largely depend on how you manage yourself. There will always be distractions but you can perform at an optimal level where your tasks and career don’t suffer for it.

What work distractions currently affect you and how do you handle them?

Princewill Akuma
Princewill is a marketing maven, who is passionate about user-centric marketing. His experience spans Tech service, Recruitment, Media and Entertainment sectors across Nigeria, Kenya, Ghana and Tanzania. He's a career adviser, mentor, hobbyist DJ and a lover of cardio exercise with a personal record of 23.49 km. Let's connect, i'll love to hear from you.