Take a look at these factors:
This week’s Effective Virtual Conversations post takes me to one of the areas I hear about the most from professionals of all kinds today – “How can I minimize my digital distractions and create more focus in the virtual space?”
Digital distractions are created by a variety of things. Consider:
- The bing of your email
- An “urgent” email which isn’t an urgent email as you are bcc'ed in
- An instant message that comes through via Slack
- Having to toggle back and forth through different screens instead of being able to lay things out in one way
- Having different people on your team using different frameworks/platforms for reporting
The cost of digital distractions is multi-fold:
- Work doesn’t get done
- Projects are not completed
- People are frustrated because they are not able to finish tasks
- Motivation suffers in the short term
- Engagement levels drop
- Turnover occurs much more quickly
There are significant human and business costs for both.
So, what are some ways to reduce digital distractions? Consider these items AS a TEAM. They need to be team based so everyone is doing them.
Be intentional as a team (and possibly as an organization) as to what the expectations are in terms of being “on” and when people can be off. It’s not uncommon for some organizations to have a block of global working hours where everyone needs to be available and meetings can be called.
- Experiment with “offline” blocks of hours where people can engage in their deeper work projects. Deeper work projects might include proposals, new projects, addressing strategic issues, working on systems to ensure process and people flow.
- Turn off the technology or close it off at certain times of the day (this will need to be discussed as a team/organization in terms of what is realistic and appropriate.)
- Think twice with subject lines, cc'ing and bcc'ing (which really shouldn’t be used widely, if at all).
- Consider when having an analog copy of paper/hard copy might make a task move faster or be completed at a greater depth of synthesis. Deeper thinking of work cannot be completed with just cut and paste.
- Provide workspaces and/or flex arrangements so people can work with less distraction.
- Consider the best platform for the work
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