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Thanks to technology, employees from all over the world can work together as one business unit. However, the same tech tools that allow for remote work can also serve as a distraction for many. Company chat rooms can become more gossip-filled than productive, smartphone notifications can interrupt meetings and social media can take up huge chunks of work time. To help combat this problem,  we share hacks on how to manage tech distractions in your workplace.

Social media beats work tech distractions

Model good behaviour 

Workers take their cues from their leader. If the leader is multi-tasking and checking email while in meetings, so will the team. If the leader responds to email 24/7, so will the team. The leader should set the tone for a healthy, balanced relationship with technology, so the team embodies the best practice where technology is a tool, not a distraction.

Be clear on why and when to use some technologies during work hours

Technology can be a blessing and a curse. To utilize technology in its best and most useful ways, companies must discern the whys and whens of their use of technology: Why are they using a certain technology, and how often should those technologies be used? When their whys and whens are understood, technology becomes an asset — not a liability.

Be intentional about your time management

Recognise time as the most precious commodity in life, and be intentional with it. Devise a time management approach that ensures the most critical items on your schedule and plan are done first and promptly. Devise a habit-nurturing approach that divides the available time into categories and ensures your focus and emphasis is on the highest value items.

 Don’t allow devices in meetings

People in meetings should be present. Devices are disrespectful and distracting. Standards should be set: no devices in meetings. Set them to silent, remove them from the table or check them somewhere in the room. For those taking notes on a laptop, flatten the screen to break the barrier created when the screen is at 90 degrees. This lets others know you are present and not checking Twitter.

Develop the ability to focus

The average human has an eight-second attention span. You are set up to accept distractions. Deliberately develop your ability to focus like an athlete in training. Define the topic on which you will focus and for how long. Unplug from unworthy distractions, and determine what other distractions warrant your attention.

Disable notifications

Tips for keeping technology from becoming a distraction in the workplace are to turn off pop-ups, turn down the volume, schedule response times and develop a personal emergency notification system. If there is someone who needs your attention right away, ask them to text or call you directly. This approach will allow you to manage technology instead of allowing technology to manage you.

Concentrate on goals and expectations

There have always been distractions, and there will always be distractions. To avoid them, the best approach is to constantly concentrate on goals and expectations. People generally understand their goals, but you have to also constantly communicate what is expected as they strive to achieve those goals. As long as the expectations are being met, then all is good.

By Damilola Faustino

Read also: How To Reduce Your Dependence On Technology

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