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5 ways to avoid digital distractions at the workplace

ET Bureau|
​Beeping phone at work
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​Beeping phone at work

It’s difficult to get work done in the office when your phone is beeping constantly. Social networking platforms can be a strong pull, too, and you can end up wasting a lot of precious time.

Most people assume they can multitask, but such distractions come at the cost of productivity and increase chances of human error. ET brings you tips from experts on how to avoid various digital distractions at the workplace.

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​1. Become self-aware
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​1. Become self-aware

The first step is to acknowledge that digital distractions are hampering your productivity and mental health, says Anish Philip, vice president-people function at Mindtree. “Employees should use behavioural principles to wean themselves off digital devices; adopting a disciplined approach helps accomplish this,” he says.

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​2. Use mute options
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​2. Use mute options

You can control the inflow in terms of how much these apps and platforms impact you. Most of them have mute options, says Arun Rao, leader of human resources-India, DXC Technology. “I would strongly recommend turning off notifications and putting gadgets on mute to avoid distractions,” he says.Amresh Anjan, director of HR operations at Shadowfax, recommends saying no to pop-up notifications. “This prevents unwanted distractions and helps employees focus at the work at hand,” he says.

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​3. Use phone-free breaks
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​3. Use phone-free breaks

Digital blackouts at the workplace are necessary for productivity and peace of mind. Mindtree’s Philip said employees must take phone-free breaks and block ‘focus time’ on their calendar. “Many companies are encouraging phone-freebreaks. During this time, using cell phones is highly non-negotiable,” says Shadowfax’s Anjan.

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​4. Don’t disrupt others’ work
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​4. Don’t disrupt others’ work

It is important how you conduct yourself with your devices at the workplace. Remember to be mindful of others’ work. “Simple things like not using speaker phone at your desk, using headphones for listening to music and keeping your phone on vibrator mode or low ringing volume go a long way in creating a workplace which is low on digital disruptions,” says DXC Technology’s Rao.

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​5. Seek company support
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​5. Seek company support

Your organisation may be able to provide you counselling for a digital detox. “Your workplace may also have tools which can help you track the number of productive hours while in office,” says Philip.

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