Don’t Get Worked by Distractions, Work With Them

Sep 23, 2014

The hum-drum of an office environment exhausts even the most creative souls. The daily grind can leave your team (and you) feeling lethargic and, even worse, distracted.

Even the most progressive companies struggle with employee engagement. Employee engagement is identified as an issue even progressive companies struggle with. Distracted and uninterested employees make sloppy, inefficient strategic planning teams and work environments.

But here’s some food for thought: why not harness distractions and use them to your benefit? Why not let your team schedule time for their heads to wander into the clouds?

Generally speaking, we encourage management teams to eliminate distractions in the planning process. But, it’s unrealistic to expect your team to stay 110% focused in all day-to-day operations. We’re people. People get distracted by shiny things. Do we need to chase every single shiny thing you see? No. But planning time to chase the shiny things you see can benefit your team.

Some of the best creatives find great ideas when they aren’t actually working on a project or task, but rather during the movement of their day. Zeroing in on a task eliminates most of the inputs around you. While good for “getting things done,” it narrows your perspective and thought process, removing the potential to see a new idea from what is around you.

Here are four ways to plan your distractions:

  1. Go for a walk – Going for a walk gets your body moving and can help alleviate stress. Especially if you spend long period of time sitting, a walk can help keep you on task.
  2. Plan time to let your mind wander – Set aside 5-10 minutes to take a break. Stepping back is important to avoid the burn-out.
  3. Change the scenery – Sometimes something as simple as changing where you work can help your productivity. Working in the same space day after day can start to be a drag. Take your laptop outside to work, pick a different room to brainstorm in, or take that meeting off-site.

Plus, let’s face it, staring at a computer screen for the entire day does nothing for improving moods. Who knows, maybe the game of Angry Birds or the change of scenery can give your team a fresh perspective on their work. Better Mood + New Ideas + Increased Productivity = A Happy Team.

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