Be more productive: Block distracting websites and apps on all your devices with Freedom - try Freedom today

Can’t Focus at Work? Strategies to Improve Productivity with Freedom

The picture captures a couple of people sitting around a desk, deeply engrossed in discussion. Their collaboration signifies productivity at work. The intensity of their conversation suggests problem-solving or brainstorming, key components of efficient teamwork. This image exemplifies how communication and collaboration foster productivity in a professional setting

Let’s face it, once we clock out, there aren’t too many things demanding our full-on, laser-focused attention for a solid eight hours straight like work does. But whether you’re hustling from your couch or holding it down in an office, work time can be devastated by distractions.

Think about it. From “water cooler talk” with our colleagues to getting bombarded by email notifications, we’re constantly battling an army of distractions. Don’t worry. In this blog, we’ll talk about some of the most common reasons employees lose focus at work and how you can tackle them head-on with Freedom.

The Biggest Distractions In The Workplace

Coworkers- We love them, we appreciate them, but sheesh, can they talk our ear off? Interruptions from coworkers can keep you from your to-do list, sometimes for hours. Whether they stop by your desk to chit-chat or message you on Slack throughout the day, setting boundaries is crucial. If you have the space, take time to work in a designated quiet area or put headphones on to signal you aren’t available to talk.  

Meetings- You know the saying “This meeting could have been an email?” Well, it turns out most people believe that sentiment. According to research by Atlassian, the average employee attends 62 meetings a month and finds that half of those are a waste of time. It’s cool to advocate for yourself, so ask your boss if you can only attend meetings necessary to your role. You can also set specific times of the day when you are available to collaborate on tasks with other team members. Outside that window, it’s full speed ahead on your personal tasks.

“Always On” Mentality- Working from home comes with its own set of unique challenges and distractions. Nobody will know if you have a show on Netflix in the background or take an impromptu FaceTime session with your bestie. But, there’s another side of work-from-home life that disrupts performance and productivity. It’s a thing called digital presenteeism, when employees maintain a constant online presence to demonstrate their productivity and commitment. Think working and responding outside regular hours or working while under the weather. All of this leads to exhaustion, detachment, and disengagement, plus major procrastination!

Notifications- At this point, you can probably recognize notification sounds in your sleep—the ping from Slack or the chime when another email arrives in your inbox. Studies show that every time you check email, a social feed, or respond to a notification, your mind requires 23 minutes of re-focus time to get back on task. Open lines of communication are critical at work, but some messages don’t need immediate attention. A simple ‘do not disturb’ message or time blocked on the calendar establishes permission to respond after completing specific tasks. Or, treat your email like a physical mailbox (the mail comes and goes once a day).

Personal Devices- We understand that checking your phone throughout the day is second nature. Sometimes, we reach for a device without even knowing why. It’s easy to mindlessly scroll on social media, respond to text messages, and even shop the latest sales from our favorite retailers. Enter Freedom, our digital website and app blocker used by millions to restore focus and productivity (more on that later).

Clutter- If you have a designated desk, take a minute to look around—what’s on it? Sometimes, we don’t even realize all the unnecessary items in our workspace, but clutter can cause distractions and stress, leading to high unproductive levels. At the start of each day, take some time to tidy your space and clear away any physical or visual distractions. 

Strategies for Improving Productivity At Work

Try the Pomodoro Technique

We’re big fans of the Pomodoro technique at Freedom. It’s a simple way to separate your day into more manageable working sessions and boost your motivation. All you need to do is choose one task, set a timer for 25 minutes, and work until you hear the alarm sound. Then, celebrate with a five-minute break. Unlock a 15-minute breather once you repeat the Pomodoro technique four times. 

Optimize Your Work Environment

There’s a word that perfectly describes the study of people’s efficiency in their working environment. It’s called ergonomics, and it plays a meaningful role in efficiency, health, and safety. So, what does it entail? Think of it as the feng shui of your space—everything from lighting to furniture design. What’s the big deal? Well, when your workspace is just right, it can reduce physical and mental stressors, which, in turn, leads to increased productivity and engagement. It’s a no-brainer! 

Set Goals and Timelines

It’s in the name, folks. SMART goals are smart for a reason—because they work! If you haven’t heard of SMART goals, it’s an acronym for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound. These goals provide a sense of direction and focus, can help you evaluate your strengths and weaknesses, and serve as a springboard for motivation and success. 

Reduce Your Distractions

Who would we be if we didn’t talk about distractions? We have said it before, but digital distractions are one of the biggest barriers to workplace productivity. An app and website blocker like Freedom can help reduce daily distractions and stay on task.

Stay Distraction-Free With Freedom

Ready to eliminate distractions at work and focus on your tasks? You’ll be amazed at how much you get done using Freedom. When you need a break or a focus boost, block specific apps and browsers. Plus, you can start Freedom sessions on the fly, or schedule a future session that begins automatically. Productivity is at your fingertips with Freedom. Start a free trial today.