Distractions, distractions… there seems to be more and more each day to drag us away from what it is that we are meant to be doing. I’m certainly finding myself to be a victim of this modern day phenomenon. With a laptop, iPhone and iPad at hand, all with a plethora of different apps all beeping, ringing and buzzing incessantly, it can be pretty hard to focus on one thing at a time and stick with it, and I’m not alone in this.
Bayt.com have this week released the results of their ‘Distractions at Work in the MENA’ poll that cites the fact that six in ten respondents believe that having their attention snatched
away from their work is a big problem.
But what is it that is causing these distractions? Unsurprisingly, social media came in at the top of the bill with a whopping 25% naming this as their biggest distraction – step away from it people – remember you’re supposed to be working!
Some folk are just plain lucky to work with great personalities as socialising with office colleagues was next on the list with 18% of respondents saying they found this to be a big distraction.
News websites affected the ability of 10.2% to focus and 31.2% of those polled stated that news coming from neighbouring countries affected their efficiency and productivity at work. Given the vast numbers of residents from countries all over the world in the MENA region and the locality of the many MENA countries to recent news hotspots this probably doesn’t surprise.
Work related matters that are not linked to the task in hand were considered to be big distractions by 10% naming email, instant messaging and YouTube as culprits. Perhaps we need to look at scheduling specific time slots for certain duties in advance each day – this can be a good tactic to help keep focused on the task in hand, although, is often easier to follow in theory than in practice.
What might be surprising is that just over 30% stated that a more professional work environment would help them be less distracted, and with 23% saying they would be more likely to concentrate on their work if they had a better work / life balance it looks like it might be time for employers to sit up and take note. People can actually have a more positive outlook on life and in turn are more likely to perform better in the workplace if they feel valued as professionals and that they are not chained to work stresses and responsibilities outside of office hours.
Despite all of the distractions, and perhaps quite amazingly, 83.5% of respondents still considered themselves to be efficient at work. Rather than trying to avoid some of the distractions is it just that people are realising they need to organise themselves better in order to fit everything in? Three quarters of respondents said they work from a to-do list in the office and almost half plan their tasks a week in advance.
More than eight in 10 (85%) of the professionals polled also said that they have set long-term goals to guide them, so let’s hope they can maintain their focus and not get distracted from those.
Infographic – Factors Distracting MENA Workers
The below Infographic from Bayt.com shows the top distractions at work, and five fool-proof ways to combat them.